Pregnancy: Telling Your Boss & Colleagues
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a popular article from The Family Room blog archives:
The minute I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to tell the world. This is my first child and as I was planning elaborate reveals to celebrate with friends and family, I also started wondering how to tell my manager and colleagues the news. I started getting nervous, thinking about how they would react and wondering if they thought my performance would be affected. I learned three surprising lessons when I eventually told them.
Tips for Telling Your Boss & Colleagues You’re Pregnant
Don’t feel pressured to wait 12 weeks. Everyone has a different pregnancy experience. I had horrible morning sickness that kept me out of the office more than normal. I lasted about seven weeks before I had to spill the beans. I learned that it is important to keep your manager in the loop, especially if you may not be in the office as much and need a little flexibility while getting over the first (and second) trimester hurdles. I was scared to tell my boss but felt an overwhelming sense of relief afterward knowing that I had the support I needed.
Don’t be afraid to take on new projects. I found out I was pregnant at the same time I began to lead a new project. I was out of the office a lot because of morning sickness, so I made sure to create a plan to handle the new demands and openly communicate with my managers. Taking on a new project was exciting and allowed me to keep growing professionally. Initially, you might think that you would have to give up new projects knowing you will be out on leave within a few months, but this wasn’t the case for me. When it comes time for me to go out on maternity leave, I have a transition plan in place so that another team member can easily step in.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Whenever I felt sick, cranky or just downright uncomfortable, I made sure to keep my boss in the loop. If I needed to go home and take my medicine, I let her know when I would be back and what the statuses were on my projects. As long as I was able to set expectations and reset them when needed, we were able to keep things moving while I managed the ups and downs of being pregnant. My boss was more understanding and willing to be flexible because she felt comfortable that I wasn’t letting anything slip through the cracks.
Seven months in, I am still able to finish each workday with a sense of accomplishment.
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