pregnancy

Stefania is 10 weeks pregnant. She's been telling people for more than a month.

Stefania Reynolds is currently 10 weeks pregnant, and like she did for her first pregnancy, the 34-year-old has been telling her inner circle for some time now.

As far as she's concerned, why wouldn't she? For Stefania, the first trimester is hell, and she wants and needs support while she battles the waves of nausea and fatigue.

As Stefania shared with Mamamia, she told her male boss, office manager, colleagues, family and close friends when she was five weeks along.

"I've been thinking about this a lot to be honest with you, and a lot of people don't want to share that they're pregnant in the first trimester - it's quite taboo. I'm just wondering if this is a little old school? I ask people, 'why wouldn't you say it?' and they say 'oh well because you know you've got those risks of losing it'. And then it just makes me question, well aren't we trying to raise awareness about miscarriage as well?" the Sydney based architect told Mamamia's news podcast The Quicky.

Listen to The Quicky unpack the 'three-month rule'. Post continues...

Two weeks after she'd told everyone, Stefania suffered a threatened miscarriage that saw her end up in Emergency. As it was happening, she felt really alienated, blaming herself and her actions for what was happening. But her inner circle, many of whom had suffered miscarriages themselves, were quick to remind her that it was completely normal.

"It was an awful time, and the fact that my boss and colleagues knew was so great because they were so supportive, they just said 'take some rest, do whatever you need to do, your deadlines are covered'. And it just made me be able to relax and take that bed rest that I needed to get back on my feet. And my friends who knew - the love and support I got - one of my friends made me a little care package. She cooked me soup. It was just all that love pouring in," Stefania told The Quicky.

Stefania has been grappling for years with the outdated cultural norm that sees parents wait until the 12 week mark to announce their pregnancy. A milestone that's considered as 'safe.' 

Stefania told her inner circle during both her first and second pregnancy at around five weeks. Image: Supplied.

As Dr Vicki Woodward, an obstetrician at Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital told The Quicky, the risk of miscarriage is highest around the 7-10 week mark and lessens as the weeks go on. By the 12-14 week mark, the risk is less than five percent. Many women also choose to have Down syndrome screening around the 10 week mark, receiving their results when they're around 12 weeks.

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Dr Woodward confirms it is definitely a societal, not medically advised trend, to wait until the three-month mark to tell people. She finds some patients who are very unwell in the first trimester benefit from telling people early, while others prefer to wait for test results that might change what they want to do with their pregnancy.

"If test results come back with a result that you're not expecting, then that couple is having to make some really difficult decisions about what they're choosing to do moving forward. That's a really personal decision for that couple, so many people prefer to do that with very little people knowing they're pregnant to give themselves the space...so they're making that decision without any pressure," she explained. 

"So I usually have a conversation with people that, you know, it's not black and white, it's not tell people or not tell people. You might choose to tell people who are really close to you that if something terrible was to happen to you in those first couple of months, they would be the people you'd want to lean on anyway and get some help from."

Sidenote: Just a few things pregnant people never say....Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

Stefania thinks women are also scared of jinxing it. They don't want to lose their pregnancy, and fear telling people will somehow make that scenario more likely. 

That being said, she doesn't plan on putting up a Facebook or Instagram announcement until she's around 12 weeks and showing. She's just making sure the people she interacts with on a daily basis are across what's going on in her life so her boss gets it if perhaps she's not on her "A-game." Or so she doesn't have to explain to her friends why she's just not feeling up to lunch today.

"Three months is too long to essentially 'suffer is silence.' If I sailed through pregnancy I would be less inclined perhaps, but it's a personal journey and I would rather feel supported from those around me during this hard and scary time. People are well-educated, and if you say to someone 'I am eight weeks pregnant', they likely know the facts and the risks and they will probably just feel honoured you told them and will ask you if you need anything."

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Stefania finds the first trimester the hardest, and finds it easier when the people around her know what's going on. Image: Supplied.

Stefania has encountered a few people who have said to her something unhelpful like, "just be mindful, it's still really early," when she's shared her news. But breaking the 'three-month rule' has been overwhelmingly beneficial. 

"I was vomiting in the bathroom at work and the office manager was holding my hair back and bringing me water," she told Mamamia. 

"That kind of support in the first trimester is priceless."

Feature Image: Stefania Reynolds.

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