Attending a baby shower? Look up the mom to be!
First Trimester

Start Spreading The News And Celebrate Your Pregnancy!

Ready to let everyone else in on your big secret? From traditional ways to more creative ones, here’s how to tell the world you’ve got a baby on board.

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Congrats—you’re pregnant!

When it happens You can usually find out you’re pregnant about two weeks after conception. It can take about 14 days for a home pregnancy test to pick up those pregnancy hormones in your system. And the first person you’re likely to share the news with is your partner. This is a celebration that couples usually share alone, and it can be a pretty sweet moment.

The traditional way A happy—or stunned—shriek from the bathroom is a typical way to let your partner in on the news, but you might want to opt for something a bit less intense. If it’s early in the morning, you could get back in bed and share it as you curl up next to them. One mom-to-be brought it up at dinner while talking about upcoming vacation plans.

Some new ideas Want to get more creative? Make a card that on the front reads, “You’re the love of my life, but that’s not all you are. You’re also…” and on the inside says, “...going to be a daddy!” Or have your older child (or even a pet) wear a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” shirt.

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Sharing the news with family

When it happens You might be dying to tell your parents, or maybe you’re enjoying sharing the secret with just your partner. It’s a completely personal choice when to tell people you’re expecting. Some moms-to-be like to wait until they see baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound at eight weeks, at which point the risk of miscarriage drops to about 3 percent, or after they get a normal ultrasound at 16 weeks, when it falls to only 1 percent.

But many moms-to-be tell a few close family members or friends earlier on, rationalizing that if anything happened to the pregnancy, they’d tell them anyhow—and because it’s good to have support in those early days, especially if you’re fatigued or have morning sickness. No matter when you make your announcement, sharing your news can be exciting and make the pregnancy feel real.

The traditional way A lot of Bumpies reveal the news at a family dinner or gathering. If your parents live far away and you don’t want to wait until the next time you see them, try video chat for a more personal touch than telling them over the phone. Decide whether you want to be direct (“Mom, I’m pregnant!”) or subtle (“So when you become a grandma…”).

Some new ideas Take a group photo and instead of “Say cheese,” tell them, “Say [your name] is pregnant!” and capture their reactions on camera. Fill a fortune cookie with a message that says, “You’re going to be an aunt/uncle!” to give to your siblings to open.

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Getting the word out at work

When it happens Many women wait until the end of their first trimester to tell work they’re expecting. The news should come to your boss straight from you, not through office gossip. You also don’t want her to figure it out before you tell her, so try to do it by the time your bump is showing.

The traditional way Try to break the news after you’ve completed an assignment. This sends the message that your condition hasn’t affected your productivity so far, and that you have every intention of doing your job (and doing it well) for the remainder of your pregnancy. Another smart move: Before you talk, put together a plan outlining how your duties will be covered during your leave. Your boss is much more likely to greet the news with enthusiasm if she knows you’ve got the situation covered already.

Some new ideas Actually, stick to the tried and true here. It works.

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Your big Facebook moment

When it happens The moment you say you’re pregnant on social media is the moment everyone knows, including those high school friends you haven’t spoken to since the class reunion. So it’s really important you’re prepared for unsolicited comments from anyone and everyone (like, “Oh, I thought your face was looking fatter!”). Also, don’t do this before you’ve told your boss or any close friends and family members who may be miffed they didn’t hear it straight from you.

The traditional way Social media is still relatively new, so there are no etiquette rules for how to do it. We’ve noticed lots of moms-to-be posting a profile shot of their belly, mentioning how far along they are and when baby’s due. Prepare to get a ton of “likes” and happy comments.

Some new ideas Join and every time you visit, you can share information about your pregnancy on Facebook with just a couple of clicks. The info you’ll post includes how big baby is this week and how his development is progressing. Everyone will be amazed and so excited to follow you and baby on your journey.

Crystal Reyns Photography
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Gender reveal

When it happens Some parents wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, but a whopping 85 percent of users on told us they knew the sex in advance. And lately, that big reveal has included more than just pointing to little body parts on an ultrasound screen and saying, “Boy!” or “Girl!”

The traditional way Oftentimes, the mom- and dad-to-be reveal baby’s gender to the grandparents or other close loved ones at a family gathering. You might walk in with a pink “It’s a girl” shirt or give your parents a gift and tell them baby’s gender is inside. Fill the box with progressively smaller nesting boxes, each with layers of pink or blue tissue to keep them guessing until the very last one.

Some new ideas Instead of looking while the ultrasound technician checks out baby’s sex, cover your eyes (and no peeking). Then have the technician write out the sex and put it in a sealed envelope. Bring it to your local baker and have them create personalized cupcakes. Have a little gender reveal party—when everyone bites into their cupcake, it will be pink or blue inside and you’ll all be surprised together.

Jessica Charles Photography
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Baby shower

When it happens Tell whoever’s hosting your baby shower to throw it after you find out if it’s a boy or girl (if you find out in advance), so you can register for gifts before the invites go out. You want to have enough time between your event and your due date to get baby’s nursery ready—and you don’t want to cut it too close in case baby comes early. But you do want to have a cute baby bump for all the photo ops. Long story short? Around month six or seven is the ideal time for a baby shower.

The traditional way Typically, the shower has been an all-female event, such as a luncheon or tea, where your nearest and dearest shower you with gifts for the new baby. Traditional games include “baby shower bingo,” “guess the baby food flavor,” and one where every guest brings a photo of herself as a baby and everyone tries to guess who’s who. Sometimes, guests vote on names for baby.

Some new ideas Baby showers no longer have to be predictable. Some moms-to-be are having spa-themed parties where guests (and the guest of honor, of course) get pedicures or mini massages. We’ve also seen cocktail parties with some yummy, fizzy mocktails for the expecting mom. And there are even coed showers, where both parents-to-be are honored in a less-girly venue, like your favorite bar and grill. Hey, your partner might even want to throw his own guys-only version of a shower as well to celebrate.

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Heading to the hospital

When it happens Obviously, this is when you start labor, or the day you’re scheduled for a c-section or induction. For you, it may not be so easy, but for the people around you, it will be exciting. Have a plan in place for whom you want to call when it’s time, and prepare for different scenarios for getting to the hospital or birth center (you’re at work, home alone and so on).

The traditional way Call your partner and maybe your parents and in-laws and tell them to meet you there. Some moms we know have posted on social media when it was time, and had their inboxes flooded with notes of encouragement from friends.

Some new ideas You really shouldn’t exert yourself to get any fancier than that, but maybe you could ask your partner to bring along a bottle of sparkling cider so you can celebrate after baby finally arrives.

By Cynthia Ramnarace