Announcing Your Pregnancy: How Important is the 12 week Rule?

There is nothing quite like the excitement of a positive pregnancy test when you are trying for a baby. It is a mix between disbelief, a little bit of anxiety but predominantly joy and excitement. Yep, there really is nothing like it. Confirmation from you GP keeps the momentum going, but then all that excitement needs to be contained and an early pregnancy often becomes the world’s worst-kept secret.

The twelve week rule is generally obeyed across the board when it comes to acquaintances, work colleagues (including your boss) and anyone else that isn’t part of your inner circle. Simply because that’s always how it’s been.

These days, some people tell no one and stick to the rule right up to the final day of the twelfth week. Some tell their best friend or their Mum and Dad, some throw caution to the wind and tell every person they encounter. Given it is the widely-accepted rule, it does get broken pretty frequently. This is partly due to modern technology; early scans can usually determine if a pregnancy is viable before 12 weeks.

As a woman who endured multiple miscarriages, there are pros and cons to telling early and pros and cons to keeping it a secret. Ultimately, it will come down to how you feel about sharing personal information and if things go wrong, how you feel about people knowing.

Firstly, miscarriage is nothing to be ashamed of. While some women may feel guilt, most women know that nothing they did was the cause of their miscarriage. Which is why the 12-week-rule is a bit of a curiosity these days.

Announcing Your Pregnancy: How Important is the 12 week Rule?

Reasons to Tell:

  • That excitement that’s bubbling over can be shared amongst the people who are important to you, and there is such joy in that
  • If you’re really unwell, people will be more supportive if they know you’re pregnant
  • If you do miscarry you won’t be alone while you grieve, people will be able to support you through the loss.

Reasons Not to Tell:

  • If your pregnancy is high risk and you don’t want to share personal details
  • If your response to your positive test is less excitement and more trepidation you may need longer to get used to the idea before you share your news
  • If things go wrong, some people find it difficult acknowledging the loss of a baby and this can be detrimental in the healing process
  • If you don’t feel comfortable telling, that in itself is reason enough not to tell.

The 12-week-rule comes from a time when there was no home pregnancy test kits, no ultrasounds and often the woman had missed a few periods and was more that 12 weeks pregnant before she even knew herself. So it comes from a time that doesn’t have much relevance in today’s age of modern medicine.

Society doesn’t need to dictate when you share such life-changing news, so if you want to share it, don’t be swayed by an old-fashioned rule.

X click to search