The ‘12-week rule’ is the custom that pregnancies should be kept secret until they reach three months. People may choose to keep their pregnancies secret during the first trimester for a variety of reasons. They may not wish to be judged about the choices they’re making, they may fear career retaliation, or they may simply consider it to be a private matter. But adhering to this rule can have unintended consequences, because if someone does end up in a situation where they lose a pregnancy, it does mean if they’ve kept it silent they get very little support, and people don’t really understand what they’re going through.
Although choosing when to disclose a pregnancy is a personal decision, people should not feel as though they are required to keep first trimester pregnancies under wraps.