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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage (well, it doesn’t always happen in that exact order, but you get the point). Anyhow, making the decision to have a child is a very exciting time in any couple’s life. Some may want to spread the word stat, while others would rather keep it completely hush-hush. Either way, mad respect! If you are thinking of spilling the beans though, here’s who experts say you should and shouldn’t tell and for good reason too.
First things first, let your OB/GYN or midwife know.
According to Licensed Mental Health Counselor Eileen Wolfe, owner of Pensacola Therapy Services, many women don’t realize the importance of having a pre-conception visit with their doctor, but this can educate them more on the process and provides another level of support, she says. “Prenatal counseling with a trained therapist can also benefit new parents by improving communication, evaluating their mental states during the conception process, and helping both learn more about each other’s views on parenting.”
Only tell friends who will be sensitive and supportive.
That is, if you’re actually open to getting their support — should you need it down the line. If you want to tell a few friends, however, don’t discuss it beyond just letting them know that you’re trying, Licensed Psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD. advises making that clear from the start. “Say something like, ‘I wanted you to know we’re trying, but to be honest I don’t want to go into too much detail right now so if you don’t mind, the best way for you to support me is to actually just to keep this private between us, and I’ll share more with you if I’m ready later, depending on how things go. Thanks for understanding, I really appreciate that I can count on you.'” And whatever you do, don’t tell people who have shown themselves to be pushy or nosy or who tend to make subtle put-downs, she warns.
But make sure they can keep a secret, too.
We all have those friends, best friends even, who as hard as they try, simply can’t keep their mouth shut. Since this may not be news you’d like to shout from the mountaintops, be it because of fertility issues, the risk of miscarriage or disapproving folks, be sure to preface the importance of discretion and be specific about it too, recommends relationship expert and author April Masini. “For example, if you don’t want your mom to know until the first trimester, say, ‘My mom will be devastated if this doesn’t work out so please don’t tell her. I want to be the one to tell her when I’m ready. Okay?’ His mother may be so overcome with joy that she posts the news on Facebook. Not exactly what you meant by ‘use discretion’ so choose your inner circle carefully.”
Think twice before confiding in someone suffering from infertility.
People who are suffering infertility challenges may not feel joyful for your journey because they’re too wrapped up in their own problems, points out Masini. “Don’t pass judgment. Just decide whether or not telling them is going to serve a purpose.” In fact, it may be best to withhold the information for now — in case it triggers any depression and disappointment with their own situation compared to your rosy outlook, she suggests. Remember: every situation is different, and if you feel your friend would be more hurt by being the last to know, then find the right time to gently share the news.
Avoid telling your employer.
Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Rachel Rabinor, LCSW, cautions against sharing your intention to conceive with your employer for a couple of crucial reasons. For one, you may miss a promotion if your boss thinks you’re going to start a family, which isn’t legal but it does happen, she says. “Secondly, you’ll likely find yourself discussing very personal details with colleagues that you may not have intended to initially.”