Discovering your pregnancy is a time of excitement and anxiety. After all, the next few months can be fraught with morning sickness, fear of the unknown and stress. When it comes to balancing work and pregnancy, many women report that giving the news to their employer is one of the most stressful tasks during the entire process. After all, it’s hard to know just how your boss is going to react. To help sharing the news go smoothly, follow these four tips:
Pick a good time
While you may want to shout a pregnancy announcement from the rooftop of the building, you do need to pick the right time to tell your boss. Pick a time you’re not feeling overly emotional and when your boss isn’t in a hurry. While there isn’t a legal requirement for you to even inform your employer, it is a good idea to bring it up early on if the pregnancy is starting to interfere with your daily duties. Otherwise, your boss may not realize those frequent trips to the bathroom are due to morning sickness.
Don’t tell co-workers first
While you may be closer to some of your co-workers than others, it’s not a good idea to tell some people and not others. After all, odds are that office gossip will spread the news around anyway. Rather, keep mum about the bun in your oven until your boss already knows. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that your boss will be offended by hearing about it through the grapevine.
Know your legal rights
Depending on the company and your work history, you’ll likely qualify for FMLA. While FMLA doesn’t grant you paid time off, it does give you the legal right to time off during the pregnancy or after the baby is born. While it’s important to know your legal rights, approach the situation like your employer wants to treat you fair. While pregnancy is not considered a disability, may of the conditions caused by pregnancy can be. If you feel like you’re being discriminated against, thoroughly document what is happening. Afterwards, bring it up calmly with human resources.
Let your employer know your long-term plans
Many employers feel uncomfortable asking if employees plan to return to the company after the baby’s arrival, so you should take charge here. Let your boss know your expected due date, how much FMLA or maternity leave you plan to take and ask what your boss needs from you during the transition time. This is where pregnancy complications, like twins, should be brought up. After all, conditions that make your pregnancy higher-risk could dramatically change the timeline without warning. While the above tips are important, perhaps the most important step of all is to relax. Your boss is likely to pick up on your anxiety, and your stress may make him/her more anxious, too. Just create a plan for how to tell your boss that you’re pregnant, take a deep breath, and remember the bundle of joy you’ll be holding before too long.