Tips for Telling Your Friends and Family

When you become pregnant it may be difficult to tell your friends and family. Women experiencing unplanned pregnancies may fear hearing “Are you financially ready for this?” and “Did you plan this?” Although it is a tough step to take, have confidence that telling your friends and family will prevent you from keeping secrets and will give you and those around you time to prepare for this baby.

How should I tell them?

  • If it’s too hard to tell a parent or friend in person, have a trusted friend break the news first, then meet together to talk about it. This way their initial reaction doesn’t shake your confidence and they have time to think a little before seeing you. This friend could be a close friend, pastor, priest, grandparent, counselor, or teacher.
  • If you want to be there when your parents or friends initially find out have this same close friend, pastor, etc. be present while breaking the news. This way you have support.
  • One way to share this unexpected news with a friend of family member is through a letter. Sometimes it’s easier to find the courage you need when writing, rather than speaking. You can give the letter to your friend or family member in person, with a friend, or through the mail.
  • When telling a friend or family member, speak slowly and calmly. This will help them stay calm and understand that you are going to be okay and that you mean what you say.

When should I tell them?

  • You have time. Don’t rush yourself into anything before really thinking about what you want to say and preparing yourself for their reactions.
  • When you feel prepared, the sooner you tell people you are pregnant, the easier it will be for friends and family to get used to you being pregnant. They will most likely want to be with you during your pregnancy and won’t want to be left out.

How will they react?

  • The reason you have anxiety about telling friends and family members that you are pregnant is because you don’t know how they will react. Be prepared for:
    1. Silence- In reaction to silence, remain calm and give the person/people some time.
    2. Shock- When in shock they may not know what to say or how to act. They may be reading your feelings and gathering theirs. Give them some time.
    3. Laughter- Your friends or family members may think you’re kidding. They may react to surprising situations with laughter, or they may be sincerely happy for you. Be patient, remain calm, and wait until they relax.
    4. Tears- Tears can be happy tears as well as worried tears. You’ll be able to tell the difference. Showing your confidence will calm worried tears. Give it time.
    5. Anger- If your family or friends react with anger, do not react in anger, this only makes the situation worse. They may come around with time.
    6. Jealousy- Unfortunately some people are unable to have children, or may have recently lost a child. Be sensitive to their feelings and remember that time helps heal the situation.
  • Be prepared for questions or comments such as:
    1. Are you sure you’re pregnant?
    2. You are too young.
    3. You are too old.
    4. Can you afford this?
    5. Are you sure you want to do this?
    6. You should’ve told me sooner.
  • When they see you are remaining calm, they will see that you are okay. Most likely you are their first concern.

Last updated: 12/2006