What's the best way to announce a new pregnancy after a miscarriage?

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Question!
By: Stefan BaudyCC BY 2.0
I recently found out that I am pregnant. I had a very successful first pregnancy which resulted in a gorgeous daughter, and a second pregnancy, which I found out was not viable at six weeks. I am dying to tell everyone about this third pregnancy, but I also don't want to be embarrassed if it turns out to be another chemical pregnancy, and have to explain myself… again.

There seems to be a real taboo about talking about the pain of chemical pregnancies and miscarriages, with the dashed hopes and dreams about the baby to be and I'm really hoping to overcome this.

Is there an appropriate way to say, "We're pretty sure we're expecting, but it's still very new! Let's share the joy and halve the pain if it's another chemical pregnancy or a miscarriage?" — Barbara

  1. when I was pregnant the first time I waited 3 months before I told anyone, announced it and miscarrried at 20 weeks. the second time around i didn't wait because, to me, it's all unpredictable and wanted everyone with me. same thing with baby number two. when i first miscarried i told all my loved ones that i just wanted to become pregnant again and soon so when i announced it, it came to everyone as good news. people who didn't know or knew little of my history did make comments about my early announcement, some hurtful to my then vulnerable self. if anything i would recommend thinking of a go-to kind and calm phrase to tell someone to be quiet if this happens ( you know the " aren't you scared after what happened?" type thing). i let the few times that comment was said to me completely frustrate me and i'm sure that would have been prevented if i'd had a premade "a little, but i know all my loved ones are with me no matter what the outcome of this pregnancy" prepared 🙂 in any case, i don't think there is a right or wrong way to go about it, it depends on the way you dealt with the miscarriage too. oh and most important: CONGRATS!!!

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  2. Congratulations! I'll be sending positive vibes your way that this time everything works out beautifully 🙂 I am really interested to hear people's responses as well.

    I "went public" about my partial molar pregnancy in June on my blog, and since then, I've vacillated wildly about what I'll do if we (hopefully) get pregnant again (We have legitimately considered posting an ultrasound picture with Arnold's face next to it saying "It's not a tumor!" as our announcement next time. You've gotta laugh sometimes when life gets this ridiculous, I suppose 😉 ). I found waiting 12 weeks to tell people really challenging. And the whole point of waiting to announce is "just in case" something bad happens. If something bad does happen again, I have no idea if I'll want to keep quiet about it, to avoid being viewed as hopelessly damaged, or with pity.

    I found huge amounts of comfort in actually talking about it this first time, but something tells me a second loss would shake me to my core. Thank you for being so brave and putting this out there- looking forward to hearing from others who have had to navigate these tricky waters.

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    • I understand where you're coming from entirely. After three losses it's almost impossible for me to even talk about children without getting looks of pity for being so hopeful from my family who have known about everything every time from the moment I knew. I'm beginning to think when we finally do somehow make it happen I won't want to tell anyone until the baby is here to avoid those looks.

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      • I completely understand. My first 4 pregnancies I told my best friends within a few days after finding out. Each of those pregnancies ended in miscarriages, and while my friends were ok, I didn't really feel supported, and as the numbers grew it felt more awkward. I did finally tell my friends about the 5th miscarriage, but only because it came up in a conversation. After number 6 I haven't told anyone, except for my partner, and well, you guys, and I hadn't told anyone I was pregnant either.
        I feel like I have exhausted people's ability to be sympathetic, I worry about their judgements, and I feel ashamed. Now I don't feel comfortable mentioning anything around pregnancy, or my feelings about it, etc… to anyone.
        I wish that I did feel like I could discuss it, because at this point I could really use some people to bounce ideas off of. There's a lot of medical stuff going on, I'm not sure if maybe having a baby is worth the risk of another, etc…. Having people who knew the whole story would help.

        I guess this really doesn't answer the OP's question.

        First, OP, I'm very sorry for you loss. If I were in your situation I would probably say exactly what you said at the end of your post. Having the support can be so helpful, not just emotionally, but with childcare help if you are in pain or the hospital, food, help around the house. You know the people around you best, but if you think they will be supportive if you have another loss, then I would recommend telling them now. Good luck.

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        • I've just gotten to this post on my RSS feed now, so apologies for the late reply, but I really feel I need to say to you, A, I'm so sorry for your losses and I'm so sorry that you feel you can't talk to anyone aside from your partner and your offbeat buddies about what's going on.

          I may not know you or understand what's happening in your life, but I'm thankful that the offbeat empire gives folks somewhere to air their scary real life problems and gives others the chance to say we care and we're with you in spirit. I so hope that things work out for you and for the original message poster and that the people close to you find the best way to support you both. Love sent your way xxx

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  3. I think my biggest concern is that in this digital age of FaceBook "friends"… reading the snarky comments of people not in my inner "Circle of Trust." I'm pretty confident that this pregnancy has better hormone levels than the last, because this pregnancy I am wickedly sick, as I was with my daughter, and I was not sick at all during the second pregnancy.

