Sharing the news that you’re pregnant is typically an exciting and joyous moment, however if you have friends or family that have experienced hardships in their own fertility, you may feel cautious to announce your news out of concern of hurting them.
Having been on both sides now as the pregnant friend who is over-the-moon, and the friend who has experienced the heartbreak of miscarriages, Charlie Barker has given us some of her helpful ways to sharing your news with friends who might find it difficult to hear.
Let them know over text
I know it sounds like the wrong thing to do, but texting someone your news can actually be really kind. It gives them the time to react to the news in their own space. They don’t have to put on a front. They don’t have to be brave. They can have a cry if they want to in the privacy of their own space. And when they’re ready to be excited for you, which they will be, they can come to you then.
Don’t treat them differently
Don’t leave them out of the loop, avoid telling them the truth or tell them later than your other loved ones. They want to be involved just like everybody else.
Respect the space they need
Give them the space they need whilst they get used to the idea. It doesn’t mean they’re not there for you, but they may want to distance themselves from you for a little bit.
Try to keep your friendship as normal as possible.
Do the things you always would do as their friend. Text the things you would always text them and make sure that they know that your friendship hasn’t changed because of this.
Ask them for their boundaries
Have some clarification on how much they want to know, how much they want to be involved, and let them know that you understand whatever their decision is for them.
Although your pregnancy announcement might be a tough time for loved ones who are struggling to have children, this doesn’t mean they’re not excited for you. They can be hurting inside, but still over the moon for you and your news – just as you can still celebrate this new chapter of your life, and want to support them through their struggles.
Navigating these conversations can be difficult. It’s important to be sensitive to what others are going through. But don’t hold back from your friends. Involve them! They want to be there for you too.
You can read more about how to support your friends who have experienced baby loss here.
Charlie Barker is a mum of two boys, a personal trainer and founder Bumps and Burpees, which specialises in home workout plans for pregnancy and postpartum.