How to decide when to announce your pregnancy, according to OB-GYNs

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How to decide when to announce your pregnancy, according to OB-GYNs
Announce when you and your partner are ready.Westend61/Getty IMages
  • The best time to announce your pregnancy is when it feels right to you.
  • If you announce and do miscarry, this can give you much-needed support from friends and family.
  • You can also announce at 12 weeks when you have a clear ultrasound picture.

Any parent will tell you that you make a seemingly countless number of decisions every day to ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of your little one. But one of the very first important decisions you ever make as a parent-to-be is when to announce you're pregnant in the first place.

We can all agree that the right time is ultimately what feels best for each parent. However, there are a number of considerations to think about so that when the time finally comes, you can announce your pregnancy with confidence.

Announcing right after you see that positive pregnancy test

Some women just can't wait and announce very early - sometimes even right after they get a blood or urine test confirmed from their doctor.

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One thing to consider is that your chance of miscarrying is higher in the first several weeks after conception than at any other time in your pregnancy.

If you decide to announce early and do miscarry, this can help you pool much-needed support from friends and family.

Announcing your pregnancy at 6 weeks

At six weeks you can get a confirmation ultrasound that shows, "a fetus with a heartbeat," says Renee Wallenstein, DO, who is a double board-certified OB-GYN.

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You may also want to share within the first six weeks if you work where there may be physical or occupational hazards - like work with harmful chemicals in a lab - you need to adjust for during your pregnancy.

Or certainly, if you are "feeling really sick or having early complications which cause them to miss work or social engagements," says Leena Nathan, MD, an OB-GYN for UCLA Health.

Plus, sharing earlier can also be wonderful for parents who find it helpful to have supportive people around during pregnancy.

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Announcing your pregnancy at 12 weeks

After the first trimester, at the end of week 12, your risk of miscarriage drops dramatically. That's also when "another ultrasound confirms that the fetus is growing well and that there is no [visual] evidence of genetic issues," says Nathan.

This is a good time to let everyone know because about 12 weeks, you'll have an ultrasound. By this point, your fetus starts to "look like a baby and is the ideal photographic time" says Wallenstein. Picture-perfect for sharing.

Wellenstein adds, "if an expectant mother is undergoing additional genetic screening, that happens around nine to 11 weeks, it makes sense to wait until then."

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Announcing your pregnancy after 12 weeks

"Sometimes women have a higher risk pregnancy which can predispose to complications throughout the pregnancy," says Nathan. Some factors that might cause a higher risk pregnancy include:

  • A history of miscarriage. Your chances of having a miscarriage are greater if you've had a previous miscarriage. Wellenstein says that some women "may even wait longer, up until 20 weeks after the full anatomy ultrasound, for fear of it happening again." And the emotional impact of sharing the news can be sweeter knowing that things are looking good that far along.
  • You're carrying multiples. Women who carry twins or triplets have higher miscarriage risk early on and higher risk of pregnancy complications later on.
  • Certain health conditions. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, are significantly overweight, or have an existing medical condition, you are at increased risk of complications throughout pregnancy.
  • You're older than 35. Doctors call this advanced maternal age, and it increases both miscarriage risk and risk of complications during each trimester.
  • You're using fertility assistance, such as IVF. Fertility challenges arise for many reasons, but often there is more than one thing going on. Advanced age, previous miscarriage(s), along with medical issues. "The risk of multiples is greater and the risk of loss can be greater, too," says Wellenstein.

Insider's takeaway

Pregnancy discrimination is real, which is why some professional women may feel it's personally wiser to wait until they start showing, at around 20 weeks - or potentially sooner if it's your first pregnancy.

Taking all these factors into consideration, doctors advise that ultimately the best time to announce is when it feels right to you.

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