Announcing That You're Pregnant After a Miscarriage

Why Telling Everyone Is Not Always So Easy

Couple with coffee and cell phone, telling people about their pregnancy
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If you have been experiencing infertility problems or had a recent miscarriage, you may feel a little reticent about announcing that you've finally gotten pregnant. While a part of you wants to share the news—to celebrate the joy with friends and loved ones—another part may be holding you back.

These kinds of feelings are perfectly normal. In many ways, you have been living on emotional tenterhooks, faced with challenges and disappointments that have gradually whittled away at your confidence and sense of certainty.

Even though you've finally achieved what you've been longing for, you may still have doubts and fears you can't entirely dispel.

Don't beat yourself up about this. Accept your feelings and take the time examine where these feelings are coming from. By doing so, you can begin to weigh the benefits and consequences of sharing the news and eventually find a way to do so.

Consequences of Breaking the News

While it may seem backward to look at the downside first, it is usually these feelings that are holding you back. One of the main fears many women have is whether they will face yet another disappointment moving forward.

After all, going through a miscarriage once is tough enough. But part of what made it so difficult was having to tell others what happened, seeing their reactions, and being the center of something that may have made you feel worse rather than better.

The same applies if you have been trying to get pregnant and have had to endure endless questions about "when we can expect the patter of little feet" or have seen the disappointment on people's face (including your partner's) when yet another pregnancy test comes back negative.

Do you really want to go through that again?

Reasons You Might Want to Try

If faced with these sorts of dilemmas, try to shift the focus a little and consider those individuals who did help and were able to provide you support when you needed it most. When you decide to break the news, you would be best served to start with these individuals first.

They will most likely be able to understand your reticence and be respectful of your choices.

What you don't want is someone who will tell you how to feel or whose nature is it to take over. ("Don't be silly. You should be happy! People deserve to know!")

It is also important to remember that the majority of women who experience a first-trimester pregnancy will go on to deliver a perfectly healthy baby the second time around. In the end, miscarriage is not as uncommon as some might believe. In fact, as many as 25 percent of pregnant women will experience such loss, usually in the first 12 weeks of gestation.

Reasons Why You May Want to Hold Back

For other women, the answers may not be so cut-and-dry. If you have had recurrent miscarriages or have a medical condition that places your pregnancy at high risk, getting pregnancy may seem like the first step in a still-uncertain process.

The reality is that certain disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, do place a woman at a significantly higher risk of miscarriage. If faced with these realities, sharing the news may be the last thing on your mind.

If you feel vulnerable and are struggling to cope, you may want to work with your fertility specialist and focus on your treatment plan first.

Doing so may provide you the sense of control and autonomy you need to better deal with external stresses.

You can then decide when and who to tell about the pregnancy, ideally those who better understand the challenges and are more able to offer genuine support.

How to Share the News

While there are many choices you can make, the one thing you don't want to do is go it alone. Do not underestimate the value of support. People will want to help if you let them and will shy away if you keep them at an arm's distance.

And, let's face it, there will eventually be a time when everyone will know that you are pregnant.

So it's better to work out a plan in advance so that you and your partner are the ones to share the news, not others. In this way, you remain in control and are not censured for withholding what many would consider to be good news.

One strategy that may help is a pregnancy blog. It allows you to invite family and loved ones to join and, at the same time, provides you a platform to explain what is happening, how you feel, and why you may have decided to delay the announcement until now.

If you do so, however, try to maintain an upbeat tone. The last thing you want is for people to come rushing over a panic if they think something is wrong or that you're withholding something. Moreover, be sure to keep people updated as the pregnancy progresses.

By taking charge and keeping everyone in the loop, you can avoid unnecessary emotional complications and focus on what really matters: your pregnancy.

Source:

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Early Pregnancy Loss." Practice Bulletin. May 2015; 15:1-10.

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