Sharing the news you’re expecting a baby with your friends and family is one of the most exciting moments of any pregnancy. Some people opt for creative announcements, while others keep it more low-key.
Either way, it’s your news to tell. So when someone else spills the beans for you, it’s never going to go down well. But this is what happened to one woman in Cardiff, after her chiropractor broke patient confidentiality rules by telling her mother she was pregnant without the woman’s consent.
The woman was six weeks pregnant when she was treated at Benjamin Mathew’s practice and found out that he had passed the news on to her mum. In the hearing that followed her complaint, she revealed she had planned to announce the pregnancy in a Mother’s Day card to her mum a few weeks later. Mathew was found guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct”.
While an extreme example, it’s not unusual for colleagues, friends or family members of mums-to-be say to spill pregnancy news before they’ve had the chance to announce it themselves.
A colleague told me her pregnancy was announced to her best friends during a hen party, before she’d even told her mum. She told her masseuse she was pregnant, he promptly went into the room where her friends were all having manicures and shouted over to his boss: “My one’s six weeks pregnant, can I still give her a massage?”
Hannah Rowe, who was senior manager at a large regional company when she fell pregnant with her first child, suffered a similarly public announcement. “I had only told the board members my news [but] one of them had told his wife, who came in and shouted down the open plan office: ‘Hey, when are you due?’.”
Luckily, it was quite late in the working day, said Rowe, so there weren’t loads of people around. Despite that, she still tried to subtly wave her arms at the woman in a “shushing” motion.
“It happened so quickly I didn’t have a lot of time to feel anything,” she added. “I was about 16 weeks at the time but wasn’t showing, so it probably just pushed me into announcing it. She is a totally lovely lady and didn’t do it on purpose. I’m sure lots of people in my situation didn’t have the same experience!”
She shouted down the office: ‘Hey, when are you due?’"
Nyomi Winter, who blogs at Nomi Palony, said it was a family member who broke her news. “They shared it on Facebook before I did,” she said. “I was actually out and missed it all happening, but someone else really told her off for it via a private message and she took it down! I would have felt annoyed if I had seen it, but as it was, I was just too exhausted.”
For Vicky Jacobs, the slip-up also happened because of a work colleague. “Someone who worked with my partner told my estranged mother she was going to be a nan when we hadn’t spoken for 15 years,” she said.
The woman was also pregnant at the time and Vicky’s partner had shared their news but asked her to keep it on the down-low. However, the colleague went and told her family who lived near Vicky’s mum, then approached her to say congratulations, unaware of the estrangement: “It caused us no end of problems with her trying to get info out of other family members then.”
Sometimes though, as Alexandra West told us, you just can’t be annoyed at an unexpected reveal. Her two kids, ages six and seven, were so excited to be getting a younger sibling they told all their friends and teachers at school.