    Also, dealing with my dad… who is very… opinionated, and thinks that I should not tell anyone until the baby is born… or my belly button pops out and it's obvious… because that's what his mother did for all 10 of her pregnancies. I don't know if I could handle not telling anyone for the next 34 weeks! (I am 6 weeks currently)

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  4. I had a blighted ovum a couple of weeks ago at 7 weeks. I told a few people i was pregnant and was going to wait until a scan about 10 weeks before announcing. I found it very hard not telling people about the miscarriage and having to pretend all was ok but did not want my work to know so felt i had no choice. Since then I have told more people as I figured I would have told them if the pregnancy had continued. I cannot comprehend what I will do if there is a next time but I am a firm believer that if you want there support in any way no matter what happens then you should tell them. I still wish I could tell more people what happened as I am certain the upset would feel much less intense if I could share it. Congratulations!!

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  5. My story is somewhat like yours. My first pregnancy resulted in a happy healthy baby, but I had a 3 week long period of spotting right after we told people. My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks. I'm 6 weeks into my 3rd. I'm just telling people. I'm finding some surprise at that, but it's what is right for me. Here's why:

    With the long period of threatened miscarriage with my first, I was pretty stressed and trying to keep the people I had told somewhat up to date that the pregnancy was iffy. When my doctor investigated the spotting, they found my uterus isn't shaped right, but ultrasounds don't tell them much. You need an MRI to get a good look and you can't while you are pregnant, so I got some bad info along the way and thought that basically my risk of miscarriage wouldn't drop, and I may never be able to carry to term. I really regretted telling people early because it was a lot of work keeping people apprised.

    With my second, we had only told my parents, my brother and SIL, and one friend (only because she had borrowed my maternity clothes and was only a month or so postpartum, so I felt giving her as much heads up as possible that I needed them back soon was important.). Then I miscarried. I started bleeding one evening, and I was pretty sure right away from the color and quantity, I was cramping the next morning. The Doctor was going to see me the following morning, but the pain got too bad so we spent the evening in the ER, and got it confirmed slightly after midnight. In barely more than 24 hours it was done. BUT since I hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy, I didn't feel right telling them about the miscarriage. So while I was in horrible pain from the cramps and exhausted and supposed to be resting in bed for 3 days. I was taking care of my 2 year old, who was completely TVed out by this point, because I had no one I could ask for help. I was also trying to keep up some volunteer scheduling responsibilities I have through my church and barely managing. So I regretted not telling people, because I didn't have the support I needed.

    This time, I've decided to tell. It doesn't seem to matter which way I go, they both have downsides I had not anticipated. So I'm just going to do what makes me happy and deal with whatever the fallout may be. And I'm excited and I want to tell people.

    TL;DR: My experience shows I'm d***ed if I do , and d***ed if I don't, so I'm going to do what makes me happiest now and gives me the best support long term and tell people.

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  6. It is incredibly taboo, and that makes me so sad. I was worried about what to do, when I was pregnant with my daughter. I decided that it was more important for me to have support, both with joy and sorrow. I wanted it to be ok if I miscarried to be able to share that openly. I was incredibly fortunate that I was able to carry my pregnancy to term and now have a beautiful daughter. I wonder, if the reason it is so taboo is because people don't know how to reply in a sensitive, appropriate way. I know how embarrassed and horrible I felt when I congratulated an acquaintance on their pregnancy to find out that they had miscarried. What do you say? How can you help? I think this is such an important question. My family pressured me to not tell anyone either. At the end of the day, it was a decision for myself and my husband. I think it's great to be open if that is what makes you feel best.

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  7. I personally never understood having to wait a long time to announce a pregnancy. Maybe it stems from a darker age for women. A friend of mine was scared by her doctor into not telling anyone until the second trimester. I told everyone as soon as I found out with both of my pregnancies (about 5 weeks pregnant). Now, I've never had a miscarriage (to my knowledge, although chemical ones are entirely possible with the way my cycle works) but I have often thought that even if I announced a pregnancy and miscarried, I would want the support instead of stewing in my own sadness alone. Just makes more sense to me. Although my tune may change if I were to have several miscarriages in a row, who knows. Congrats and good luck!

