Towards the end of the first 10-12 weeks is the most common time for mothers to announce the exciting news. It’s at this stage that the baby bump might begin to show and the risk of miscarriage has dropped.
Announcing early gives those around you plenty of time to take in the news and for you to make any necessary arrangements with work. This also allows you to cut out any risky behaviours associated with your occupation, sport or lifestyle, and time enough for your network of family and friends to offer as much support as they can.
This can be a great time to announce to people beyond your close family and friends as at this stage the baby bump will be quite visible. Women who have had previous birth complications might wait until this period to announce as the risk of miscarriage continues to drop.
Around 16-20 weeks, and through consultation with your doctor, you might be offered an amniocentesis. This test can help determine if there are any genetic or developmental conditions in the foetus. The results and further consultation with your doctor will assist in deciding whether to carry the pregnancy to full term, which is why some mothers choose to wait later into this period.
It can be hard hiding a pregnancy until this point, unless you are returning from abroad or interstate – imagine the surprise when your loved ones see you in person! Some women choose to hold off as late as possible if they expect to be swamped by unwelcome or overbearing advice from family and friends – although well-intentioned, not always pleasant.
Unfortunately, some women might have reason to believe that their work will suffer as a result of announcing a pregnancy. If this is a reality – and it never should be – do consider what your options are, and whether there is legal support within or outside of your organisation that might be able to help. Don’t take a step back though: there’s more than one future in your hands now.
What if I miscarry?
It’s important to acknowledge that with any pregnancy there is always the chance of miscarriage. The traditional thinking has been that by holding off on announcement, the pregnancy has more of a chance of carrying full term. If a miscarriage did occur prior to announcement, the mother wouldn’t have to go through the pain of breaking the news.
Really, no mother should feel under pressure to announce at any stage. In the social media age, however, the discussion of miscarriage has become less taboo with the increase in accessibility of support groups. While certainly sharing a problem – particularly with others who have experienced it – can make it easier to bear, a pregnancy is as much a private as a public event, if not more so. Each person deals with grief in their own way, and if women and their families feel the need to discuss a miscarriage, then they should feel free to do it in their own time.
A pregnancy is exciting news, if not the most exciting news you can tell the world. It is completely understandable to want to share this unique feeling, so consider carefully if there are reasons why you should wait or not hesitate. Ultimately, however, it’s your pregnancy and your choice – so when you’re ready, don’t just tell the world: shout it out loud.