The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Respect your comfort level
So let’s say you’ve heard the heartbeat, you’re wearing maternity clothes, and everyone from your mother to your mailman knows what’s going on. Get ready for a whole slew of new questions: “Are you getting an amnio?” “Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” “Are you planning a natural childbirth?” “Will you be induced?” The decision now about how much to share often depends on how much feedback you are willing to put up with. “The first time I was pregnant, I told my parents everything,” says Jennie Fahn, a 37-year-old actress in Los Angeles. “And they had opinions and comments on everything! So the second time around, I was more careful.”
Of course, the only real rule about how much you should reveal is to go with what makes you most comfortable. If people start probing about how exactly that baby got in there or how it’s going to get out, just smile and say, “That isn’t the point; we just want to celebrate our joy with you,” Clapp suggests. “If you anticipate that some people are going to be particularly nosy, work out a script for exactly what you’re going to say and do a practice run,” she says.
If you decide to keep the baby’s name and sex a secret until he or she arrives, take the advice of Lesley Carlin and Honore McDonough Ervin (aka the Etiquette Grrls), co-authors of More Things You Need to Be Told (Penguin, 2003): “If you don’t want to tell anyone, that is your prerogative! You can always pretend you don’t know or haven’t decided; that way no one can weasel the information out of you.”
Then, get ready, because the nosiness doesn’t end once the baby’s here. “It’s bizarre that strangers ask you questions when you’re pregnant, but what’s even more bizarre is the way they talk to new mothers,” Lasker says. Questions about fertility and childbirth soon give way to: "Are you breastfeeding?" "What do you use for sore nipples?" "You're not really going to give that child a pacifier, are you?" And of course, "When are you going to have the next one?"