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Does anyone wait 3 months to announce a pregnancy any more?

By HOLLY WAINWRIGHT

There’s a reason that we don’t tell people that we’re pregnant until that momentous 12-week scan.

Many of us will lose our baby before we reach that milestone. 80 per cent of miscarriages happen in the first trimester. And one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

But that is exactly why, many argue, we should let go of the 12 weeks of silence tradition. That it’s old-fashioned, unhelpful, and shrouds miscarriage in secrecy.

There are more voices calling for us to tell the world we’re pregnant as soon as we find out. Because we need support, and we need to talk about miscarriage. The argument goes that it is much better to suffer through the loss of a child, if you must, with people around you knowing what you are going through. And it’s about time we stopped whispering about the grief of miscarriage in shadowy secrecy, and pulled it out into the light to be openly discussed.

This is how Jill Duggar announced her pregnancy on social media – after People Magazine – at eight weeks.

Also, keeping a secret has never been harder. Or less respected. We exist in a culture of sharing everything with everyone, we do not like to hold things in.

And pregnancy is a hard secret to keep. You’re turning down drinks, you’re green around the gills. If you’re unlucky, you’re throwing up and facing each day feeling like you’ve got the worst hangover of your life. But keep smiling, because everything is normal, people.

Keeping up this pretence is a luxury not afforded to the Duchess Of Cambridge. When the world’s lenses are trained on your every move, any cancelled appearance, any doctor’s home visit let the kitten out of the bag, meaning that – just like last time – a very sick, pregnant Kate has had to tell the world her news at eight weeks.

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If the unthinkable were to happen, Kate would also have to grieve with the whole world watching. It’s a tough spot to be in.

Reality TV star Jill Duggar – one of the prolific Duggar family –  made her pregnancy announcement last month on the cover of People magazine at eight weeks.

The deeply religious Duggar told Page Six that, ““Understanding that the majority of miscarriages happen within the first trimester, and believing that every life is precious no matter how young, we decided to share our joyful news as soon as we could.”

Apparently fewer and fewer women than ever are waiting for the three-month mark, and in the US, at least, it’s being seen as almost quaint to keep your pregnancy secret for that length of time.

The magazine cover that got everyone talking about the timing of Jill’s announcement.

Like many women, I have been on both sides of the statistics at the start of this post. I have two healthy, running, cuddling, grubby kids. But theirs have not been my only pregnancies.

For me, I was happy that only those closest to me knew when I miscarried. I react badly to sympathy from acquaintances, to prying questions, and stalled conversations and sad eyes in the work kitchen.

But now, with distance and two boisterous kids under my belt, I’m happy to share. I see the value in it, in saying, “Yes, that happened to me, too,” and, “Yes, it hurts more than you ever imagined.”

So maybe wisdom and shared experience is telling us that it’s time to throw-out the 12-week rule.

This post was originally published on iVillage.com.au, and is republished here with full permission. 

When did you tell people you were pregnant? Do you see the value in waiting?

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