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    • I would agree with you if I hadn´t miscarried twice, in four months. As many more can tell you, we´re STILL in the "Dark Ages": bodies are NOT perfect and that deck of cards we call "genes" upon which we build that house of cards called "baby" are well, unstable to say the least. Unfortunately, even the BEST people have THE WORST / most inappropriate answers. Believe me, my parents are medical doctors (but NOT OBGYN) and the LOAD of BS I got from them was unbelievable (and hurtful AS HELL). I would have rather they DIDNT know, they hurt me so much. If that happened with my folks, imagine what if felt like with not-so important people… They say the third time´s the charm, but ´til this (now 10-week) baby hits puberty, Grandmom/Grandad will not hear about his/her existance (sorry, I´m still really mad at them for this!)

  8. I am in this exact situation now. I had a miscarriage in March at 5 weeks. I told a bunch of people right away and then a week later told them all that I miscarried. What I got in return was beautiful support. The miscarriage was a lesson and a blessing as well as sad and scary. In the end lots of healing came from it that I am so grateful for.

    Now I am just 13 weeks. When my Hubby and I first found out I was prego again, we told our parents and I told one or two close friends. For me, I felt best not telling as many people right away because I felt less pressure on myself. It was more like "wow cool I'm pregnant! Let's see how this goes!"
    As the last few months have progressed, I've slowly told people, if I saw a friend in person I would just tell them without hesitation.
    I am going to start to make more phone calls now, yet part of me is a little hesitant. Overall, I have felt really positive about this pregnancy, yet I have had my freak out moments.
    As for Facebook, I don't think I want to announce it there yet. I will continue to do what feels best for me. That's the bottom line, listen to your intuition. Whatever works for you especially during pregnancy where there are endless ideas and opinions from how to tell people, to diet, to lifestyle etc. Do what is best for you.

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  9. My first pregnancy ended just shy of the typical "3 month" mark where people tell everyone. I had already told everyone. Some people (close to me) were like "Well….next time are you going to wait longer??" Pfff no.

    I'm totally not a secrets person, I'm also not a follow tradition person (hence why I regularly visit OFFBEAT Families)

    If I hadn't told anyone the first time…who would have comforted me? My husband and I would have been stuck depressed together, not able to talk out the terrible thing that had just happened to us with friends and family.

    The second time we approached it as "We're expecting again, and it is exciting and once we know baby is lookin' good then we can all celebrate" Just kind of calm, we're informing people that there is a good chance of a baby coming but please wait for further updates 🙂

    My second-pregnancy-baby is now 4.5 months old and absolutely beautiful and healthy btw 🙂

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  10. We waited with #1 until 8 wks to tell my husband's parents (my parents sort of knew just from my being around and being sick). We waited until the traditional 12 weeks to tell anyone else.

    With #2, we told family at 8 weeks, and started to tell some close friends just shy of 12 weeks. However, at 12.5 weeks I had my first appt, and there was no heartbeat … we lost the baby a few days later. So … I was really upset we had told people. However … in retrospect, I needed people to talk to about it.

    So now I look at it this way — I don't mind telling people early whom I would talk to about the miscarriage itself. So, I would tell my friend who helped me deal with the miscarriage about it pretty early on. But anybody I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about a miscarriage with, I probably will wait at least until we hear a heartbeat and feel more certain. I will also go in earlier with my next one, hoping for the confirmation earlier on.

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    • This. I've never been pregnant, but I think my rule of thumb would be, anyone who I'm not comfortable talking about miscarriage with, I wouldn't tell until I was more certain.

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  11. Don't know if you realize this posted to fb so your outed anyway! Praying for your pregnancy and a healthy baby!

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    • I thiiiiink Barbara realizes this, as she's posted on our site before. We talked a little because I ran this quite a few weeks after the sent it to us, and I know she was hopeful that it could be helpful to others in similar a situation.

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  12. "We're pretty sure we're expecting, but it's still very new! Let's share the joy and halve the pain if it's another chemical pregnancy or a miscarriage" — this isnt appropriate? i think it is!

    i think the whole secrecy cycle of waiting to announce until however many weeks, and then the implied secrecy of dealing with a miscarriage yourself is weird. i wish people would just be open and real about life.

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    • I think, in my case, it's that I'm a fairly private person when it comes to my health, coupled with a strong dislike of being the object of pity and also feeling like I have to manage other people's feelings as well as my own. Dealing with my own emotions was hard enough without adding other peoples' to the mix.

      So we kept quiet about my first pregnancy and miscarriage, and only told people about this pregnancy at the 12 week mark. And after that, I felt like there was enough time and distance emotionally that I could mention the previous loss as well.

      I can see how some people find sharing everything to be a source of support, but for me, it would have been a source of additional stress during an already stressful time.

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      • Exactly this.

        Also, I don't ordinarily discuss my uterus with people, and I didn't feel the addition of a fetus was a reason to start. We told most people, including family, around 16 weeks. I was starting to show by then.

