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I've heard that women are meant to wait until after the first trimester to reveal that they are pregnant. (One rabbi I heard say they should wait even beyond, if possible.) The idea being to avoid drawing the evil eye from others, by which I'm referring to Artscroll's Talmud's explanation: a negative spiritual force that can arise as a result of causing jealousy in others, leading to the Heavenly Court questioning anew someone's aptitude for receiving a bracha.

I have a few questions about that:

  • When does the 'first trimester' start, in this regard? Modern medicine counts the start from the first day of the last period before a woman conceived. (Which seems weird - saying someone's pregnant during a time when they were on their period. Any doctors who want to elaborate?) If you count one trimester from that date, you get a date about two weeks earlier than if you count from the mikveh night following the last period.
  • Also, is 'one trimester' 12 weeks? 90 days? From the date a woman becomes pregnant (e.g. 15 Nisan) to the same date three calendar months later? Something else?
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    gabrielg, a belated welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for posting this interesting and detailed question! I look forward to seeing you around. (Incidentally, I find it amusing that your profile says that you're making a dating website, and one of the few SE sites you've participated on is Chemistry.) – Isaac Moses Mar 2 '16 at 18:41
  • I think the reason behind counting the first trimester from that date is because it was the last date that the woman was known to not be pregnant. – Daniel Mar 2 '16 at 19:17
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    very related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/31389/… – mevaqesh Mar 2 '16 at 19:59
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    In general some are much more concerned with ayin hara, while some are much less concerned. – mevaqesh Mar 2 '16 at 20:00
  • It's ayin hara .... Also many people in the world (not just Jews) don't like to reveal a pregnancy until they are past a certain point (as you mention) because then they know for sure. Also to know if the baby is developing "healthy" and "normal". Most Jews I know start to tell when they "show" ... which is obvious I suppose? Can't hide it at that point..Unless you're eating too many donuts. – Yehoshua Mar 2 '16 at 20:44
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The last Lubavitcher rebbe quoted in many personal correspondences, in the name of his father in-law, that a woman should not reveal her pregnancy until the fifth month, except to her doctors, and it is also fine to reveal to relatives or close friends. This tradition was incorporated into the halachic work of the last rebbe's teachings too (Shaarei Halachah U'minhag, EH no. 8).

In the book Torat Ha-yoledet from Rabbis Zilberstein and Rothchild (pub. 1983, p. 304) this same instruction is stated without mention of any exclusion.

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    Yes I heard from a leading Chabad rabbi that one should not announce it. When people notice and ask, one can speak of it. He explicitly said 'if Hashem made it so then it takes ca. 4 months for a pregnancy to show' there is no reason to announce it before. I can also say, from unfortunate personal experiences, that announcing pregnancies too quickly creates lots of sad conversations if things don't go the way they should. Waiting until 3rd or 4th month (after which miscarriage risks are much lower) avoids such issues – mbloch Nov 1 '17 at 7:25
  • re Chabad views see also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/31389/… – mbloch Nov 1 '17 at 7:27
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    @mbloch def. a wise move, IMO – Oliver Nov 1 '17 at 7:34

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