Telling Your Boss You’re Pregnant: 5 Tips

 

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Image adapted from iStock

When my husband and I were first talking about baby number two, I had a few concerns — how we would pay for daycare for two, how my son would deal with having a sibling, and, oddly enough, how my manager might react to my maternity leave. 

Now, I don't mean that my manager is a completely irrational, uncaring, cruel person — actually, he's quite the opposite. However, in the big scheme of my career at my place of employment, I haven't been working for him all that long. The first time around, I had a different manager, a manager with a family, with whom I'd worked for three years before my bun was in the oven. For whatever reason, telling my old boss was natural and effortless.  My new current manager is younger, doesn’t’ have children and is relatively new to managing.

For whatever reason, telling my old boss was natural and effortless.

I didn't intend to tell my current manager about my pregnancy until after the 12-week mark. I just didn't feel the same impulsive need to share the news with everyone like I did with my first, and plus, well, I was nervous. There, I said it. I told my closest work friend the news, contingent on the promise to keep the lid on it. My plan was working perfectly, until morning sickness rendered me unable to get out of bed. Even after starting a prescription nausea medicine, daily life at work was rough. To complicate matters, my manager loves to organize team lunches, so I had to become more and more creative with ways to beg out of eating with the group. 

A few weeks later (about 8 weeks) I pulled my neck sleeping (yes, sleeping) and ended up in excruciating pain. I was a mess, and couldn't take anything but Tylenol. I knew at this point my excuses were getting tougher to juggle, so I bit the bullet. 

I told my manager about my pregnancy out of necessity, and I’m glad I did, as a few days later I was in the ER being treated for a pinched nerve (and it was much easier to explain how complicated it is since my manager knew I was pregnant.) It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, but it could have gone much smoother.

For other mamas doing the delicate work-life balance dance, here are some tips for announcing your pregnancy to your manager in the most comfortable way.

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Image via Flickr/United States Government Work

Wait as long as you can before spilling the news. It’s an exciting time, but so many things can happen. Additionally, you may need a little extra time to create a plan for your absence – or even work up the nerve to tell your manager.

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Image via iStock

You know your manager best, so try to anticipate his or her reaction and questions he or she may have in response. Being prepared will help ease your anxiety, too.

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Image via iStock

Be up front about things like your doctor’s appointments and complications that may interrupt your work. Try to schedule appointments far in advance so you can alert your manager of your schedule. Most managers are very understanding.

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Image via iStock

Create a plan for your absence. Provide a timeline for project completion, names of individuals who can assist during your maternity leave, and a list of answers to questions that relate to your position.

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Image via iStock

Call your HR office before you speak to your supervisor and find out what your company’s maternity policy is. Try to have a good idea of how much time you’ll be away from the office after your baby’s birth. Although it can always change, it’s best to know what kind of policy is in place.

Do you have any other tips for telling your manager about your pregnancy?

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Telling Your Boss You’re Pregnant: 5 Tips

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

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9 comments

  1. Aubrey says:

    When I found out I was pregnant with my second son, I had only been at the gold company a few months as a temp employee. We were super busy filling orders, but that would ease up right around the last month of my pregnancy. So when I told my manager, she was floored (When I found out, I was 3 months along) but excited. As a tacker, my belly made a good arm rest while I was working, until baby started kicking my arms. Everyone would stop and watch the kicks screw up what I was doing and laugh like crazy! Even though I was a temp, right after I was done with unpaid maternity leave, they hired me on as a full time employee.

  2. ~AJs~Mommy~ says:

    I told my boss at 19 wks because I just couldn’t hide it any longer. I was fired a week later. They said it was for other reasons, but they were never addressed before I spilled it.

  3. Melissa says:

    This time gonna try to hide it til 12 weeks.

  4. Bridget says:

    I was actually really lucky in so far as that I was actually hired at six months pregnant with full disclosure. It wasn’t a high pressure job or anything just waiting tables, but I was feeling good and our family could use the extra money. I ended up calling in the last week before my maternity leave because of sciatic nerve issues, but it was a great experience and got me out of the house for a bit before I had to become a shut in for a while 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I told my boss and he tried to have me fired for the next several months. I the meantime he would make demeaning comments about my pregnancy. It was terrible.

  6. Elena says:

    During my first pregnancy I told my boss at 22 weeks. I waited to complete my annual assessment and get the raise I want based on my achievements. And I got it exactly how I wanted. I am sure, nobody would give me a raise knowing I would leave 2 months later. Everything went fine with the boss and I left the company without any issues and having all the maternity payments according to the law.
    Now I am pregnant again and again waited until 20 weeks because had to sort out some agreements for the new year. I told my boss about the pregnancy on Dec 27th when he got back and happy from Christmas. Everything went fine again 🙂
    Just wait for the perfect moment and don’t tell too early but also not too late until somebody asks you.

    • Mariah says:

      You can make it to 22 weeks without showing?!? holy cow, I’m impressed!! I’m currently at 15 weeks and going to have to tell soon because I’m definitely rounder around the middle. My problem is this is number 6. Luckily I work at a college and am due in the summer so it shouldn’t be too disruptive since we all work on the semester system…hopefully.

  7. Lauren says:

    I waited till my second trimester to tell my boss I was pregnant. My boss was a you know what. I was an assist manger at a storage facility… I was fired 12 days later in an email and have been in a lawsuit for almost 2 years, so much so that it’s going to federal court. There is never an easy way too tell your employer you’re pregnant in any job.

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