- Women's Health
How to Tell Your Children About Your Pregnancy
What's The Best Way To Tell Your Children About Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time. It is natural to look forward to sharing your incredible news with the expectant father, your family and your children. Your child's developmental stage will have a huge impact on their ability to comprehend your pregnancy.
A younger child may respond well to books or other visual aids, while a more mature child should be able to verbally discuss the situation.
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Every Child Is Unique
Your child's unique disposition should also be considered during this process. Some kids enjoy guessing games or other creative methods of explanation. Others are more matter-of-fact and prefer to know what is going on right away. You may even need to approach the topic in a different way for each of your children. While it may be tempting to simply blurt out the news at the earliest opportunity, remember that the way you tell your children is setting the stage for how well they accept your news and your entire pregnancy.
Prepare Your Child For A Sibling
Positive and Negative Responses
If you have more than one child, you may find that they each have a different reaction to your announcement. Some children are excited and full of questions. They want to be a part of the process and love attending doctor's visits and seeing ultrasound pictures. Other children may pull away and shut down, refusing to talk about or acknowledge the new baby. There is no right or wrong way for a child to respond to the pregnancy news, but remember that you can help guide them toward eventual acceptance through your own actions.
Make sure that you maintain open lines of communication with your child. Particularly if they are really struggling with your pregnancy, it is important to give them a chance to express their feelings. You may need to ask specific questions in order to help your child get their thoughts across to you.
Avoid Sibling Rivalry
Making Your Child Feel Special
Help your child feel like the valuable member of the family that they are. Continue to spend special time with each of your children throughout your pregnancy and encourage their father to do the same. Consider having a special gift at the hospital from the new baby to their big brother or sister. Constantly reinforce how much fun it is to be the older sibling. Children take their cues from you; if you seem excited, eventually they will start to feel the same way.
Getting Your Child Involved
Make an effort to allow your child to experience the pregnancy with you. This may mean letting them tag along when it is time for you to get an ultrasound or packing them up to head over to one of your routine check-ups. These experiences make the pregnancy more real to them, and it helps them prepare for the birth. You can even allow your children to pick out the middle name for their new sibling; this gives them input and makes them feel like they are contributing.
While it may initially seem like a challenge to help your child adjust to your pregnancy, it can actually be quite an enjoyable process. Simply do your best to allow your children to experience as many special moments as they can. By the time the baby arrives, they will be ready to assume the role of big brother or big sister.