Ready Steady Baby


When to tell people you’re pregnant

There’s no right or wrong time to tell people you’re pregnant. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and, if you have a partner, you may want to decide together.

Some people choose to wait until after they’ve had the first ultrasound scan. It’s your baby, so it’s up to you.

Friends and family

There are advantages and disadvantages. An advantage of telling close friends and family early can mean you get support early on.

However, some people will want to share advice including when things didn’t go to plan. While it can be good to hear what happened for other people, don’t feel you have to take their advice.


If you already have children, you might decide not to tell them until the pregnancy’s further along.

For a toddler, 9 months is a long time to wait. However, children may well pick up the information if other people know.

Handle with care

Telling children about pregnancy can raise lots of questions. Depending on their age they may want to know how it happens.

Judge for yourself how you want to handle it. Ask your midwife or child care providers if you’d like help or advice about talking with your children.

Involving them

Once you’ve decided to tell your children, it’s a good idea to get them involved by:

  • letting them feel your tummy and talk about how your baby inside is growing
  • showing them where their baby brother or sister will sleep
  • asking them for help choosing clothes and toys
  • sharing a book together about a new baby to help them understand what’s going to happen

Don’t push the subject if they’re not interested.

Dealing with their fears

It’s normal for your child to be unhappy or worried about a new baby. It’s usually the shock of such a big change rather than being selfish.

Like you, your children must adapt to the idea of expecting another baby.

Be prepared for questions about how their life might change, such as:

  • ‘Will you still love me or have time to play?’
  • ‘Will I still have my own room?’

Your employer

It’s a good idea to tell your employer you’re pregnant as early as possible. Best, too, if your employer hears the news straight from you.

The sooner they know, the easier it is to:

  • plan your maternity leave
  • make sure you have time off for antenatal appointments

It’s best to tell your employer in writing, even if you have a good relationship with them.

More about maternity leave

Risk assessment

If the kind of work you do means there could be extra risks for your pregnancy, it’s even more important to tell your employer as soon as you can. They can do a risk assessment to help you stay safe while you’re at work.


What and when you tell colleagues will depend on a few things, including how you’re feeling.

If you’ve got morning sickness or other health issues you’re likely to need to tell people sooner.

Further information, other languages and alternative formats

Translations and alternative formats of this information are available from Public Health Scotland.

If you need a different language or format, please contact

Last updated:
3 November 2023