Corporate Wellness

How To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant

Getting pregnant is an exciting milestone in your life. During this life-changing phase in your life, you want to ensure that people around you know what’s going on, including your boss. Here’s what you should know when discussing pregnancy at work.

By Aditi
15 Dec 2022

There is no definite time to announce your pregnancy at the workplace. This decision entirely lies in your hand and can be influenced by factors like the kind of work you do, how you feel, how family-friendly your company is, and what stage you are at with your pregnancy.

Choosing a time to inform your immediate superior about your pregnancy is completely up to you. If you have a colleague at work who you are close to, it is okay to tell them first and ask about the best way to reveal this news to your boss.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you decide to tell your boss about your pregnancy.


Related story: Pregnancy At 35: What To Expect


How To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant When Working At The Office

A good working equation in the office makes it easier to hold face-to-face meetings with your boss, especially when you want to break the big news! Here is how you can go about arranging a meeting and informing your boss about your pregnancy:


1. Book A Proper Time Slot

The last thing you would want to do is make a rushed revelation, especially when you’re just about to leave for the day. Schedule a proper meeting with your employer to discuss your pregnancy announcement at the office.


2. Don’t Offer An Explanation

Apologising means you feel guilty either about your decision to work while being pregnant or the decision to get pregnant while still working. It could be quite a negative way to start a positive conversation. Instead, talk about how ecstatic you are about starting a family while balancing your career.

We spoke to Dr. C Manjula Rao, Clinical Psychologist, Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad about how to talk to your boss on a difficult topic like pregnancy. According to her, maintaining eye contact and having a soft gaze are crucial to ensure that your boss doesn’t feel like they’re being challenged. Use ‘I’ statements to focus on your needs so they know that this is your decision and what is acceptable for them to say or not.

When it comes to telling your colleagues, you first have to decide at what stage of your pregnancy you want to tell your colleagues, according to Dr. Manjula. “We need to choose a time when we are going to talk about pregnancy. Usually it is in the beginning of the second trimester. Or if you are working in a very small team and your team is completely dependent on you, then you have to inform them earlier so they can prepare accordingly.”


3. Make A Plan But Stay Flexible

Having a plan and discussing it with your employer is ideal, but be open to their suggestions. Work together to put a system in place that ensures you have a comfortable time working. Don’t forget to create a process to ensure a smooth transition to maternity leave.


4. Give It In Writing

Once you have discussed your pregnancy at work, it’s time to confirm the news by having formal written evidence of the announcement. Give the details about your pregnancy and maternity leave timeline in an email to avoid confusion and disruption of workflow.

“It’s always better to inform your immediate manager and HR, and then your colleagues. Document the announcement. Write an email after informing your office about your pregnancy, and who will need to reach out to whom once you are on maternity leave. Remember to communicate often so you are in touch with your boss and HR throughout your pregnancy. Share updates as often as possible so your team is in the loop and can adapt accordingly,” says Dr. Manjula.


Related story: The Best Breathing Exercise For a Smooth Pregnancy and Easy Delivery


How To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant When Working From Home

Many companies are still opting to continue work-from-home or hybrid working situations. In situations like these, prepping yourself and figuring out how to tell your boss about your pregnancy while working from home is important.

Again, setting up a one-on-one meeting is the best way to do it. This could be done either remotely or by visiting them in their office. Whatever you choose, ensure you follow the above steps to make the best out of the situation.


How To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant Through An Email

Not many people have access or the opportunity to talk to their employer or manager in person or even set up a virtual meeting. And writing an email makes these situations manageable. But it totally depends on the rapport you share with your boss. For example, if you have a good relationship, it’s better to fix an in-person meeting or a video call.

But if you are not yet at the level where a face-to-face meeting is comfortable, take the help of written words. This gives your manager enough time to process and approach the situation analytically.


