How to announce your pregnancy at work. Congratulations on your pregnancy and being a working pregnant woman is not an easy task. Expectant working mothers feel delighted while sharing their good news with their loved ones but become hesitant to tell their professional coworkers and boss about their good news. Most women report that this conversation is scary for them.
How to discuss pregnancy at work?
- Decide when you would want to announce your pregnancy at the workplace.
- Make sure you are informing your boss before informing others.
- Secondly, you should inform your team.
- Start inquiring about your company policies regarding maternity benefits.
- Research about your maternity rights and laws.
It is even more nerve-wracking if your company doesn’t provide paid family leave. After you have made your decision regarding when to announce your pregnancy, you have to take various steps to ensure that your news is well received.
How to Announce Your Pregnancy at Work
Timing of announcement
The timing of your announcement can also be a source of confusion and anxiety for you.
A lot of women decide to inform their pregnancy in the workplace after the first semester. But your decision regarding the announcement has to be a personal one and it will be based on many factors such how your pregnancy symptoms, the size of the baby bump, the kind of work that you have to do, or your company policies.
Try not to wait till you are visibly pregnant before informing your boss about your pregnancy. If you are experiencing morning sicknesses such as severe nausea or vomiting frequently would be best to inform your boss about your pregnancy.
Keep in mind your workplace hazards. If you are exposed to any harmful chemicals or your job is particularly strenuous then you should tell your boss even before your first trimester and request for a transfer or a change of job role.
Another good tip to remember would be to wait before sharing the news until the upcoming appraisal is over. If you have any performance review coming up soon then wait till your results are in. This will prevent any bias in your results.
Inform your boss
Most women feel frightened about sharing their pregnancy news with their boss. Women are afraid of losing their jobs because of being pregnant. Remember that discrimination based on pregnancy is prohibited and you are protected by laws from that kind of action.
Before telling any of your co-workers, no matter how trusted they are, you should inform your boss about your pregnancy.
Your boss should be the first one to hear about it and the news of your pregnancy should be coming from you and not anybody else. This also means you can not share your news on any social media before you share it with your boss and your workplace. You can announce your pregnancy when you are in the 12th week.
Place of meeting with your boss
After you have decided when to tell your boss, you should start thinking about where you should share this news.
You should opt for a face to face conversation with your boss so that you can gauge your boss’s reaction after you have shared your news.
Don’t choose a day when your boss is in a rush, is having a particularly bad day or is in a bad mood. It might be even better to make an appointment for this occasion.
Choose a quiet and private place to share your information. If you don’t find any suitable place or time in your workspace then ask your boss to go for a cup of coffee or lunch where you can have a conversation with your boss.
Keep the conversation brief. Tell your boss that you have some good news to share, make your announcement, and inform your due date.
You may start discussing your preliminary thoughts regarding maternity benefits and how you intend to manage your projects while you’re gone but it is not essential at this stage.
Remember to reiterate the fact that this is good news.
Remember that just as you are nervous your boss is also going to be worried regarding their business and what your pregnancy is going to mean for the ongoing projects.
Before going to have the conversation have some preliminary thoughts on whether you plan on coming back to work after your leave and how you plan on managing the work. The first conversation is going to be the foundation of further conversations and remember to indicate that your lines of communication are open.
The first conversation is a good time to show your boss that you are committed to your work and the company.
Inform your team and co-workers
You don’t have to call a special meeting to announce the news of your pregnancy. You probably have a weekly team meeting or a regularly scheduled time and place when you and all your team members gather to discuss the project and that would be the perfect time to announce the news.
You can just simply inform them that you are pregnant and let them know about your due date. If you don’t have any news regarding your maternity leave and coverage plan then you should tell them that you will let them know about the details soon.
If you don’t have any scheduled meeting or you don’t go out together after work for catching up, you can opt for a team email if that is your company’s culture.
You can even tell your team members individually about your news stop. If you opt for sharing the news individually then remember to inform everyone within a day or two so that you don’t have to face a situation where half of your team members know about your pregnancy and others don’t.
