The '12-week rule' is one pregnant women shouldn't be scared to break
Most expectant mums wait until the 12-week mark before sharing their baby news with the world. There's one main reason for this: of the 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies that end in miscarriage, most happen before the end of the first trimester.
One Australian mother has bucked the trend by revealing her pregnancy at 9 weeks on Instagram. Sophie Cachia, who is already mum to 2-year-old son Bobby, said that keeping her pregnancy a secret from her readers would go against her mission to share the "incredibly intimate details" of her world on her blog The Young Mummy.
Why does society think it strange — wrong, even — for women to reveal their pregnancy before the 12-week mark? Of course it's heartbreaking to go through a miscarriage and many women find it difficult to talk about. But equally, it can be really hard to keep the loss of a pregnancy quiet. To put on a brave face to the world when your heart is breaking and pretend life is normal when the opposite is true.
Really, why does the "12-week rule" exist? Is it for the good of the mother, or simply to make society feel more comfortable about things that are uncomfortable to talk about? There shouldn't be any rules when it comes to pregnancy beyond those that exist to protect the health of the unborn child. Whether a woman wants to keep her pregnancy a secret for months or shout the news from the rooftops as soon as the pregnancy test shows positive, that's her decision to make.
In some cases, it's tough trying to hide a pregnancy that's already obvious. Some moms-to-be start showing way before 12 weeks, and they shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about their changing body.
Pregnant women need a support network, and that support is crucial if a pregnancy ends in miscarriage. By feeling that they have the right to talk openly about any aspect of their pregnancy at any stage, including those early days and weeks of excitement and nerves and morning sickness and tiredness, women can have that support from the beginning.
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