For many women, choosing the right time to tell family and friends that they are pregnant is hard. There is no right answer. But there are several things you may wish to think about when making this decision.
Ask yourself the questions below to help work out what’s right for you.
Who should I tell first?
If you have a partner, the decision about who to tell, as well as when and how, is best made with them.
In many ways, it may be harder to tell close family and friends that you are pregnant than people you do not know as well. So, it may be worth planning who you will tell first about your pregnancy and how you will do it.
You may decide you want to tell your family and close friends first. Then they will be available to provide support as early as possible.
How do I tell them?
Close friends and family may prefer to be told personally.
It’s worth remembering that if you announce your pregnancy on social media, you may have little control over who views your announcement and when. These public announcements may draw significant attention, personal stories, and advice, which may or may not be invited and/or wanted.
How do I tell someone who’s infertile or lost a baby?
When you tell people you are pregnant, your friends and family will almost certainly be very happy for you. But some people may not be able to show their happiness for you as enthusiastically as others. Those who have lost a baby, or are having trouble getting pregnant may find the news difficult.
It may help to tell these friends in private and before you tell others, letting them know you realise your news may not be easy for them.
What if I tell people I’m pregnant and then have a miscarriage?
Many women choose to delay announcing a pregnancy at least until the end of the first trimester (12 weeks into their pregnancy). This is usually because of concerns about the risk of miscarriage (pregnancy loss) during this time.
When deciding the right time to tell people you are pregnant, you might want to think about how you would handle a miscarriage were it to happen. Many people would consider a miscarriage so devastating that they would be too distressed to discuss it with others.
On the other hand, by telling people you are pregnant, support may be available in the event of a miscarriage.
When should I tell my employer that I’m pregnant?
Unless your doctor has told you it is unsafe, it is possible to work while you are pregnant.
There is no law saying you need to tell your employer at any specific time that you are pregnant. But both Australian law and your employment contract, agreement or award (if you have one) will include certain rights and responsibilities.
You need to give your employer at least 10 weeks notice if you are planning to take parental leave. You must give them written notice of your leave and return dates. These dates should be confirmed at least 4 weeks before your leave starts.
It’s a good idea to tell your employer you are pregnant before they hear it from somebody else. That’s because there may have to be some changes made to your working arrangements. For example, you may have to avoid certain tasks that are a health and safety risk, depending on what your work involves.
In Australia, you are protected by law against discrimination during pregnancy. That means you cannot be treated unfairly because you are pregnant. This means you can’t be sacked, given fewer hours, or overlooked for a promotion because you are pregnant.
When should I tell my colleagues?
This could affect both your personal and working relationships with your co-workers if they don’t know why it’s happening. It’s often a good idea to tell your co-workers you are pregnant once you have told your boss.
A workplace can offer significant personal support during pregnancy. It may be especially valuable should you experience pregnancy complications.
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
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Last reviewed: May 2022