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Tips for Dads-to-Be To Announce Pregnancy


You’ve got some delicious news to tell. Now, you just have to figure out who to share it with and when. We surveyed experts, parents and mothers-to-be. Here’s their advice about letting the world in on your exciting secret.

Broadcasting Your News to the World

There’s no one optimal time to share such life-changing news. It depends on a number of factors, and on what matters most to you. Some say the earlier the better: “Friendships and community are so important for women, and in early pregnancy many can use that support,” says Mairi Breen Rothman, a certified nurse midwife and consultant at the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Having others to chat with can make the good news feel even better.

Some women, though, would rather wait until the pregnancy's firmly established before sharing the news, and that's fine, too. Since when to tell is one of the first decisions you’ll make as a couple or an expectant single be sure the time is right for you. Some couples bask in the light of having a delicious secret together; some with large families wait for the next gathering to tell everyone all at once. Some of the women we surveyed shared their news with a special person like their mom or best friend and brought the rest of the world in after they were feeling less tenuous. Others gathered their friends together for a big celebration to break the news at a picnic or barbeque so no one would feel left out.

Telling the Boss

Many women we spoke with preferred to delay sharing the news with their boss until they were actually showing. Though word of a baby's impending arrival is celebration-worthy, your boss may not be as excited. Even if she’s a friend, she may feel inconvenienced by the thought that you'll be out on maternity leave.

Instead, wait until after the first trimester, and be prepared. Get a copy of the employee handbook, know the company’s maternity leave policy and ask yourself the questions your boss will ask you: Will you work through your due date; how much time off will you take? Make sure to tell your boss before she hears it from the office rumor mill and early enough so she’s not scrambling. And because sometimes secrets do slip, be prudent about telling co-workers. (Besides, even if you’re close, knowing your secret may create a conflict of interest for them.)

Some factors, including severe morning sickness, might play into your decision to tell your boss or a co-worker early. If your job requires heavy lifting or involves working closely with potentially hazardous substances (for example, if you work on the line at a factory), consider checking in with your boss much sooner. You may be able to negotiate reassignment or take precautions above and beyond the usual. See a list of potentially hazardous substances at the Web site for Childbirth Connection, a national non-profit maternity-care info source; also check with your doctor or midwife.

So take inventory of everyone you'd like to tell and consider all the reasons why you should share now or wait till later. And don't let anyone tell you any different. After all, says Laura Zeidenstein, CNM, DrNP, director of the Nurse Midwifery Program at Columbia University, “the choice is extremely personal.”

This information is not a substitute for personal medical, psychiatric or psychological advice.

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