Telling people you’re pregnant

When you tell people about your pregnancy is your decision. Some people prefer to wait until 12 weeks, but others share the news earlier. There is no right or wrong.

Telling your friends and family about your pregnancy 

Many people wait until the 3-month mark before sharing their pregnancy news. This is often because the risk of miscarriage goes down from this point in the pregnancy. But when you choose to share this news is completely up to you (and your partner if you have one). 

The first trimester can be tricky for many people who experience symptoms such as exhaustion, morning sickness or anxiety. It isn’t always easy to manage these symptoms on your own, especially if you are trying to hide them from friends, family or colleagues at work.

It may be important that you get any practical or emotional help you need at this point. You may decide to share the news with someone you trust now, so you get the support you need.  

If you have experienced baby loss

Some people who have experienced baby loss decide to tell someone about their pregnancy early. This may be because they feel anxious about going through loss again and need some emotional support.

If you do need support but feel uncomfortable telling anyone you know about your pregnancy, you may like to join our Pregnancy and parenting after loss support group. This is a safe space where you can share your news, but also find support from other people who have been through a similar experience. 

If you’re worried about telling your partner or the father 

If you your pregnancy was unplanned, you may feel nervous about telling the father. It’s natural to feel this way. You could try writing down how you would like to tell them beforehand, to help you gather your thoughts before talking to them.

Remember that anything you say to your midwife or doctor is in confidence. That means they can't tell anyone else without your permission. 

Domestic abuse

If you have any concerns about how your partner will react to the news, especially if you feel they may be abusive, it’s important to ask for support. 

Domestic abuse is a criminal offence. If you and your family are in immediate danger, call 999. If you're unable to talk, press 55 after dialling. You can also call 101 in a non-emergency situation to report previous incidents or to get advice.

Find out more about domestic abuse during and after pregnancy.

If you're worried someone might see that you have visited this page, the Women's Aid website tells you how to cover your tracks online.

Telling your employer about your pregnancy

You don’t have to tell your employer about your pregnancy until 15 weeks before the beginning of the week the baby is due. Some people decide to tell them earlier than this, so their employer can support them and make any adjustments they need.

For example, you’re entitled to paid time off for antenatal care. If your employer knows about your pregnancy, it will be easier for you to arrange this without taking annual or unpaid leave. 

If you think you need health and safety protection at work, you must notify your employer of your pregnancy in writing. You can send your employer a letter or email and you should keep a copy. Your employer will then need to do a risk assessment and make any necessary adjustments. 

If you have morning sickness, you might also want to let them know so that they can support you if you’re feeling nauseous or vomiting.

To organise any maternity leave, tell your employer when the baby is due and when you want your maternity leave to start at least 15 weeks before your due date. Your employer must write to you within 28 days confirming your start and end dates. 

Find out more about work and pregnancy.

Your partner’s rights at work

Your partner will need to tell their employer about any parental leave they want to take 15 weeks before the week your baby is due. 

Your partner has the right to unpaid time off work to go to 2 antenatal appointments. With this in mind, your partner may want to tell their employer about the pregnancy sooner than 15 weeks, depending on which appointments you’d like them to attend. 

Your employer can’t ask to see evidence of the appointment, as the paperwork is the pregnant person’s private information.

Find out more about dads and partners at work.

Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week, Penguin Random House, London Maternity pay and leave. Pregnant employees’ rights.

Maternity Action. Rights at work for fathers and partners including same sex partners.

Review dates
Reviewed: 20 April 2022
Next review: 20 April 2025