Announcing Your Pregnancy, Baby Gender, and Birth


If you're planning on announcing any of the milestones that come with expecting a baby, we're going to take you through the basics of the best times to announce each, different ways to do it, and how to handle any of the  "Karens" that may unintentionally ruin these special moments.


When's the best time to tell the world you're pregnant?

Whenever you want to. :) Ok ok, we promise to give you more insight than that. Most women wait until sometime after the 10-week ultrasound. The typical range is 10-20 weeks.

From Cortney's perspective: "I preferred to tell my immediate family right away. Husband first, then our parents & my closest siblings. Our first two pregnancies were miscarriages and while some women choose to endure that trial privately, I was incredibly grateful for the prayers and support of those closest to us during that time. It's bad enough to have a miscarriage and to us, it would have been even worse to endure that alone."

For women who deal with super bad morning sickness, telling those closest to you becomes a necessity since you may need outside help- things like childcare, cleaning, errands, making meals, etc- while you are focused on keeping as nourished as possible.

From Stephanie's perspective: With my first, I had some spotting early on and I told people really early and then I wished I hadn't because I thought, "if this baby doesn't stick, or if I have a miscarriage, I don't want anybody bugging me. I don't want people to know, other than my husband." So with each pregnancy after that, we waited longer & longer to tell people. Part of that was me not wanting to feel like I was pregnant forever because I felt like the longer people knew I was pregnant, the more questions I would get, and that overwhelmed me.

There IS a way to have the best of both of these worlds, and that would be to join an online group. You can find groups according to your due date month or you can join the My Essential Birth course and gain access to our private, online community! Need to talk to someone about your pregnancy excitement, morning sickness but don't want to tell friends & family just yet? Then a group of loving, supportive women strangers may just be the answer you've been looking for.


 Most of the time you won't discover your baby's gender until the 20-week ultrasound. BUT! If 20 weeks is just too long for you to wait, you have a couple of other options for finding out sooner.

A blood test done as early as 8 weeks pregnant can tell you, but these are not usually covered by insurance so plan on paying out of pocket. There are places like Fetal Photos (often inside of shopping malls) that might tell you baby's gender as early as 14 weeks. This also costs money AND both the 14-week & 20-week sonograms are dependent on baby's cooperation! Sometimes baby may be in a position that blocks their little privates from view. If this happens at your 20-week scan, most doctors will let you come in another time for a quick gender check (and won't charge you for it).

Gender reveals seem like all the rage right now and Pinterest and Instagram are full of LOTS of fun ideas on how to do that. You're likely familiar with many them- the balloon pop filled with colored confetti, the pink or blue balloon release, cutting the cake to find out baby's gender, colored smoke...although, and hopefully this goes without saying ;) ,  be careful not to start a fire in your state if you go this route.  Steph thought it would be funny to decorate for a little girl baby shower in all blue just to confuse guests!

It may also be fun to just post the sonogram picture and see if people can figure out the gender...seriously, prior to having babies myself I often had no clue what I was actually looking at when others would share pictures from their scan! (Hint: If it's a girl, the "part" look like a hamburder...2 little parallel lines. If it's a boy, you're likely to notice a distinct triangle shape.)

BUT! It's also totally fine to NOT find out your baby's gender! Some of our very favorite births are the ones where the gender is a surprise...that creates lots of excitement in the birth room!

In fact, I knew a family who had a tradition of not finding out. They would buy a handful of gender-neutral essentials before the birth- a few onesies and sleepers in whites & creams, blankets in simple patterns- and then would have their baby shower a few weeks after the birth. They really enjoyed this because it gave the tired mamas something to look forward to and an opportunity to shower, do makeup, and feel "normal". While COVID has put a bit of a damper on baby showers, you can always do an online or drive-by shower if necessary.

If you choose to let your baby's gender be a surprise, be warned that this may make some of your friends and family a bit upset! Grandma might feel frustrated that she doesn't know what color blanket to crochet. We're being totally serious, people can get weird about stuff like this! But it's your pregnancy, your baby, your do you, girl!

Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that if you plan to have other children, you may not want to buy everything in either pink or blue. I had a friend whose first baby was a girl, followed by FIVE boys and those boys ate from pink high chairs, rode around in pink car seats, and hung out in pink bouncers & swings. While we have no issues with guys + pink, it's just something to keep in mind. 


Whenever you feel like it! Whenever it won't stress you out. Seriously, new moms have enough on their plate...unless this makes you absolutely joyful, give yourself permission to do it when you have the mental energy for it. What we see on social media is rarely reality, so even if it seems like all the moms you follow have it all together, they are hardly representative of mothers as a whole. 

Birth announcements typically consist of a picture of your newborn babe*, along with their birth stats. You can do printed/mailed cards- Etsy & make this super simple! Or you can post/email a digital anouncement- places like Canva make this super simple too! You can send them out within a few weeks of the birth or you can post it when your baby is 4 months old. For real- we've seen people say, "She may be 4 months old now, but look how little she was..." and then post the announcement. You can also have an announcement done & print just one for the baby book. 

*If you're hoping to have those cute, squishy, sleepy newborn photos, keep in mind that those typically need to be done when baby is 2 weeks old or younger! "Fresh 48 sessions can be scheduled (tentatively) when you are still pregnant and can be done at your birthplace or at your home. I didn't know this and my photographer was like, "uh, your 2-month-old is a little big for these but we'll do our best." LOL 


  • Threaten to reveal a terribly embarrassing truth about them. (kidding, mostly.)
  • Tell Karen to go have her own birth if she's so interested in yours (super kidding.)
  • Vent about it to the women in your online birth group

Ok, for real- you can talk to them privately about how this wasn't their news to share, and then extend grace to them & to yourself. Our world has felt all sorts of crazy lately, and welcoming a sweet baby into the world gives people lots of hope & joy. Sometimes people get a little overly excited or involved in the happy baby news. This is your birth, it's your pregnancy, it's your right to announce it to who you want to when you want to. But if you do come upon something like this, you will likely feel better when everything is said and done if you approach the situation with love and compassion because at the end of the day pregnancy, gender & birth announcements are FUN but not necessary.

What matters most is what feels best to you. Want to keep things intimate and off social media? Wonderful! We think that's a wise idea. Want to film fun videos, throw parties, and do fun photo shoots announcing everything? Awesome! We think that's a great idea too. 

We love you, and we're here to support you in confidently preparing for and achieving your best pregnancy and birth...whatever that looks like to you!

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