Tell Work You're Pregnant on Your Own Terms

How to Tell Work You're Pregnant

March 31, 2017

How to Tell Work You're Pregnant

How to Tell Work You're Pregnant
How to Tell Work You're Pregnant

Eager to tell your family and friends about your little bun? Your mom and BFFs are the easy part. Telling work is harder. Because maternity leave. You’re not alone, sister.

Most women feel uncomfortable telling work they’re pregnant.

First get to know your company’s maternity leave policy and the Family Medical Leave Act. Here are the basics: you get 12 weeks off to care for your child if you’ve worked at the same place for more than 12 months and your company has more than 50 employees. Moms, dads, birth, adoption, permanent foster placements, it’s all covered.

Local considerations:

  • If you live in California, you get six weeks off paid!
  • New York new parental leave laws went into effect in January 2018.
  • A few other states have a smattering of laws that allow for paid sick leave or medical leave for pregnancy-related disabilities. Know your rights.

So back to that work convo. This is one of the few times it’s okay to lie. Or at least omit information. If you’re waiting on a performance review or year-end bonus, use your discretion. You can also buy yourself some time after the 12-week mark.

Pro tip: Don’t look at baby stuff on your work computer unless you’re in incognito mode. You will get retargeted ads for that Babyletto crib during a presentation.

If you’re interviewing or changing jobs right now, more power to you. Rebecca Ruiz is your new spirit animal.

When you are ready to announce your big news, be prepared with what you want: six weeks? Six months? A part-time transition period? A crib in your office? If you know what you want and you’re a valuable employee, you’re poised to do this on your own terms. Here’s a good formula for making it all go smoothly:

  • Tell your boss first

  • Work together to tell HR

  • Communicate your specific plans and transition timeline to the rest of the team

Even though your boss might be uncertain about what to do in your absence, everyone loves a baby and they will be so excited for you–if they’re human.

And remember becoming a parent is a clarifying moment that reminds you what’s really important. Whether you hate your job, love it or are somewhere in between, this conversation is an opportunity to figure out the best path for you and the family you’re making.

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