Before modern technology, many women didn't realize they were pregnant until they were 8-10 weeks along. Now, though, pregnancy can be detected much earlier, increasing the temptation to spread the news before it's time. "The thing is, the risk of miscarriage goes way down at about twelve weeks," says Hartshorn."You always said, wait until twelve weeks to tell everyone you're pregnant just in case the unfortunate happens." She suggests spreading the news to a select group - your spouse, your parents and a small group of friends. "We've talked to a lot of readers who got burned by spreading the word way too fast - telling their boss and everyone - and then having something bad happen," she says.
Keep in mind, too, that just because you're thrilled about your pregnancy, others may not share your constant joy. Just like planning a wedding, co-workers, distant relatives and strangers at the coffee shop don't want to know the gory details of your morning sickness. "Sometimes you're just talking because it's on the top of your mind, but... your cubicle-mate at work is like, 'I didn't really want to know that,'" says Hartshorn. Don't share intimate details. Again, save those remarks for people who can relate, like someone else who is pregnant or a family member who has small children. Or, chatter away to your spouse or partner. They're directly involved in the pregnancy, so they should be happy to listen to every last detail, including your sore breasts and varicose veins.
The same goes for people who ask how you are feeling. Sharing that you just got sick in the bathroom and have been living on saltines and water for the past four weeks doesn't make for a pleasant conversation. Chances are, the person is just asking to be polite, so offer a polite, less detailed answer instead. Telling someone you're feeling fine or are a little tired is perfectly acceptable. Pay attention to the conversation, too. If the person presses for more details, offer a bit more information. "Other moms can take all these things and know what you're talking about," says Hartshorn.
Overall, though, Hartshorn says to, "Keep it small, edit yourself and don't overshare." Remember that pregnancy can be both a public and private thing. Use discretion when offering details about your growing belly; your acquaintances will thank you for it.
For more information on pregnancy and raising children, visit www.AmericanBaby.com.
By Erin Shea