The lines on the home pregnancy kits are unmistakable and a trip to your doctor has just confirmed it – you’re pregnant! It’s the most exciting news you and your husband have received and there’s a rush of emotions. You want to tell the whole world, but there’s also a part of you that wants to keep it a secret for just a little while more. Parents-to-be often spend the first few days of their newfound parenthood wondering ‘how do we break the news?’
Telling your loved ones
1. Baby daddy gets first dibs! If your husband has been away and has not heard the news, break it to him the same way you would celebrate an anniversary. Some couples are big on romantic dinners and symbolic gestures, others prefer to just grab a coffee and have a long, hearty chat. The key is to pick the right time and place – make sure he is relaxed and not distracted.
2. Ring up your parents and siblings to tell them the news, plain and simple. They will be the ones who are genuinely happy for you, but they will also be the first to lose all sentiment and dive straight in with the health and parenting advice. Get ready!
3. You can also host a small dinner party for your closest family and friends and leave hints throughout the night, like
– mysteriously saying “there’s someone special I really want you to meet”
– have them check the oven and surprise them with an ultrasound image of baby instead of cake
– get everyone around for a game of Scrabble then spell out “It’s a girl/boy” on the board
The idea is to be creative and have a camera on standby to capture everyone’s reactions.
Informing your boss and colleagues
Typically, women keep their pregnancy under wraps until the first trimester is over, when the risk of miscarriage reduces significantly. Coming out of the first trimester is also an ideal time to inform your work mates about this new development that is not only going to affect your life, but theirs too.
1. Let them wonder. If you have bad morning sickness, chances are the colleagues you share the workspace with have picked up on the silent gagging and frequent toilet breaks even before you confirm the news. You don’t need to say anything until you’re ready.
2. Tell your supervisor first. This is advised because he/she is in charge of managing the workflow of the team when you need to be absent on emergency leave, monthly checkups and ultimately, maternity leave. Your supervisor may also advise you on when or how to inform your colleagues to ensure everyone on the team can give you the support you need without feeling that they are bearing the brunt of your absence.
3. Keep big gestures out of the office. If you need to celebrate the news, bring a few colleagues out for lunch. Avoid making a big deal of it in the office since it may be seen as unprofessional. It can also give reason for people to prematurely assume that your personal life will be interfering with your professional life from now on.
Try not to gloat
Breaking the news to someone who may not want to hear it
While most people will be thrilled to learn of your pregnancy, there may be a few people in your life who, despite loving you dearly, may not be able to celebrate joyously with you.
1. A friend who just lost a baby – Be sensitive when telling her of the news, but do tell her. Hiding it from her only makes her feel more fragile and you cannot hide it forever. Just tell her gently and then stop there. Then let her tell you if she is comfortable talking about this or prefer to move on to other topics. Do not bombard her with details of your pregnancy unless she asks.
2. Your child / children – This may not be your first pregnancy and your older children may not react well to having to share your affections. Announce the new addition by saying “we”, as in “We are having a new family member!” and let them ask questions. Give them roles or things they can do while assuring them you love them the same. Let them sing to the baby, or buy them new clothes so they can save the smaller ones for their new brother or sister.
3. Friends who think that children ruin friendships – You may have friends who may be happy for you when you break the news but follow up with verbal jabs that they are never going to see you again and how you have new priorities in your life now. Take it with grace, because while it is not your intention, these observations are usually true. Especially if your friends are single or don’t have children of their own, chances are your lifestyle is going to be drastically different from theirs after baby arrives, so just tell them you love them, and that you’ll catch up in ten years’ time!
Big changes will seem less scary when you add some humour into the mix.
Drink orders may vary
With all said and done, the key is to be thoughtful, considerate and genuine… with that, no one should fault you for your enthusiasm.