It's become tradition to wait until the 12-week mark to spill the beans about your pregnancy. But why do many women wait? Here, three reasons, plus why you shouldn't let them dictate your pregnancy announcement.
The most often sited reason has to do with miscarriage, which usually happens in the first trimester. The thinking is that if you tell your friends and family before 12 weeks, and experience a tragic miscarriage, then you need to share that news, too. Many women believe it's just easier to keep the news to themselves than to share their sadness with others.
The reality: Your risk of miscarriage decreases each week, and it's probably lower than you think. Plus, whoever decided that women should miscarry alone is mean. Support can be helpful.
Your aunt, cousin and coworkers will all have something to say about your pregnancy. Of course, some of the attention will be wonderful. But some of it might be unwelcome, especially if people feel compelled to give you unsolicited advice, and tell you horror stories.
The reality: You'll receive unwanted input no matter when you share your news. Your best defense is to plant a smile on your face and toss back a perfect comeback line.
While it's against the law to fire a woman because she's pregnant, many women have their hours docked or duties cut back after making the announcement. And since we don't have mandatory paid maternity leave in the U.S., many women prefer to know how they'll manage their duties and post-delivery time off before they get the boss involved.
The reality: I wish I could say that telling your boss you're pregnant early won't do you and your job any harm, but that's not true for many women. If you work in an environment that could pose dangers to your pregnancy, then you have no choice but to tell your bosses ASAP, so they can adjust your duties or work environment. But if you work in a place with toxic policies towards pregnant women and new mothers, then remember that the law is in your favor, and know these rules about employment discrimination during (and after) pregnancy.
Ultimately, it's your pregnancy news, and you should make the announcement when you feel comfortable. If you want to shout it through a megaphone the minute your test turns positive, then shout it, sister. (Why not start celebrating early?) But if you want to wait until your seventh month like Eva Medes and Ryan Gosling, so be it. This is your pregnancy, do what you think is best.