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Kate Ferdinand praised for helping to break the pregnancy ’12-week rule’: ‘I told people close to me’

Kate Ferdinand and her husband Rio Ferdinand, who are currently expecting their second child. (Getty Images)
Kate Ferdinand has discussed the pressure of the '12-week pregnancy rule'. Getty Images)

Kate Ferdinand has been praised by fans for helping to break the stigma surrounding the pregnancy "12-week rule".

The former reality TV star, who is currently pregnant with her second child, was chatting about the pressure women feel to stay silent during the first trimester of pregnancy and revealed that she had chosen to tell "people that are close to me" about her own news.

The 31-year-old is married to Rio Ferdinand, 44, and is stepmother to the former footballer's three kids, Tate, 14, Lorenz, 16, and Tia, 11. The couple also have a two-year-old son together, Cree.

During a discussion about pregnancy after loss, a subject particularly close to Ferdinand's heart having revealed she experienced a miscarriage last year, she spoke about the unwritten rule where women often don't announce their pregnancy until they have reached the end of the first trimester, after 12 weeks.

"We spoke about that before, you know the 12-week mark," she told Zoe Clark-Coates MBE, a grief expert, who was a guest on her podcast, Blended.

"Not acknowledging [your pregnancy], or doctors, or certain people telling you that you can't really announce it and we don't as a nation do it until you're after 12 weeks."

Ferdinand went on to say that she took Clark-Coates' advice and shared her pregnancy news with "people that are close to me".

"And that made me feel better because I felt like I wasn't going through it on my own," she continued. "But then I didn't actually announce it [publicly] until a little bit later because I'm still scared in that sense."

Read more: Kate Ferdinand reveals the sex of her baby but says gender reveal didn't go to plan

The star is stepmum to three children, pictured with her husband Rio Ferdinand in March 2022. (Getty Images)
The star is stepmum to three children, pictured with her husband Rio Ferdinand in March 2022. (Getty Images)

Clark-Coates, who is also the CEO of the charity The Mariposa Trust, which offers advice and support to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby, has previously urged women to "speak out about your pregnancy", claiming the convention of women temporarily keeping news of their pregnancy a secret stigmatises baby loss.

"That's why we're campaigning to break the 12-week rule," she told Ferdinand. "It's not about telling every single person that you're pregnant. It's about telling every person who you would naturally tell if you lost [the baby], that's the best way of gauging it.

"If you would tell your best friends that you've gone through loss then tell them you're pregnant, because then they can support you through the pregnancy too.

"It's literally about saying, 'I would want you to be part of my journey, whatever it looks like, whether that is seeing my pregnancy bump grow, or whether that's holding my hand while I'm crying because I've gone through a loss.' Let those people in. And by doing that, you're giving yourself the best chance of experiencing the joy and happiness because you've got support. You've got people to lean on."

Watch: Kate Ferdinand talks about being judged, never feeling good enough and how meeting Rio changed her outlook

Clark-Coates went on to add that pregnancy and loss is difficult to go through on your own.

"We're not meant to do this individually," she continued. "It takes a village to raise the child but it also takes a village to grow a child and we need that emotional support of our peers and friends and family.

"And so it's about letting them in. And by doing that, you're just giving yourself the best chance to experience happiness in pregnancy after loss."

Read more: Kate Ferdinand: ‘Rio and his children gave me the love I needed’

After sharing a clip of the discussion to Instagram, Ferdinand was inundated with messages from others, many of the opinion that it is time to break the 12-week taboo.

"This 100%. Such a good & important message," one user wrote.

"I completely agree!" added another. "I told people closest to me when I found out as I wanted support not only to tell them after if something had happened!"

"Definitely behind breaking the 12 week rule," another fan commented. "After experiencing loss it felt so much harder to tell anyone about a pregnancy that no one knew we were having. We need our friends and family to help us through these hard times."

"I absolutely love this! There’s so much pressure to wait til 12 weeks," yet another parent wrote. "Having gone through two losses, I’m so glad we told our friends and family early. They celebrated every second with us and the support we received when we had our losses was incredible. We couldn’t have done it without them."

It isn't the first time Ferdinand has been applauded for her honesty in discussing the realities of pregnancy and parenting, having often spoken openly about her experiences and the emotions attached to being part of a blended family.

The former England captain's first wife Rebecca died in 2015, aged 34, after a battle with breast cancer and Ferdinand has often talked about navigating her step parenthood journey.

“I've got this family that I always wanted, but just in a different kind of route to what I expected,” she told Kate Thornton, the host of Yahoo UK podcast White Wine Question Time.

“I've just received these bonus three kids that I love dearly. It's emotional to think of the journey we've been on, and where we are now.”

Kate Ferdinand pictured with her husband Rio Ferdinand. (Getty Images)
Kate Ferdinand often discusses the realities of life in a blended family, pictured with her husband Rio Ferdinand. (Getty Images)

In a previous interview with ITV News she revealed she struggled with imposter syndrome after "stepping into a ready-made family".

"It's taken me quite a while to feel comfortable in my role, but I think that's something that a lot of step-parents do go through," she said.

Read more: Kate Ferdinand: ‘Rio and his children gave me the love I needed’

She also revealed that in the beginning of her stepmum journey she "didn't know where to turn", adding that though there were lots of resources for first-time mums, the same support didn't seem to exist for blended families.

"I just didn't know where to turn or where to go to, and I just felt really alone."

Ferdinand has also discussed her role as a stepmother on an episode of the podcast Made By Mammas, in which she said that being a step parent is a "huge role" and one that involves quite a bit of pressure.

"I find it sometimes it's a lot more pressure – I don't know if I put the pressure on myself - than a biological parent because I'm so desperate to make it work," she said.

Ferdinand announced she was pregnant again in late January via Instagram with a video of her revealing her bump. "We’ve been praying for you …" the caption reads.

Many of her celebrity friends expressed their own excitement about the news, including Molly-Mae Hague who commented, "Congratulations Kate", Michelle Keegan who wrote, "Congratulations darling", and Holly Willoughby with, "Aww congratulations to you both… that’s lovely news".