You’ve received a positive pregnancy test. You’re probably excited and ready to shout this life-changing news from the rooftops. You may even be in one of the couples who has experienced infertility, which could make the news even more worth sharing. It’s understandable to want to tell the world your good news, yet it’s worth considering numerous aspects of the situation and taking certain steps before you do.
For instance, it makes sense to follow up your home pregnancy test with obstetric services from a physician to confirm your pregnancy and check on you and your baby’s health status. Early pregnancy can come with certain risks that might make you want to wait to share your big news for now. Keep reading to learn about factors that affect when to announce pregnancy.
Generally, you learn of your pregnancy when you are in the first trimester. This is the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, after which you move into the second and then third trimesters of pregnancy. Announcing a pregnancy during the first trimester might be too early, as the fetus is at its most vulnerable stage during this time period. This means that this trimester tends to carry the most risks.
Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that the fetus’s major organs and body systems are developing during this stage of pregnancy. These processes are vulnerable to damage by factors like illnesses, toxins, radiation, and substances that include some medications, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
One of the top concerns in early pregnancy is miscarrying. The majority of miscarriages occur during the first trimester. Many pregnancies end during this time. Miscarriages happen in about 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies in the group of women who are aware of a pregnancy, explains Cleveland Clinic. The percentage drops to about one percent in the second trimester. Being cautious during the first trimester is a reason for delaying news of your pregnancy.
It’s possible that the number of miscarriages in early pregnancy is even higher. A significant number of women may be unaware of the pregnancy at the point of a miscarriage, while others may not visit a medical professional when it happens. Cleveland Clinic notes that between a third to a half of all pregnancies result in miscarriage before a missed period or the awareness of pregnancy.
There are common reasons for the high number of miscarriages during the first trimester of pregnancy. Experts estimate that about half of these miscarriages have underlying causes. A significant portion happen in this stage due to chromosomal abnormalities that affect proper development.
These can be hereditary in the egg or sperm, or they can happen spontaneously. There are various contributors to miscarriage, which include hormonal concerns, maternal age, or cervix or uterine problems. It could happen due to behavioral factors like smoking, infection, or outside exposure that harms the fetus. It could also happen due to various diseases or health conditions, some medications, or malnutrition.
Of course, you want to announce your pregnancy at some point. The best practice is to achieve certain milestones before sharing your news with everyone you know.
These main milestones include:
Ultrasounds provide a safe way to scan the baby during a prenatal appointment. It uses sound waves and no radiation. Obstetric professionals can use this type of scan throughout the pregnancy to understand how well the fetus is developing. It shows different information during the three trimesters. In the early pregnancy, the first ultrasound scan can confirm the pregnancy is viable. It can also help physicians provide you with a due date. During the second trimester, this scan checks progress like fetal development, the baby’s heartbeat, and the fetus’s size.
The anatomy scan is another ultrasound that happens at your OB/GYN office. This next-level ultrasound generally takes place during your second trimester. The goal of this scan is to determine the baby’s measurements. It shows important information on vital organs, limbs, and the face. You may also be able to get a gender reveal at this point. While these scans may create anxiety in advance, they can help you feel better about the baby’s progress. Also, they can help a physician provide medical advice for your wellness and healthcare.
You may also decide to wait to tell certain people until your body begins to go through more noticeable changes. Some top markers you may wait for include:
A growing belly is the main sign that will indicate to other people that you’re pregnant. Nonetheless, you’re not likely to show too much during the first trimester. This is another reason you may decide to wait until the second trimester to tell many people.
You’re able to keep the secret better in the beginning, when the changes are less noticeable. While the bump may appear early at about the 12-week mark, it generally happens at about 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. This is the first month of the second trimester. In general, the bump happens around the time that your pregnancy risks reduce, so this can be a good time to share the news.
Your breasts should start to enlarge during the first trimester. They become heavier and more tender. While this change may not be entirely noticeable to others, it is likely noticeable to you. It is an early sign that helps confirm your pregnancy.
A faster heartbeat is another early sign of pregnancy that tends to happen during the first trimester. This goes along with a quicker rate of breathing.
You’ll notice a lot of other changes that happen throughout the pregnancy, from trimester to trimester. Some of these changes happen early and help to confirm the fact that you are pregnant. Examples include morning sickness and weight gain. These may help you feel ready to tell the important people in your life about the pregnancy.
During the second trimester, you’ll likely have an easing of morning sickness. However, you will experience more weight gain and may have trouble focusing. You may also have food cravings or dislikes. This is the point at which many pregnant women share the news with a broader group of people.
During the third trimester, you’ll have a lot of noticeable symptoms that will become more difficult to hide. At this stage, you’ll experience significant weight gain and will likely feel uncomfortable, have back pain, have trouble sleeping, and experience other symptoms.
Overall, you can announce your pregnancy at any time to the people you care most about. Of course, you would want to let your significant other know right away. You may also decide to let close friends and some relatives in on the secret as soon as the pregnancy test indicates a positive result or whenever feels right to you. Consider that the people you share the news with early should be the people you could confide in if you have a miscarriage or other concern. Telling people who are important to you provides a support group and helps you share your experiences with others.
However, waiting that long to ask for maternity leave is not necessarily practical or a good idea. Also, your employer is likely to notice your growing belly over time. Telling your employer earlier will help you plan out your pregnancy and maternity leave as it relates to your position.
Yet, it’s up to you which trimester you decide to announce it to them. It’s common for women to wait until the second trimester starts to let their employer know the happy news, just as you would with your broader network. Nonetheless, there are occasions when it may make sense to let them know sooner. An example is if you have early pregnancy symptoms, such as severe morning sickness, that affect your work schedule or duties.
The physicians at Tidewater Physicians for Women are compassionate and knowledgeable as they guide you through your early pregnancy and beyond. They are ready to provide obstetrics services that will support your health, as well as your pregnancy announcement. To make an appointment in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area, call us at 757-461-3890.