Why you may not want to wait till 12 weeks……
We have an interesting fixation on not announcing pregnancies till they have reached 12 weeks + here in the uk. It’s almost some strange social taboo….
12 weeks is towards the end of the first trimester and it seems by this point there is much more confidence, from a medical stand point, that the pregnancy is going to progress, as the risk of miscarriage significantly reduces.
However I have always questioned why this means delaying an announcement of a pregnancy.
I believe this can actually be more stressful on expectant people and couples than it would be to share the news from early on. Here’s why…..
Hiding the fact that you feel rough pretty much all the time is hard going. Because, let’s be honest it’s not just in the morning! Constantly thinking of excuses why you might be sick or feeling sick and haven’t gone a moment without having a polo or some kind of mint in your mouth is tiring. You may even experience so bad it becomes a medical condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum and need additional health care support.
Hiding that you’re feeling knackered!
The tiredness in the first trimester can be something else!
The hormone changes and demands of the developing foetus and placenta etc mean you become a nodding dog sat at your desk (this is where working from home could have a whole new benefit!} or looking after other kids.
It’s hard to keep going as if everything is normal when you’re feeling extreme fatigue.
You become highly emotional & moody
The hormonal changes during the first trimester mean you can experience sudden swings in your emotional state. There are chances you might become a tad moody and irritable.
This can be hard to control at this time and you may start to feel guilty for your reaction or tensions may arise.
There’s more acceptance and understanding if people around you daily know why.
Lean on people when you need to
If something unexpected happens, or unfortunately you have a miscarriage, dealing with this between just yourself and your partner can demand a lot on your relationship. You may both need others to turn to to express your thoughts and feelings.
Many close family and friends would love to journey the whole thing with you so they can offer support, reassurance and shoulder to cry on or the chance to get your head down while they hold the fort (other kids, errands etc)
Set clear boundaries at work
If you work in an environment that may be stressful or involves heavy lifting, it could be worth telling your employer so you can set clear boundaries and levels of support from the beginning.
It is your individual choice
I believe it’s time to change the thinking around pregnancy announcements! We need to be thinking about the transition pregnant people and couples are on even from the day they find out they’re pregnant. Plus, we need to be supporting mental and emotional wellbeing from this early stage too. The secrecy surrounded the first 12 weeks of pregnancy doesn’t allow for this!
But ultimately it is individual choice when to announce a pregnancy but it’s worth thinking beyond our current societal norm.