You’re expecting your first baby—congrats! Amidst all your planning and celebrating, you’ve probably also discovered that being pregnant puts you squarely in the middle of a whole new realm of etiquette questions. When should you tell everyone? What should you say? How much information is too much?
We’ve simplified the often tricky process with a few do’s and don’ts. Here’s what you should know when you’re expecting.
Don’t Feel Pressure to Announce Your Pregnancy
For some moms-to-be, waiting until after the first three months to announce the happy news is preferable. For others, the test results make Twitter the moment they’re discovered. Bottom line: it’s your choice. Share your joy whenever you’re ready to let others in.
Do Feel Comfortable Keeping Secrets
Well-intentioned friends and family members will try to pry details about your baby—including his or her name and gender—out of you. But again, this is your pregnancy, and it’s perfectly acceptable to say you appreciate a person’s interest but want to keep things a surprise until the big day. Thank any inquirers for being understanding—even if you know they aren’t.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Now is the time to ask for assistance when you need an extra pair of hands. Your friends and family are probably happy to help, but they might assume you don’t need anything if you look like you have everything under control. Put your pride aside and enjoy the special attention you will receive if you ask for a little TLC.
Do Appreciate Helping Hands
That being said, your family and friends may want to help out a little too much—assembling the crib, painting the nursery, joining you on shopping sprees—and might inadvertently cause more trouble than aid. But despite the annoyance you might feel, remember that they mean well, and their intention is to show that they care about and support you. Try to smile through the frustration—or maybe hire a handyman before you reveal your next project.
Don’t Overdo Social Media
When it comes to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and photo albums, there’s a fine line between tastefully including others in your joy and blatantly over-sharing. Remember that not everyone will appreciate your bare-bellied maternity photo shoot or the latest view of your ultrasound. Consider others before bringing your pregnancy into the social media landscape.
Do be Mindful of Friends Who are Trying to Conceive
You likely know someone going through monthly rounds of fertility treatments to no avail—and as happy as she may be for you, the news of your pregnancy probably isn’t easy for her to take. Don’t avoid your friend, but do offer support and understanding by including her in your life (not talking endlessly about babies).
Don’t Let Your Pregnancy Consume You
Right now, your entire world revolves around your expanding stomach. But not everyone wants to discuss the minute-to-minute details of your morning sickness or your decision not to breastfeed. If you plan to have any friends left at the end of your pregnancy, make sure to consider others’ lives and demonstrate real interest in them.
Do Make Yourself a Top Priority
Practice saying a mannered “I’m sorry, but I’m not available,” and pull it out whenever someone asks you to do a task that requires more time and energy than you have to offer right now. While you might normally stay up late baking hundreds of cookies for your office get-together or go out of your way to attend every friend’s gathering, a guiltless “no” should now find its way into your vocabulary.