You’re pregnant – fantastic news! Before you pick up that phone to tell the world you’ve got to consider all the factors of when to announce pregnancy.
Most mamas tell their partner first, but who next? Best friend? Parents? Co-workers? The guy sitting next to you on the bus?
Let’s go into the considerations of why and when to announce pregnancy to all the different groups in your life.
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Of course you know as The Moms At Odds, Jo and Rachel do practically everything different. Jo could barely hold in the news and told everyone almost immediately. Rachel, on the other hand, felt more comfortable waiting to spill the baby beans. More on that later.
For now, let’s start with the biggest reason why most women decide to wait until the second trimester….
Why Is 12 Weeks Safe to Announce Pregnancy?
The end of the first trimester (around 12 weeks) is considered the “traditional” time to announce your pregnancy.
One reason many women wait is because of the risk of miscarriage. This risk is highest in the first few weeks and decreases over the first trimester.
By waiting, you’ve likely already had your pregnancy confirmed at your first prenatal appointment. Seeing a flickering heart beating on the ultrasound is a reassuring moment for baby moms-to-be. Also, identifying a heartbeat is associated with a lower risk of miscarriage.
At 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically.
It’s important to note that there are risks, though low, throughout pregnancy. So unfortunately no time is 100% safe.
When to Announce Pregnancy to Parents
The grandparents-to-be are often the first to hear the big news!
Since they are likely be as thrilled about a grand baby as you are, you may want to make a special announcement. Here are some cute ideas for inspiration.
If you’re very close to your parents, they may notice changes in your behavior. If you’re feeling sick, extra tired, or have small weight gains even early on, you might want to tell them before they start to suspect and figure it out on their own.
Another reason to consider telling your parents early is because they can be incredibly helpful. Whether you’re just too sick to cook or you need someone to occupy your toddler while you nap, grandparents are often understanding and can provide amazing support to get through a rough pregnancy.
However, not all family relationships are the same so consider your specific situation with your parents (and your partner’s parents) to decide when you want share.
For instance, will they share your excitement? Will they be supportive?
Also keep in mind if you aren’t ready to tell the world yet, will they keep your secret?
When did The Moms At Odds announce to their parents?
Jo – The day after we received a positive home pregnancy test
Rachel – 13 weeks at a large family get-together
When to Announce Pregnancy to Immediate Family and Close Friends
As you’re considering when to announce pregnancy, make a list of all immediate family members and close friends you want to hear the news directly from you in person (rather than through social media).
Now that you’ve got the who, it’s time to decide the when. Here are some factors to consider:
- Will they keep your secret? If not, it may be best to tell a group of people at the same time so be sure everyone hears the news directly from you.
- Do you have an event coming up where someone will notice a clue about your pregnancy? Maybe a wedding where you won’t be drinking or a restaurant where you’ll skip the sushi. If so, think about telling the individuals beforehand so they won’t put you on the spot.
- Do you need support? If you need someone to share your excitement, fears, or just want to talk it through with another person – consider sharing earlier.
- Are these individuals you would feel comfortable sharing a loss? Unfortunately not all pregnancies result in babies and the earlier you share the news the higher chance of miscarriage. Loss is something all women process differently, some prefer to keep it private and some feel more comfortable sharing. While a pregnancy is never completely in the safe zone, if it is not someone you would want knowing about a miscarriage it may be a better option to wait.
When did The Moms At Odds announce to their family and friends?
Jo – Close friends the days I peed on a stick, immediate family 10 weeks at Christmas dinner
Rachel – 14 weeks
When to Announce Pregnancy on Facebook and Other Social Media
Today most of us interact in one way or another on social media.
Whether you rarely post or share every detail of your life is personal and will likely help determine how, when, or even if you want to announce your pregnancy online.
Announcing a pregnancy on social media is exciting, but also has some special considerations.
First of all, who do you want to tell in person first? Do you want your mom, boss, or bestie to find out from instagram? Or from someone else who saw it first? If there’s anyone you want to share your news with in person, make sure you’ve told them before posting.
Second, once you put it out there, it becomes public knowledge. Even if you use privacy settings, the secret is out and anyone can find out, like your high school friends, exes, or coworkers.
On the flip side, if you wait someone else may “announce” online for you. How important is it to you that you announce your news on your terms? If a well intentioned friend tags you in a pregnancy post or mentions it on your wall, will you be upset that they beat you to the punch?
Finally, if you want to wait or avoid announcing at all, to what extent will you try to hide your pregnancy on social media? You may have to censure what you post to keep from accidentally spilling the baby beans and crop photos to hide your bump when you start to show. If you don’t post much, this may not be an issue, but if you like to share a lot you may find it difficult.
