A sweet pregnancy announcement idea: a "coming soon" sign, baby shoes, a stuffed rabbit, and a sonogram photo

Pregnancy Announcements: Finding the Right Approach for You

By Lauren Krouse
March 26, 2024

Figuring out when and how to tell people you are pregnant is a highly personal choice, and there’s no “right” time. Here’s how to determine a pregnancy announcement timeline and style that best suits you.

Deciding When to Announce Your Pregnancy: 4 Factors to Consider

In the midst of so much excitement, it can feel impossible to keep your pregnancy under wraps, and you might choose to confide in close loved ones from the moment you get that positive test result. In other cases, you may want to protect your good news for a longer period of time.

Medical, personal, and social factors may all affect this decision, says Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., a psychologist certified in perinatal mental health. “The more complex your life situation or relationships are, the more you might be hesitant to share publicly or with certain people,” she says.

Here are four factors to consider when it comes to deciding the timing of your pregnancy announcement.

1. Miscarriage Risk

About 10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with 80% of those happening within the first trimester. To prevent the potential heartbreak of also publicly sharing a loss, your ob-gyn or midwife may suggest that you wait to announce your pregnancy until about 12 or 13 weeks have passed.

In the second trimester, the risk of miscarriage drops significantly, occurring in only 1% to 5% of pregnancies. It’s common to wait to announce until after an early second-trimester doctor’s appointment confirming the health of you and your future baby.

But it’s also crucial to ensure that you have enough support in case of a loss or complications. Kaeni recommends confiding in at least a few close loved ones before the 13-week mark.

Ayana Lage, a 30-year-old mom in Tampa, Florida, who had a miscarriage three weeks after she had announced her first pregnancy online, agrees. Although she had complex feelings around her second pregnancy, she still announced it early because of the value of her support network.

Emily Bennewies, a 33-year-old mom based in Boston, shared her IVF journey on Instagram from the start to raise awareness. But she and her partner postponed a public pregnancy announcement until she was 13 weeks. Because her pregnancy was high risk, she says, there was never necessarily a “good” time to announce. “But what do you need for support? That can help you figure out the time to reveal it,” she says.

If you’ve had previous miscarriages or have a high-risk pregnancy, you may choose to wait even longer to share your pregnancy, such as when your healthcare team lets you know you’re in a safe place, when you know the expected sex of your child, or even after delivery.

2. How You Feel About the Pregnancy

Beyond medical factors, safeguarding your mental health is key.

Molly Morgan Tolar, a 31-year-old mom in Birmingham, Alabama, felt fragile when it came to sharing the news. “Other people’s reactions to pregnancy announcements can come off as lackluster, and that can hurt when you’re hormonal and vulnerable,” she says.

She announced her first pregnancy 12 weeks in, but she waited longer for the next three, either halfway or after birth. At these times, she felt more prepared for a celebration—no matter how others responded.

3. How Your Social Circle Might Respond

A woman telling a family member she is pregnant

In some cases, discovering you’re pregnant can bring mixed emotions or elicit disappointing responses from loved ones.

Chaney*, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, says she regrets immediately sharing her pregnancy with family members. Unmarried in a conservative community, she knew her situation didn’t fit the status quo. But she still felt blindsided by the judgment and lack of support from some loved ones.

“If you don’t want to hear opinions about it, wait until you have already sat in it and figured it out for yourself,” she says. “Give yourself time to process how your life is going to change and how people around you may react.”

4. What Workplace Accommodations Are Available

Similarly, when to announce a pregnancy at your workplace can vary depending on how supported you feel there, Kaeni says.

Educate yourself on your rights and what you can expect from your employer. A good first step is to reach out to someone who’s been in your situation before, or to contact human resources to learn about existing policies.

You may have rights to certain workplace accommodations under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This could include things like sick leave or a less physically demanding role. To request those accommodations, you’ll have to tell your employer about the pregnancy.

How to Tell Your Loved Ones You’re Pregnant: Pregnancy Announcement Ideas

a couple holding a sonogram photo to announce their pregnancy

Ultimately, the women we spoke with agreed that the ideal timeline depends on your needs and personality. Just like timing, your announcement itself is up for plenty of personalization. Here are a few ideas for how to tell people you’re pregnant:

  • Tell close family and friends directly. Whenever you’re ready to let in a few close people, tell them in person, on the phone, or via video chat to share your news! If you don’t want other people to know yet, be sure to share that, too.
  • Post or send a sonogram shot. Pose for a photo with your ultrasound image—it’s a classic choice for a pregnancy reveal. You can send the shot to individuals or post on social media.
  • Record reactions. For a surprise pregnancy announcement, try Ayana’s method: She had loved ones pose for a photo and took a video instead. “Smile! I’m pregnant!” she said. She still looks back fondly on the compilation of reactions she collected.
  • Batch big news. Another option: To be mindful of loved ones who have experienced pregnancy loss, Molly opted for a toned-down announcement on Facebook and Instagram for her second child, pairing the news with an overall life update that included a big move and home purchase.
  • Share a slideshow. If you, like Chaney, have long-distance loved ones, a slideshow on TikTok or Instagram of your growing belly can be a sweet way to share your journey with them.
  • Wait for the hard launch. An increasingly popular choice is to wait to reveal a sizable bump late into your pregnancy or to stay mum until you’ve already given birth, sharing the happy news with a baby photo. Then, it’s both a pregnancy announcement and a baby announcement.

How You Announce Is Your Decision

The joys and anxieties of pregnancy can be hard to contain, and you should feel free to tell whomever you want to confide in at whatever time feels right to you. That could look like a mass text to loved ones, a cute social media announcement, or a gradual reveal of the story as you begin to show. Keep in mind the kind of support you would want in case of complications and how to honor your emotional needs and boundaries.

Whatever norms you follow or dismiss, make sure to take some meaningful time to celebrate this milestone.

*This mom requested we use her first name only.