From theatrical to cute-but-kinda-awkward…(is that the actual stick you peed on…?) women and couples in today's generation are finding all sorts of creative ways to break baby news.

Growing trends have begun a pleasant shift into celebrating pregnancy instead of censoring it. The earlier notion of pregnancy was that after initial sharing of news with father, family, and friends, the mother would live in modest discretion, baggy tunics, and hide out through the ugly parts until a baby magically appeared in her arms cooing from a warm blanket. Talk to many women of the 80’s (my own mother included) and she’ll most often scoff at the phrase “maternity photography,” with a retort along the lines of, “I didn’t want a camera anywhere near me during those months.”

In today’s generation, however, women present their ballooning bellies with weekly growth updates on social media, don form fitting frocks, and - okay maybe still hide some of the ugly parts, (but hey, maybe not!) for the world to see their pregnancy in all its complex and life-giving beauty.

outdoor maternity with daughter

Maternity photography is now a booming genre and the concept of birth photography(hiring a professional to tastefully capture the process and actual first moments of life from the delivery room) is gaining traction as well. Gender reveal parties that correspond colored cake fillings to gender are attracting popularity as a way to share the excitement of the latest development in baby news. But the buzz starts even sooner than that with one of the newest trends: the creative pregnancy announcement.

Unfortunately, there seems to be this pressure that events are not true until they’ve been announced on social media. Consequently, a sense of competition and burden often follows as well, which is stupidly unnecessary. The general concept of being able to share news far and wide really is a beautiful thing when boundaries remain respectable.

Most often, the best announcements are the kinds that are done in genuine desire to capture memorable moments, share milestones with loved ones, and celebrate exciting news. Taking a picture of the expecting mother barfing over a toilet with a snarky caption like “it’s gonna be a long 9 months!” and posting it on facebook, is more of an obligatory social blast than a meaningful announcement of new life.

Many people hire photographers to help them break the news and capture the initial excitement of a new journey. (I'll be honest, I get excited about working with all my clients- really, I do - but something about capturing those beautiful beginnings through a maternity or reveal or newborn shoot just melts my heart in a completely special way.) Some couples use holidays or special occasions as their opportunity to reveal the surprise news to family and friends. Other (bolder) parents have gone viral with quirky and incorporative social media campaigns, such as the #Shareacoke phenomenon that started with a video by the McGillicuddy couple. (It's actually pretty adorable – check it out here ) Whatever the manner of announcing that bun in the oven, new life is always a cause to celebrate.

Real Stories

I decided to interview a couple moms who found meaningful ways of communicating their news. Their announcements weren’t centered around a social media contest, but simply sweet expressions of baby bliss. They are also totally unique - in that at least I had never heard of either before! Here are their stories:

Meet Casi

What creative method(s) did you use to tell your family/friends the big news of an upcoming baby?

My husband is a former Marine and was away doing pre-deployment work-ups when I learned the gender of our first and second babies. I told him over the phone as soon as he was able to call me and announced it to family soon after. Nothing too exciting that would make Kevin feel like he was missing out any more than he already did. He was also deployed when our oldest and middle daughters were born. With our third baby, we wanted to make the announcement special because my husband was out of the Marine Corps and was present for everything.

I bought blue and pink envelopes and decorated the outside with gender specific stickers. 6 blue, 6 pink. On the inside were blue or pink index cards (blue in blue envelopes, pink in pink envelopes). At the bottom of the index card were gender specific stickers (tiny hands or tiny feet). Blue on one side, pink on the other. When we found out we were expecting another girl, I turned all the index cards "girl side up" so the pink stickers were showing. We had some family over and mailed envelopes to others. If they thought it was a boy, they took a blue envelope and grabbed a pink envelope if they thought it was a girl, then we had everyone open them.

What was the reaction?

Some disappointment from siblings because they have no nephews but everyone told me what a cute idea my gender reveal was.

Why did you choose to it this way? (or) Where did you get the idea to announce it this way?

I wanted to do something different and we were unable to have both my family and my husband's family together at once so the envelopes worked really well. I browsed the internet for days leading up to my ultrasound but thought of this on my own. I bought the materials days before and had all the index cards set "boy side up" then went through and changed them after my OB appointment!

creative pregnancy announcement

Meet Amy:

What creative method(s) did you use to tell your family/friends the big news of an upcoming baby?

I had a birthday party for myself as a fun excuse to gather all my girlfriends together. When we had spent a few hours together, I gathered them all for a picture. My husband took the pictures and said, "say cheese" for the first one. For the next picture he said, "Say “Amy’s pregnant!’" With the camera in his hand, he caught all of their faces as they processed the news.

What was the reaction?

When he said "Say ‘Amy’s pregnant!’" no one said anything at first-- I think they were shocked. This was our 5th pregnancy. He had to say this phrase a few times because no one was responding. They thought, looked around, and then finally someone said, "is that true?". The room burst out in shrieks, laughter, and lots of smiles and congratulations.

What did you like or dislike about the way the announcement played out?

I love that it was a creative way to tell them, that it was an unanticipated announcement, and that I have beautiful pictures and memories of a special time with friends to treasure forever. That was one of my most favorite secrets to share.creative photo pregnancy announcement

Your Story

Do you have a fun or creative announcement story you'd like to share? Send me an email answering the same questions as above with the story of your pregnancy announcement or gender reveal and I'll include it in a Part II follow-up to this post! Apparently baby teeth necklaces are also a trend that's catching on in the new parent world... (am I the only one who thinks that's creepy?!) so that + other questionable "trends" will be included as well. I always love hearing from you so please don't be shy- share your story!

P.S.

For all those of you who thought at the end of this post, I might do my own shout out as the ultimate ironic pregnancy announcement... sorry to disappoint. Not this time! :-)

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