How to tell the boss you're pregnant

How to tell the boss you're pregnant

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When should I break the news?

Many women choose to wait until they're through the first trimester – when the risk of miscarriage goes down significantly – to tell their boss they’re pregnant . But you probably don't want to wait so long that you're showing. Here are some factors to consider as you decide when to make your big announcement:

  • Are you having a lot of pregnancy symptoms? If you're suffering from morning sickness, calling in sick more often than usual, or are just generally fatigued, you might want to tell your colleagues early in your pregnancy. Letting others know what's up can help them be more patient and understanding.
  • Do you have a very strenuous or stressful job? If you do, you'll probably want to tell your employer and colleagues early on – for your baby's sake and your own. Making your announcement right away allows you to talk about changing your job responsibilities in a timely manner. And if your job involves exposure to chemicals or any task that might be dangerous to your baby, it's important to tell your boss immediately and take steps to protect yourself.
  • How do you think the news will be received? This depends on such factors as the culture of your workplace, whether other women's pregnancies have influenced the office environment positively or negatively, and your relationship with your supervisors.

As long as you're confident that your employer will handle the news in a professional manner, it makes sense to announce the pregnancy as early as possible. This enables you to take advantage of any employer-provided services that can help make your pregnancy healthier and less stressful. Some health services offered by employers (such as prenatal genetic counseling) are most valuable in the early stages of pregnancy.

If you're concerned about your employer's reaction, proceed cautiously. It's acceptable to wait to tell your boss until your pregnancy is 14 to 20 weeks along. That way, you can also point out you can still do your job while carrying a child. If you can, consider timing your announcement to coincide with the completion of a project or another milestone. This demonstrates that pregnancy hasn't affected your productivity.

How can I prepare to break the news to my boss?

First, do some research. Review your employee handbook to find out your options for maternity leave.

If your company has a human resources representative, contact her to ask about your employer's formal policies regarding pregnancy and maternity leave. HR representatives can give you informed and objective advice because they've probably counseled many women in similar situations.

If your company is small and you think it might be hard to keep your information private until you're ready to share it, ask your HR contact about the company's policies on time off in general, without revealing your own situation.

Confer with trusted co-workers who have already been in a similar situation. Ask them what kind of response they got when they announced their pregnancies, what their maternity leave was like, and which supervisors were the most helpful and supportive.

Then figure out how much time you think you'll want to take and make a plan, including some ideas for how your work can be handled while you're away.

Start by researching how much paid leave you have available. This is governed by state and federal family leave and disability laws, which differ somewhat depending on where you live. (Check the law that applies to your situation.) Among other things, it should include specifics on how long you have to work at your company to be eligible for maternity leave and how much notice you need to give when you want your leave to start. If you're considering unpaid leave, think about how long you can reasonably afford to go without a paycheck.

What if I'm asked about coming back to work after the baby?

If you know that you won't be coming back, the ethical thing to do is to let your employer know, even though it may mean forfeiting your benefits.

If you don't tell your boss that you aren't planning to return, it's possible your employer could require you to pay back the money spent to maintain your health insurance while you were on leave. (Unless you aren't returning to work because of a serious medical condition or another circumstance beyond your control, like a spouse's job transfer.)

That said, if there's any chance you'll return to work, it's smart to leave this option open. It can be hard to predict how you'll feel once you have a baby and what your needs as a family will be in terms of time and income.

You have until the end of your leave to decide whether you'll come back full-time, part-time, or not at all, though it will be easier for everyone if you give as much notice as you can.

What if my employer isn't supportive of my pregnancy?

The unfortunate truth is that your pregnancy can affect how you're treated at work. Your boss and co-workers may worry that you won't be coming back, that your work will suffer, or that your responsibilities will be dumped on them.

If you receive negative feedback, respond professionally, positively, and firmly. Assure your employer that you'll do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transition for all involved.

If you're demoted, laid off, or even fired after announcing your pregnancy, look into your rights under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits job bias or discrimination against pregnant women. Consult your human resources or union representative about your situation if it seems appropriate. If you've been let go unjustly, consider hiring a lawyer.

Should I discuss my pregnancy during a job interview?

During an interview for a new job, it's discriminatory – and therefore illegal – for employers to ask you whether you're pregnant. But if your condition is obvious when you go for your interview, it's a good idea to bring up the topic after focusing on your skills, experience, and enthusiasm for the position. Once the interviewer is interested in your qualifications, incorporate your post-baby plans into the conversation without making them the primary focus of the interview.

State your plans in a professional manner and be prepared to answer questions about the logistics of your maternity leave, your intention to return to work, and your ability to manage your job when you have a newborn. Try to inspire confidence without promising too much.

If you aren't showing yet, you'll have to decide whether you want to say anything. It might not feel right to tell a relative stranger your good news, especially if you haven't yet told your friends or family.

And if this is your first pregnancy, you honestly might not know how you'll feel after your child's birth. Will you want to return to work immediately? After three months? A year? You may need more time to consider your options and determine your post-baby plans before making any promises to a new employer.

On the other hand, consider how a new employer would feel when you reveal your pregnancy just a few months after starting a new position. Accepting a job without telling your employer you're pregnant could permanently affect your relationship.

You may worry that you'll lose your chance for the job if you disclose that you're pregnant, and you might be right. But if a pregnant employee is a deal breaker for your boss, that might be a red flag to you that the job wouldn't be family-friendly enough for a new mom anyway.

If you do disclose that you're pregnant and are offered the job, this also gives you a chance to discuss your potential employer's health benefits during the interview or with an HR person to determine what kind of coverage you'd have for your pregnancy and new baby before accepting the position.

Watch the video: When is it Safe to Announce Your Pregnancy? (July 2022).


  1. Aescby

    Your idea is useful

  2. Nikogal

    I apologize for interfering, I would also like to express my opinion.

  3. Meletios

    There may be another option

  4. Shakagami

    Interesting site, I especially want to highlight the design

  5. Leman

    I mean it's the wrong way.

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