Finding out you are pregnant is a moment full of joy, wonder and excitement! And even more so when you get to share this special news with people you love. So why is 12 weeks safe to announce your pregnancy?
A half dozen pregnancy tests later “just to be sure,” the excitement and surprise is confirmed. Now of course, once the initial wave of emotions calm down and you both have a minute to celebrate the good news, then the question becomes, when do we tell everyone else?
4 Reasons to Wait for 12 Weeks
#1 — 12 Weeks is Safe to Announce Your Pregnancy
When you go to the doctor, they will likely tell you that most people announce their pregnancy around the 12th week. Unless you have extenuating health circumstances, it’s pretty safe.
- Highest Risk.
- This is because the highest risk of miscarriage is during the first trimester. According to the Mayo Clinic, most miscarriages happen before the 12th week of pregnancy. While we all hope we don’t have to suffer this loss, it is a real concern. And the risk increases for women over the age of 35, even more so for women over 40.
- People don’t actually realize how common miscarriage is. The Mayo Clinic estimates that around 30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. That is almost 1 miscarriage for every 3 pregnancies. Because it is such a personal experience, waiting to announce until 12 weeks gives you the opportunity to move past your highest risk time of having a loss.
- Dealing with Potential Loss.
- Not everyone wants to talk about or share their loss if or when it happens, so waiting until the highest risk time period is over can offer parents more emotional stability.
- Emotional Support
- For me, I’m over the age of 35 and at higher risk to miscarry. I wanted to tell our family when I felt more confident they could remain in a place of joy over the news.
- Pictures + Heartbeat
- Additionally, by 12 weeks you will also have had 1 or 2 ultrasounds to check on baby. Seeing your baby on the screen and hearing his or her heartbeat really makes everything feel real. It was a highlight of my pregnancy: to see my little girl for the first time wiggling around, crossing her little ankles.
- Genetic Testing.
- The ultrasound at 12 weeks measures the baby and looks for signs of Downs Syndrome. It can take 10 days or so to get the news. Some doctors offer genetic testing as early as 10 weeks, so you might have those results as well.
Knowing all you can about your baby’s health can make you feel confident in sharing and celebrating the news with everyone!
#2 — It Gives Your Body and Mind Time
Your body is going through loads of changes right now. It’s preparing to host your little one and support their growth. This includes all kinds of hormone shifts. And MANY women experience all kinds of discomfort in the first trimester.
Your body is going through big changes. You may wait to announce your pregnancy at 12 weeks, to give yourself a couple months to navigate these changes. While telling everyone this news can be exciting, it may add to your tiredness. This is time could be used to rest and to care for your body and mind.
Pregnancy doesn’t just impact your body. Feeling ill, tired, and having big shifts in hormones also shifts your mood and mindset. You might be more emotional (I cried at silly dog food commercials), experience limited amounts of patience, or just feel overwhelmed by the fact that you are bringing a new human into this world!
And you are not the only one going through changes. Your partner has learned life changing news. Your partner is a teammate, supporting you through all of these changes. This gives you both time to work through these big shifts and figure out how you are going to navigate this new terrain, together.
#3 — Savor the Moment
Finding out you are pregnant is a private moment to share with your partner. I knew I was pregnant at 2 weeks. At first I thought, “how will I ever keep this quiet from my family for so long?!” But then there was something special about sharing this secret with my husband. We were the only people in the world that knew about our new family member, and that felt like something I should savor.
I decided to wait until we saw the doctor and until our first trimester was over to tell our family. For me, I wanted more time to own the big shift of becoming a first time mom. I wanted time to be with my own emotions and body without input from others.
I felt permission to be in the moment, without worrying or thinking about all the next steps that come with parenthood.
#4 — Consider Your Approach to Societal Input
Waiting to announce your pregnancy until 12 weeks gives you time and space to think about your mindset and approach to this new bundle of joy headed your way.
Gender + Names
Deciding before you tell anyone the news how you want to handle conversations around gender and names for example, gives you space to decide how YOUR family wants to do these things, without outside influences.
How to Share “We’re Pregnant” with Friends + Family
- Set Boundaries.
- It’s good to be on the same page with your partner about what you plan to share with everyone.
- For example, when we announced to our friends and family, I let them know that we were not talking about it on social media and asked them to respect that until we made the announcement.
Prepare Yourself for Unnecessary Advice
You also will receive lots of unasked for advice. Many people will feel the need to share the pregnancy, labor, and delivery stories. Which can be good or bad….. depending on their experience.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to tell people you don’t want to hear their horror stories. If those stories will only create anxiety for you around your labor, what’s the point of hearing them?
Now that I’ve gone through the First Trimester, I feel much more prepared when I do share with someone I’m pregnant. 12 weeks gives you the chance to think these things through. You will also feel more confident in how you respond to others as they react to your news.
Why DO Some People Announce Pregnancy at 8 Weeks?
Some people choose to tell close friends and immediate family around 8 weeks. At 8 weeks many pregnant women have their first ultrasound. •
- Hearing that heartbeat and getting photographs of your little one really makes the event real and it’s hard not to share that joy with people you love!
- Your risk for miscarriage does also drop at 8 weeks. Once you have an ultrasound and can hear the baby’s heartbeat, which can be as early as 6 weeks, you are less likely to miscarry (though the exact percentage of risk appears to vary).
- Support. It can also be an absolute blessing to have support and encouragement from your loved ones if you are experiencing a tough first trimester.
- Being able to call your mom or best friend to complain about the nausea, or just get some extra help with dinner one night can make all the difference when you are really tired and not feeling so great.
- And if the unthinkable happens, a miscarriage, you will also have a circle of loved ones who know whats going on and can be there with you through your loss.
There is something special in knowing the people who love you are there for you, no matter what happens.
Why DON’T People Announce their Pregnancy Until 8 Weeks!
For other expecting parents, the risk of miscarriage may feel too great and they wait until 12 weeks because of the decreased possibility of miscarriage.
- Women who experienced a miscarriage are more likely to miscarry again, for example, so they may want to wait to be sure baby is doing well before they announce their pregnancy to everyone.
- Being an older pregnant woman and not having an ultrasound until 12 weeks made me want to wait to tell my family and friends. And we ONLY announced to family and friends at 12/13 weeks! It was 16 or 17 weeks before we announced it to everyone else.
- Savor the Moment. Waiting until 12 weeks to announce your pregnancy gives you some assurance that your risk of miscarrying has dropped. It also gives you and your partner to not only savor the moment, but be confident in your approach to pregnancy.
- Confidence. Being more confident that your baby is healthy can offer some encouragement to start celebrating the good news with people around you.
Ultimately, what IS important is that you talk to your doctor and partner. Then come to a decision that feels right for you and your family. Some people may announce earlier and others later, that’s part of what makes pregnancy so challenging: there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for everyone.
But if you are looking for a general answer to when it’s time to tell the world your big news: 12 weeks is a safe time for you to announce you are pregnant!
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. share with your momma friends!!
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