Related story: How Much Physical Activity Is Ideal For Pregnant Women


Here are a few things to keep in mind while telling your employer about your pregnancy via email:


  • Keep things positive: Always begin the email with a cheerful greeting as to how excited you are to start the new chapter of motherhood in your life.
  • Mention your due date and working period: It’s best to clarify your working terms and maternity leave when you are informing your boss about the pregnancy. Write down your due date and mention the last day that you would work before beginning your maternity leave.
  • Plan of action: Leaving an organised and detailed plan for the person who will be your temporary replacement is ideal to prevent any misunderstandings. Explain your work profile to the person who will be working in your position to ensure that they are able to work smoothly.


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Preparing For Pregnancy Announcement

Once you've determined you will be telling people about the big news, it's time to prepare. Let's look at a few tips that will help you be more effective when you bring your news to your employer.


1. Research, Research, And Research!

Before telling your manager about your pregnancy, ensure you’re well-equipped with detailed information regarding your company’s maternity leave along with your legal rights.

Some organisations offer paid maternity leaves, while some still don’t. So, it’s time to shrug the dust off the company’s handbook and set up a meeting with the human resource department. Additionally, knowing your legal rights to family leaves and maternity breaks is crucial so you don’t end up working until the day you’re due.

Also, it’s a good idea to consider insurance coverage for delivery. Many employers have a plan that covers this aspect, but many don’t. So, figure out your condition and start working towards it.


2. Share Responsibilities

If you work in the field or are exposed to harmful chemicals, continuing to work even before your maternity leave begins is not ideal due to the increased workforce hazards. So, before planning to break the news to your boss, try to have a private conversation with your colleague and make arrangements for sharing your work responsibilities till your delivery.


3. Consider Your Time Off And Return

Being practical is more than necessary when you are pregnant and working simultaneously. You need to understand that after your delivery, you’ll be taking care of one more soul whom you might not be able to leave alone for quite a long time. Therefore, besides delegating tasks and responsibilities, it’s also crucial to consider your leave and your return period—when you choose to return to work.

Moreover, it’s also essential to assess whether you can live off a single income if you decide to extend your leave.


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Now, When To Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant

There are several other factors to consider before diving into the good news announcement. As important as the technique is, even timing plays a huge role. Let’s see when you can tell your employer you’re pregnant:


1. How Far the Pregnancy Has Reached

Most women tend to play safe, preferring to wait till their risk of miscarriage declines, usually after the first trimester.


2. Till Your Signs Show Up

It may get impossible to hide your big news if you’re constantly feeling nauseous and or when there’s a noticeable baby bump. In such scenarios, it’s always better to tell your boss before they approach you.


3. The Kind Of Job You Have

If you work somewhere where the workload is simply too much for you to deal with during your pregnancy, it might be better to inform your boss about your pregnancy as soon as possible.


4. Current Job Situation

There might be an annual raise or salary review meeting coming up, and you won’t want the pregnancy news to influence their decision on your appraisal. It’s better to wait for a few days in such cases.


Related story: 11 Incredible Early Signs Of Pregnancy You Should Know About


When To Not Tell Your Boss About Your Pregnancy

Although no legal policies can penalise you for being pregnant, it is justifiable if you think your pregnancy might affect your significance at the workplace because the chances of your good news being received negatively are not zero. Moreover, in some workplaces, women might feel like their new chapter can impact their professional lives adversely since many may have heard of pregnancy discrimination cases in the past.

As a result, it’s better to hold the excitement of sharing this news with your boss till your belly starts showing to minimise receiving any backlash. If you are working remotely, you can wait until much later.

Another reason some people keep the secret for long is due to the ugly office politics. Some co-workers might show strong concerns about how their responsibilities will grow if you take a break for parental reasons. And when you’re surrounded by these thoughts throughout the day, it might get difficult to navigate your own feelings.


What To Do When Facing Pregnancy Discrimination At Work

If you are facing pregnancy discrimination at work, here’s what you can do:


  • Learn about your maternity rights at the workplace, along with company policies
  • Document the discrimination instances
  • Talk to your boss about the situation
  • If not your boss, approach a human resource professional from your organisation
  • Seek legal help from a lawyer to assist you further


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