Are you pregnant? Ready to shout it from the mountain tops? Are you scared out of your mind? Both of these feelings are normal. First and foremost, congratulations. This is a time to celebrate and enjoy every new week with your growing baby. In a world of social media, crafted instagrams, miscarriages, infertility, and elaborately planned announcements, deciding how to announce your pregnancy is a complicated topic.
Early Pregnancy: Define your inner circle
I’m just going to tell it like it is here. As a mom who has experienced multiple miscarriages, I recommend waiting to tell the entire world until you reach the 12 week mark. Early miscarriage is common and never expected. Does this mean you have to keep your pregnancy a secret the entire 12 weeks? Absolutely not. Define your inner circle and keep the news small for now. A good rule of thumb is to not tell anyone the good news, you would not feel comfortable telling if there were to be bad news later. Who in your life would you lean on for support in the case of a loss? Your best friend, your immediate family, and your partners immediate family are typically a good start. Reserve these first few months of excitement for the people who have earned the right to be apart of this journey, thick and thin. If it is not someone who will lend you a shoulder to cry on, then they can wait a little longer.
Big Social Media Pregnancy Announcement or Not?
This is one is totally up to you! Everyone is different. If you have a large social media following and consider yourself an influencer of sorts, this may feel like part of the job. Remember that you are not obligated to announce your pregnancy with the world, regardless of your followers. Are you nervous you are going to upset or offend moms who have experienced loss? The honest answer is that you may. The more honest answer is that you are not responsible for their healing process. There is no way you can make everyone happy. When I was healing from my loss, I had to unfollow some people on social media. This was just to protect my heart, and had nothing to do with them. You don’t have to minimize your pregnancy announcement out of fear of hurting others feelings, especially if it is someone you may not know intimately.
For your friends dealing with loss and infertility…
If you have a close friend whom you know is struggling with infertility or miscarriage, it would be kind of you to tell them individually. Instinct may be to avoid because you don’t want to rub it in, or perhaps you feel guilt that they are struggling and you are joyfully pregnant. There isn’t really a correct way to have that conversation, but just be willing to have it. It tells them that you are thinking of them and helps validate their pain. Be honest about your feelings, share about your guilt. Let them talk about their feelings. They may need some space from baby showers and gender reveals, but they also may not. A good heart to heart and open communication will go a long way in showing your friend you care.
If you don’t want to announce
It is okay to want to keep things on the down low. There is no wrong way to announce. The therapist in me does feel obligated to encourage you to explore the reasons why you don’t want to announce. Are you simply a private person and love the sacred secret you are growing? Does the lack of desire to announce come from fear? Full disclosure, I fall into this category and struggle with the fear. I am carrying rainbow bab(ies). Fear is something that I carry with me everyday, but the logistics of me showing so early is forcing me to deal with this announcement. I will admit, announcing pregnancy after loss is scary but it has been surprisingly healing for me. Announcing has given my heart that nudge it needed to really celebrate.
We are all vastly different and on totally different journeys . There is no right or wrong way to announce your pregnancy. Be aware of pressures that you are feeling from family or social media, and then make your own decision. Whether you go big, or subtle. Whether you announce on social media or choose to tell everyone face to face, there is no wrong way to announce your pregnancy. The only rule is to stay true to yourself and enjoy this season. You are growing a human! Congratulations!