Pregnancy Etiquette 101: “We’re Having a Baby!”

You’re preggers! We tell you the proper way to announce your darling’s arrival…

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The moment your pregnancy test shows those two blue lines, you’ll want to jump for joy and let the whole world know. Nothing could make you happier because you’re going to have a baby!

However, as much as you can’t wait to tell everyone, it’s best to wait it out. It is more than just going around announcing that you have a bun in your oven ― you also have to take other factors into consideration as well.

SmartParents shares tips from etiquette experts Kristen Graff and Agnes Koh on how and when to break the news to people around you.

Telling him

It goes without saying that your hubs should be the first to know that you’re pregnant. He will definitely be as happy as you are, maybe happier! The both of you will then be able to decide where to go from there and make other decisions regarding your pregnancy.
How to do it
If he wasn’t present when you found out about your pregnancy, telling your man can be fun. Here are several cute ways to surprise the hubs:
* Give him a shirt saying “Best Dad”.
* Place the test together with a note saying “Hi Daddy, I can’t wait to see you!” on his study table, pillow or his place at the dining table. * Giving him a photo of three pairs of shoes — yours, his and baby’s — with the phrase “Our family is growing by 2 feet”.
* Present him a box with a pacifier, milk bottle or rompers and wait for him to guess...

Your family, especially your parents and in-laws will definitely be overjoyed to welcome a grandchild into their lives… Let your creativity run loose and announce it to them in an interesting and memorable way!

Family and close friends

Telling your immediate family usually comes after telling the hubs. But that does not mean you have to do it straight away.

You’re advised to start sharing the news with others after the risk of miscarriage has dropped. This is usually around the end of the first trimester (10 to 12 weeks). This will also save you from awkward and painful reminders if something bad were to happen to your foetus, while clueless people are still congratulating you.
How to do it
Your family, especially your parents and in-laws will definitely be overjoyed to welcome a grandchild into their lives. Plus, if your baby is the first grandchild in the family, it’s a cause for a bigger celebration. Because this is important and a joyous announcement, let your creativity run loose and announce it to them in an interesting and memorable way!
* Give your parents and in-laws gifts meant for grandparents (“Best Grandparents” shirts, mugs, cards etc.).
* Place the photo of your ultrasound in an obvious place and invite everyone over for a meal — wait for someone to notice (obviously, this depends on your family being observant and not too hungry).
* Invite them over for a meal and give them a personalised card (if they are “blur”).
* Tell everyone you want to take a group shot (put your camera on video mode) and say “1…2… I’m pregnant!” — you get to capture their reactions!
* If you have an older child, get him/her to wear a shirt saying “Big brother/sister” during a family function.

If your family members/close friends live far away and it’s not possible to tell them the news in person, here are some ways to go about it:
* Video/phone call.
* Send gifts with baby items like bibs, pacifiers or baby socks.
* Send a personalised card with the message (actual or e-cards).
* Write them letters.

The list goes on, limited only by your own creativity! Also, remember is that timing is important: “It is also important not to announce your pregnancy at an event that is important to someone else,” says etiquette expert Kristen Graff. “It would be inappropriate to tell everyone at, for example, a friend’s wedding, baby shower, or birthday party, as it may ruin their special moment.”

What about at work? Or when someone close to you has fertility problems? How do you handle things tactfully? Read on…

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Friends or relatives facing infertility

Even though this is one of the happiest moments in life, you should not forget about those around you who are facing infertility issues. Disclosing the news to them might not be the easiest thing to do, especially if they have been struggling with this for a long time.

You have to assess the situation carefully and decide how to go about this. It is important that you do not keep this from them, as you likely will only cause them more hurt when they find out, especially if they are close to you and your family.

Here are some ways that you can consider:
* If you’re planning to tell the news to a group of people, make sure to tell the couple privately first, before the rest, so as to give them enough time to deal with their emotions.
* Write them a letter, send an e-mail or call them to tell the news so that they will be able to deal with their emotions. This will also give them time to prepare themselves when they face you.
* If you are not close to the woman, disclose it to her spouse and let him be the one that breaks the news to her.

“Make sure afterwards that you give them the space needed to absorb this news and come to terms with it,” says Graff. “Do not take this time to complain about your pregnancy symptoms or talk about your pregnancy fears.”

Your boss and co-workers

It is fine to let your boss and co-workers be the last to know about your pregnancy. You can wait until the first trimester is over or even until you start showing.

However, when you decide to tell them, remember that your boss should be the first one to know; inform your co-workers only afterwards. You can even do this by posting about it on Facebook or sending all of them an e-mail.

However, if you are not currently steadily employed and still going for interviews, don’t forget to be honest with them as well. “It is fair to announce your pregnancy during your interview with your potential employer,” Koh advises .

Here is how you should prepare before telling your boss:
* Check up on the company’s maternity leave policy, as well as leave or time off for doctor’s appointments.
* Tell them your plans for your leave.
* Plan for the time when you go on leave (someone to take over you in any ongoing projects etc.).
* Be prepared to explain to your boss that your work quality will not be affected.

Make sure you stay professional while talking to your boss and do not play it off as a joke. Remember to show your boss that your pregnancy will not be a cause of worry for the company or affect your quality of work.

Agnes Koh is the Director of Etiquette and Image International.

Kristen Graff is the founder of Manners in Mind.

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