This way you will not have to face any rumors. Some people may get offended that you have not informed them if you don’t inform everyone within a few days.
Don’t be frightened and stay professional. Always maintain an unapologetic tone while sharing your news. Stay professional while sharing your news and don’t start with “I am sorry”. You have nothing to be afraid of or to apologize about. Maternity is a gift and a part of human life.
Maintain a neutral tone and convey that you understand how your baby’s arrival can be difficult for your organization and follow up with how you plan on maintaining your commitment to your work. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that your pregnancy is going to affect your work. You will need to have more bathroom bakes and you will start gaining weight and your team has to be supportive of you during the journey.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any concrete plans yet. Most working women don’t have a concrete plan regarding maternity leave and coverage while sharing the news. It’s ok if you tell your boss and team that you are figuring things out. However, it will be easier for you to start planning for the transition.
Sharing the news of your pregnancy with your boss and co-workers can be daunting but remember that it is positive news and you should share it as one. Always be professional and unapologetic about your pregnancy. Remember to follow the informational hierarchy of letting your boss know about your pregnancy before informing your coworkers about it.
Always remember that laws are protecting you against any discrimination because you are pregnant.
Show your boss and coworkers that you are committed to your job and the company. Be honest and open about your physical needs and requirements as you move further along your pregnancy. Develop a transition plan and work out the details of your maternity benefits and maternity leave with your boss in the upcoming conversations.
Keep the lines of communication open with your boss and coworkers so that the transition is smoother.
FAQs about to announce Your Pregnancy to Work
1. Should I inform the interviewer about my pregnancy while I am taking an interview?
If you are going out for interviews while you are pregnant then you are not obligated to share your pregnancy with the prospective employers. It may be easier for you to land the job if you hold back on sharing the news of a pregnancy until you receive an offer letter. If your employer revokes the offer after learning about your pregnancy then you will have laws protecting you on the grounds of discrimination against pregnant women and you can hire a lawyer for that.
However, not telling your employer about your pregnancy during the interview may lead to some hard conversations after you join.
2. Should I let my boss know that I don’t plan on coming back to work after my maternity leave is over?
The best way to proceed would be to hold back on sharing your plans of not coming back to work after maternity leave. You may change your mind after your baby arrives. Often women report that after their baby arrives, they realize that being a stay at home mum is not going to suit them and they regret their decision to not going back to work.
At work, you should proceed as if you are going to come back to work after your maternity leave gets over. In case you don’t change your mind about not coming back to work, you can always let your employer and coworkers know about your decision after your maternity leave is over.
3. When should I let my customers and clients know about my pregnancy?
You should follow the informational hierarchy. Your boss should be the first to know, then your team members and your other co-workers. Your customers or clients and any other outside vendors should be the last to know. You can wait till you are further along your pregnancy to let them know about your news unless you meet any of them regularly in a face-to-face meeting.
However, whenever you do decide to tell them, remember to make them feel safe and assure them that they are in good hands and that their needs will always be met. Let them know how the transition is going to be handled.
4. Should I confirm my maternity benefits in writing from my boss?
After you have worked out with your boss on the details of your maternity leave and maternity benefits and coverage plan, you should confirm it from your boss in writing. This would avoid any kind of confusion from either of the parties later on.
5. What should I do if I am treated unfairly after sharing the news of my pregnancy?
While sharing the news of your pregnancy with your boss do discuss your physical limitations or needs. If your boss starts to treat you differently after hearing the news you should report in writing about such discrimination to the HR department. In case your HR department ignores your complaint or is unable to fully address your complaint, you can file a discrimination charge with the authorities responsible for the protection of rights.
Under the pregnancy discrimination act (PDA) you have to prove that other co-workers who are not pregnant but are in a situation of comparable temporary limitation got a better treatment. You can do this by taking detailed notes with dates regarding how your boss is treating you compared to other employees who asked for similar temporary accommodation.