For many women, especially those who work in high pressure, productivity-related jobs, telling their boss and department heads they are pregnant can be stressful. It doesn’t have to be if you prepare. American Pregnancy put up a great post sharing excellent tips on how to prepare to do just that.
Of the tips that stood out, as an attorney, I highly endorse the following two:
- Read your company’s maternity leave policy in their handbook and do some online research as well to get to know your state’s laws concerning pregnancy, maternity leave, and pay for when you’re on leave.
- Put a plan into place that you can present to your boss. Think of who can cover on short notice if nausea sets in unexpectedly or you need to schedule a doctor’s visit during lunch.
Also, as the post notes, you don’t have to wait until you are 12 weeks to make your announcement, but since your chances of miscarrying reduce by 80% by then, it would be a good time to wait until you are at least that far along.
Certainly, you are free to wait longer but you may start to show at 20 weeks and you want to make sure you give your job adequate time to plan for your maternity leave and departure.
I know that some women elect to put it off as long as possible because they fear they will lose out on plum projects and opportunities if their office realizes they will be away from the job in the coming months. It’s a fragile thing, but planning is the best remedy to alleviate some of that anxiety.
Once an employer realizes you know your rights, they may be less likely to do something stupid like try to fire you or take away key responsibilities that you can handle perfectly fine until you deliver!