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When to tell people you’re pregnant

From the moment that the little plus sign appears on the pregnancy test, it’s like the 800-pound gorilla in the room. While you may want everyone to know, you also want to hold back until you are sure that everything is kosher … but when is the right time to spill the beans?

Pregnant Woman with Friends

When my best friend was pregnant with her first child, I planned a surprise baby shower for her. I told her I was taking her and three of my closest friends out to lunch. Somehow, she got the idea that the lunch was to announce my own pregnancy. I let her believe it. After weeks of friends calling and asking if I was pregnant, the night before the event I took a pregnancy test just in case. I was shocked to see two lines immediately appear … so shocked, that I made my husband drive me to the grocery store for another test at 11 p.m.

The next day, when we surprised her with the party, she turned and said “So, you aren’t pregnant then?” I couldn’t lie so I hugged her and whispered “I just found out I am.” I didn’t want everyone to know, since I had found out myself less than 12 hours earlier and the idea (dare I say, the surprise) was still sinking in. But in her excitement, she squealed and practically yelled, “You ARE?!? Congratulations!”

At barely three weeks pregnant, almost everyone knew I was expecting.

The next nine weeks were nerve-wracking. What if something happened? I would have to tell everyone, which was a harrowing thought.

So when should you spill the beans?

Right away?

While telling everyone right away was a big stress for me, other moms relish in sharing the big news as soon as possible.

“I’ve always told right away. But everyone is different. For me, I would want my family, friends there for me if something happened. Fortunately that was never the case,” said Jennifer Faulkner.

Support, some moms say, in case of the worst, is exactly the reason they want to share the news. “We told after like three or four weeks partly because I thought if something did happen I would tell my family and friends anyway and would want their support, and it was good timing around the July 4th party,” said Jennifer Whisnant. Whisnant had previously waited to tell with her first child.

Responsible for work

There are many considerations when it comes to telling work about your pregnancy. Although you are under no obligation to tell early, if you want to return to the job on good terms, you will probably want to tell before heavy long-term workloads are assigned.

“I told my boss at 11 weeks, when we were going over goals for the year. I didn’t think it would be fair to plan the year, and then a few weeks later, pop this surprise on her,” said Karen Tong, Baltimore, MD.

Likewise, with my second pregnancy, when planning was beginning for our next publishing year, I quietly told my boss that our department would be minus one editor for a few months. She was overjoyed for me, and grateful that I helped them plan for my absence.

Weathering the “what ifs”

One reason to keep a pregnancy secret for longer is if there is a risk factor that leaves an important, but very personal decision in your hands.

“When I learned that my first baby had a high risk of being born with Down Syndrome, I kept everything a secret until we had the results of the genetic testing at 4 months. I was wearing some pretty baggy sweaters to work at the end! We weren’t sure what we would do if the tests came back positive for the syndrome and I didn’t want to be in a position to have to justify my actions in front of my coworkers. Only our close friends and family knew and crossed their fingers right along with us,” said Jessica Rosenberg of

A right time?

What it comes down to is that there really is no right time for sharing news of a pregnancy. The only true right time is the right time for you.

Tell us: When did you share your pregnancy news? Comment below!

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