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Breaking News – When Should I Tell People I Am Pregnant?

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The pregnancy test comes out positive- wow! I am going to be a parent. Now what? How am I going to get through this? Who should I tell and when?

Your significant other is probably hovering around, waiting  for the result of the pregnancy test. If not, he should probably be the first person you should tell. In person is probably best but if you can’t logistically manage that and have the urge to share ASAP then go ahead and make a call, fire a text message, send an email, a Facebook message or whatever media you are most comfortable conveying the news on.

After your significant other knows then you need to decide who else should be in the know. The most common determinant, of this question, is the fear harbored by expectant parents – the fear of a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur during the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy, i.e. during the first trimester. Chemical pregnancies (where the fertilized egg does not implant) can also cause a pregnancy test to come out positive and then turn out to be negative a few days later.

There are many reasons for miscarriages and more often than not the exact reason cannot be identified. The most common cause of miscarriage is an abnormality with the baby’s chromosomes. Other reasons include maternal age, lifestyle, hormonal issues, incorrect implantation of the ovum, and maternal infections or other health problems.

Almost one in four women miscarries during their first trimester.  Given these daunting statistics, the question of “who should I tell and when?” becomes a bigger decision.

The jury is out on that question. There are pros and cons to telling people, about the pregnancy, before the first trimester is up. The cons are of course having to deal with painful questions and telling people if you do suffer a loss. The pros are having love and support, which you will need a lot of, if you endure a distressing loss.

Personally, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Miscarriages have deep psychological effects on the expectant mother as well as the father to-be. It is a heartbreaking loss and can lead to some very dark days in the expectant parents’ lives and can also adversely affect the relationship between the expectant parents.

There is also a stigma associated with miscarriages which often leads women to ask themselves questions like what is wrong with me? Why can’t my body carry a baby? But the fact of the matter is miscarriages are very common. Women across the world have dealt with this kind of loss from time immemorial so why the awkwardness in discussing it? I am not saying put it on your Twitter feed, or tell your extended social circle, or an annoying aunt, but what is the harm in telling the people close to you?

I say this now but after I found out I was pregnant, I too was very hesitant to tell anyone apart from my immediate family. My husband was on the other end of the spectrum- he wanted to literally shout it out from the roof top. Suffice to say after much convincing he didn’t. However we did come to a mutual compromise which worked for both of us- we ended up telling close friends and family- people in our immediate support group who would provide us with solace if the pregnancy were to end prematurely.

A lot expectant parents, when they find out about the pregnancy,  share their news with others on online parenting forums that they frequent. This is pretty risk free as identities are probably fairly anonymous, and a lot of parents on the forums have probably gone through something similar and will provide support if needed without the questions or painful remarks.

So bottom line- my advice to expectant parents is to tell your immediate support network, be it close family, friends, or an online support group. Don’t live in fear – if you end up suffering a loss chances are that at least one person in your support network has been through something similar and can help you get through your grief. You really don’t need to grieve silently.

Once  the first trimester goes by, go ahead and scream it from your rooftop.

 


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Contributed by Manic Mama

Manic Mama, is an urban mom balancing her career and her extremely hectic life as a new mother. She brings her honest, and hysterically funny, perspectives as a parent to Bright Babyhood. Her articles about the trials and tribulations of parenthood can be found at www.BrightBabyhood.com

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