When did The Moms At Odds announce on social media?
Jo – We announced at 14 weeks (second trimester) through pictures
Rachel – I didn’t announce until after the 20 week ultrasound
When to Announce Pregnancy at Work
Deciding when to announce pregnancy at work, both to your boss and colleagues, can vary based on many factors.
First it is important to consider if you will require workplace accommodations at any point during your pregnancy and when.
For example, maybe you work in a lab and are exposed to various chemicals, some of which are not safe for pregnant women. Another case may be working in a doctor’s office where some patients may have medical conditions that pregnant women should not be exposed to. In these cases, telling a supervisor may be indicated as soon as possible to ensure appropriate accommodations be provided for the safety to both mom and child.
Physical considerations are also important, particularly for later in pregnancy. Jobs that require standing all day or heavy lifting may prove to become more difficult as your belly grows. In these cases, informing employers of your pregnancy isn’t as emergent and can wait until you’re comfortable sharing the news.
You will also want to think about how long you are planning on taking maternity leave and what will be required in your absence.
Will your employer need to hire a replacement or train another staff member to perform your job temporarily? Will your colleagues need to plan their vacations around your maternity leave to cover for you?
The more planning that is involved in taking your absence, the earlier you should consider telling your place of employment. While not 100% necessary, this is a courtesy and an important factor especially if you plan on returning to the job.
Unfortunately there is also a darker side to announcing your pregnancy at work. Although it is illegal to discriminate on a woman based on her pregnancy status, the sad truth is that it happens far too often.
Moms report being passed for jobs/promotions, having their hours cut, and even being fired while pregnant. Only you know the dynamics of your own workplace to weigh these risks. If you are concerned about your job status be sure to know your rights before speaking with your employer.
When did The Moms At Odds announce on social media?
Jo – I told me co-worker immediately as I knew she would have to cover for me during maternity leave.
Rachel – 14 weeks
When did Jo Announce her Pregnancy?
Even though I knew the risks, I couldn’t help but sharing the news early.
I told at least 4 people within the first 4 hours of peeing on the home pregnancy test. Immediately after seeing the words “pregnant”, I woke up my husband to inform him he was going to be a dad. On the way to work I called two of my best friends to share the excitement. Then after getting to the office I told my coworker.
I decided to tell my close friends because I’m just a very social person, somewhat of an over-sharer, and I simply couldn’t keep the news to myself! I wanted to celebrate and hear the excitement in their voices.
Work was more for practical reasons. I knew that while I was on maternity leave, my partner would have to cover for me. I felt it was a courtesy to inform her as soon as possible so she could make appropriate plans.
Honestly I originally intended to wait until my second trimester before sharing the exciting news with my parents. My mom knew that I had a difficult time conceiving and I didn’t want to get her hopes up of finally having her first grandchild.
However our plans changed when we lost a family member unexpectedly. My husband’s family was devastated. On the way to visit the family, we discussed the possibility of sharing our news to help with the grief and provide hope.
So we told my husband’s parents the day after we found out we were pregnant and it was the right decision. My mother-in-law was overjoyed and crying, saying over and over that there is always a light in the darkness. We decided to tell my parents shortly thereafter.
Finally, we had a “pregnancy announcement” photoshoot around 12 weeks of pregnancy and had the pictures all edited and ready to post the day we hit 14 weeks. My husband loves to share on Facebook but we agreed waiting until the second trimester made us feel the most comfortable.
When did Rachel Announce her Pregnancy?
I waited to announce my first pregnancy. We told our parents at 13 weeks. then friends and work the following week.
We wanted our parents to be the first to find out and we knew they would be the most excited. Ours was the first grandchild on either side of our family. We also made a special trip to visit them all in one weekend because we wanted to share our news in person.
The biggest reason I waited was because I didn’t want to have to tell everyone if I had a miscarriage. I am a natural “worrier” and like many moms was very anxious about this possibility. Even though I would have still told close friends and family if I had miscarried, I wanted the ability to do so on my own timeline without feeling pressured to say anything right away.
I honestly wanted to wait even longer to announce, but I felt like I was starting to show and wouldn’t be able to hide it much longer.
My husband and I don’t share a ton on social media so we waited until after my 20 week anatomy scan to post on Facebook. I knew that I would not feel comfortable sharing a miscarriage online with all of my closest acquaintances.
Ultimately, the “right” time to announce your pregnancy is whenever you feel comfortable.
When did you announce your pregnancy? Or when are you planning to?