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  13. We told select people with our first pregnancy early on, and were shattered when we discovered our IVF pregnancy was a blighted ovum. Our friends and family were supportive, but we hibernated a bit anyway. I've been very open about our story since then.

    When we found out we were pregnant last summer, we didn't tell anyone outside of immediate family until we were well into our second trimester. Some people may see this as being secretive, but for me it was because I didn't want to jinx things early on. After the first miscarriage, I was very anxious and wanted to feel secure that Bean was going to stick around. (Knowing that nothing is guaranteed, of course) And the last thing I needed was people telling me their "Oh congrats! I had a friend who lost her baby at X weeks" and "I just miscarried yesterday" stories too early in my pregnancy — I was nervous enough, and those stories came fast and furious as my pregnancy progressed!! We now have a happy, healthy six month old.

    It's a personal choice, and I don't fault anyone either way. There is still a stigma around miscarriage and that it should be kept private, and if it is, that's the couple's choice. My husband and I weren't comfortable sharing our pregnancy news too early, and that's ok.

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  14. I miscarried at 11 weeks & ended up telling more people about it than even knew I was pregnant because it helped me to get support from friends & family. Miscarriage is, unfortunately, a very lonely experience because no one talks about it. I got pregnant again 2 months later and told anyone I would tell if I miscarried again. Everyone was happy, no one brought up how early it was or the miscarriage. I honestly don't understand why it's taboo or embarrassing to "admit" to a miscarriage- it's a common, painful experience and I think if more people were open about their experiences it could make a very difficult time a little easier. I say just do whatever makes you comfortable, and don't worry how other people feel about it.

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  15. I've had two miscarriages in the last year and half. With the first one I tried to keep the pregnancy on the DL and then the miscarriage happened and I had to tell people. There was a death in the family and my doctor said I couldn't travel so I had to explain my absence. After that I just had a huge "wtf" moment and hated that it was so taboo to talk about. I wanted to fucking talk. On my second pregnancy I told whoever I came across, but I didn't post on the internet. Then, I had a miscarriage that landed me in the ER twice and I talked about it. I talked about it a lot. I posted updates on fb and everything. I think I've dealt with it a lot easier by not keeping it a secret. It's just something that happened. I've considered not talking about it if I get pregnant again but only because I don't want to get excited. I fully expect things to go badly more than I expect them to go well. It'll be nice if I get a surprise and everything works out. It'll be a nice surprise, as opposed to a nasty shock.

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  16. I haven't experienced a miscarriage, but my husband and I decided that the next time I get pregnant, we're not going to keep the pregnancy from people. Like, we won't be screaming it from the rooftops, but we'll tell friends and family as it comes up. I've been having a pretty difficult pregnancy– nothing too out of the ordinary, but definitely on the bad end of the bell curve. It was really difficult to hide from our friends the reason I was so sick all the time. Some of them actually got really concerned because I seemed so tired and weak and lost a lot of weight in my first trimester. I also decided that I'd want my friends' support if I did miscarry.

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  17. I know I'm a little late to the game, but I'm going through the same thing right now, and just had to congratulate you!! This is such an exciting time! Yay!
    Only a few people know about my current pregnancy. I reveled in telling our family about our first pregnancy at 6 weeks, seeing their reactions and feeling fulfilled. As a passionate Birth Professional (RN), I spend my entire day around pregnancy, so when mine ended dramatically at 11 weeks, I was devastated. It took my husband and I a long time to feel that we were ready to try again, and being inside this pregnancy is like wearing an extremely itchy, but invisible sweater that I can't take off.
    So now we are considering telling family, and I am caught between wanting to see the look on people's faces and knowing that certain of them were as heartbroken as I was. A friend of mine had some great advice for me, though, and I thought I would pass it on. She said, "How secure do you feel? For every ounce of secure that you feel, be that much excited. And let that be infectious, even if you are infecting people with trepidation. Because then people will know how to support you, to be excited or to worry with you."
    I don't know if I am going to tell family or wait, but it was good advice, and framed my feasible region for when I might want to share. So I thought I would share it.
    In the meantime, this pregnancy is beautiful too, and I hope you take every opportunity to enjoy it thoroughly, even if privately. Sending you prayers!

    1 agrees
  18. I’ve had 8 miscarriages. I announced All of them basically as soon as we knew. It was cause for celebration. We went through 2 years of primary infertility & RPL before conceiving my daughter. We announced her impending birth on Fathers Day 2010 & she was born 5wks early on 01.27.11. With my son, I had Planned on not saying anything for awhile because we had secondary infertility and RPL again..and I just Separated from my husband. But my daughter overheard us talking and announced it to her Pre-K class the next day. He was born 4wks early on 07.06.15. So obviously, I say, announce when it feels right to you. Having supportive people around is good regardless.

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