How To Tell A Friend You're Pregnant If They've Experienced Fertility Issues Or Baby Loss

Every situation is different. We asked people who've been on both sides what they think is best.
Orbon Alija via Getty Images

Sharing the news you’re pregnant can be incredibly exciting – especially if you’ve made it past your 12-week scan.

But while it can be tempting to blast your news out there: FaceTiming your nearest and dearest, sharing ultrasound pics on social media and videos of your elaborate gender reveal, it’s important to consider who in your circle might be receiving all this.

It’s estimated that around one in eight pregnancies end in miscarriage, while one in seven heterosexual couples are struggling with some degree of infertility – and for these people, other people’s pregnancy announcements can sometimes hurt.

That’s not to say they aren’t happy for you, or that you shouldn’t share your exciting news and keep your baby under wraps until they’re born – more to say that oftentimes these things need to be handled delicately.

If you’re pregnant and have a friend or family member who’s experienced baby loss or fertility issues, we asked members of the Peanut community who’ve been in a similar position about how they think is best to share the news.

One woman who has experienced pregnancy loss and fertility issues in the past, but has since become a mother, suggested the best route is to tell someone privately via text message so they have time to process this new information and aren’t put on the spot.

This allows them to properly absorb the news without you watching their reaction – especially as they might feel happy for you, but chances are they’ll feel sad as well. As the mum explained: “Your news is wonderful, it just brings our sadness to the front of our mind naturally.”

Many of the other people we heard from agreed that a simple text or Whatsapp message would be best.

“I would prefer a text message so I’m not blindsided in a social setting and don’t have to feign immediate happiness,” said one person who’s trying to conceive.

Most agreed they preferred to be told before any big social media announcements, so they didn’t feel blindsided.

“While I was struggling to conceive I much preferred to be messaged privately before any big social media announcement so I could prepare myself,” said another member of Peanut, which provides a safe space for women to meet and find support.

“I also preferred a message rather than face-to-face so I could congratulate my friends (I genuinely was happy for them and relieved they weren’t going through my pain) and then I could ball my eyes out as I was sad for myself and my own situation.

“I always worried they’d think me crying meant that I wasn’t happy for them.”

When it comes to sharing such news, a little bit of sensitivity, care and acknowledgment of people’s struggles, can often go a long way.

“I guess that awareness that it can be hard to hear would be helpful,” said one person who has struggled to conceive for a number of years. “It would also be nice to not have to hide in the toilet to calm down because no one understands I’m not being selfish or purposely horrible to the happy couple.

“It would be easier for me if the announcements weren’t so over the top. Less surprising, less expectation that everyone will be visibly overjoyed for you, more awareness that there are a lot of us silently struggling.”

Is posting on social media OK? Most people we heard from agree it is, as long as they’ve been told privately first.

“I don’t think those who struggle expect others to keep the news off social media altogether, despite what it could trigger,” said one person.

“But if you are friends and are close to someone who is struggling, a little grace or consideration as to how you share that news with them beforehand can go an incredibly long way.

“Personally I prefer being told over message when my friends have this exciting news. I can be happy and pleased for them, but sad for myself – they aren’t mutually exclusive, but two very really conflicting emotions.

“To be able to process that privately and provide a response that doesn’t feel reactionary or forced benefits both parties. Everyone is different but most I’ve spoken to that has struggled, like me, prefer a message or heads up first.”