Pregnancy announcement etiquette

When a woman realises she is going to be a mother it is the most indescribable and life-changing moment of her life. Pregnancy and all its defining milestones stick with us forever — and they stick with those around us too. It’s equally priceless letting your loved ones and friends in on the secret. Here are a few tips for announcing your pregnancy properly, gracefully and right.

pregnancy test couple

Example: Instead of putting dinner on the table right away, send him a text saying “someone else gave me the idea for dinner tonight, you’ll love it”. When he is sitting down put a jar of baby food in front of him with a spoon. It will take him a few minutes to realise your message but it will be priceless when he does.

Tell the daddy first

What’s even more amazing than looking at a man’s face as his bride walks down the aisle is his face when he learns he will be a father (hint: surprises are the cutest). Think of a creative way you both will never forget and take time to plan. The tears and smiles and hugs to follow are spectacular and well worth your creative execution.

Don’t show the world your new eating habits

If you aren’t ready to announce your pregnancy, make sure not to give it away through the foods and nature of your eating. Some women may turn into craving monsters but did you know that pregnant women only need about 300 to 450 extra calories a day? Don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to go overboard — especially when you don’t want people to notice. Confirm your pregnancy diet with a doctor and memorise what’s on your no-eat list (raw fish, coffee, certain cheeses etc.) This way you automatically learn to avoid common foods without interrogating the waiter at a business meeting or dissecting your food at an office lunch.

Politely decline alcohol

One of the most obvious signs of a women being pregnant is when she has to decline alcohol. So what’s the proper way to do it? Come up with a few pre-rehearsed “no thanks” lines in your head so that you can politely and confidently decline when necessary, rather than struggling with words and creating suspicion. Sometimes the “I’m driving” line doesn’t always work when it’s a glass of Guinness or wine. Simply say “no thanks, I’m pacing myself” or “maybe later”. Here are some more subtle ways to decline:

  • “I would love to but I’m on a detox”
  • “No thank you, cutting back on calories”
  • “I have an important meeting tomorrow and have to be 100 per cent on my game, but next time”
  • “Thank you, but I’m getting over sickness and am sticking to water only. Something going round the office”

Tell your parents, family and friends

The next people who have the immediate right to know are, of course, your parents. Wait until after your first trimester (12 weeks) and also tell them in a meaningful way — grandparents may get even more emotional than you did. Give your mum and dad “world’s best grandparents” T-shirts as a way of announcing. Encourage your parents and in-laws to keep the news private unless you are both ready to start letting your closest friends know — in that case spread the joy and happiness! Announcement cards are a touch outdated. A surprise baby-themed brunch for your girlfriends is always cute but, as we get older, we don’t always have the luxury of being a short distance away. If your friends are spread across the world, a personalised text showing your bump or positive pregnancy test will be meaningful to them. Now, if you must, let the Facebook world know — as long as you’re sure work won’t find out this way before you’ve told them formally.

Telling the boss and colleagues

This is often a nervous and delicate moment — one nearly all of us mums-to-be try to avoid as long as possible. Wait until your second trimester to let him or her know; this way you demonstrate that you can maintain a positive work ethic and manage a workload under the stress and nature of pregnancy. Some are delighted, some are a little less than delighted, but every woman has the right to be pregnant so don’t be afraid. The only rule here is definitely let your boss know before your co-workers. Be sure to emphasise it won’t affect your job performance or current projects and that you’ll oversee smooth transition into your maternity leave. Once all is settled, invite them to the baby shower.

More early pregnancy tips

Preparing your body for pregnancy
Eating for two: How to eat well during pregnancy
5 Morning sickness cures

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