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The Big Reveal: 4 tips for telling your job you’re pregnant

Becoming pregnant can be a joyous and equally nervous time for mothers, especially new ones. Some women want to scream from a mountaintop when revealing the great news, while others are more apprehensive.  Especially when careers are a major factor.

We’re sharing a few tips featured in The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy to guide you through this life changing experience.

Your Job: Most women advise holding off telling your job for as long as possible. That gives you time to do some research and preparation and decreases the months you feel your work performance is under a microscope.

Before you tell your boss:

  1. Research your employer’s health plan and parental leave policy. Check out the company’s Web site, anonymously call human services or personnel department, or check with your union rep. Get the specifics on what type of paid and unpaid leave you may be eligible for. Some companies offer some unpaid leave that still includes benefits. And tell your man to get it cracking, too- dads are now eligible for family leave.
  2. allow your pregnancy to progress. Two or three months can give your doctor some indication as to whether complications or special needs are likely to develop. These factors can affect the time off you may need before and after  the birth.
  3. don’t automatically assume you’ll just take the standard leave and that’s it. It may be hard to imagine what life will be like with a new baby. Sure, your career minded self says, I need to be back at the office, but the new mommy self may want as much time as possible at home. And if that’s financially possible– a real option after financial guide in Chapter Twelve–then why not? As you prepare to discuss your pregnancy and leave, include several different scenarios. That gives your boss framework for creating a flexible plan. For example, come up with a three-moth, six-month, and twelve month leave options. Even if it doesn’t happen, think it through. Better to have an idea of how it can work earlier on than to wait until your hands are full with a new baby.
  4. Pick a good time to talk to your boss. Ask [their] assistant what other activities, deadlines, or travel commitments are coming up so you can pick a day when he’s not rushing, stressed out, or in a plain ole bad mood. Depending on your relationship with your boss and the company policy, you may write [them] a letter instead. Either way, be sure to express your commitment and long-term interest in your job and the company. Employers  can be more generous when they don’t sense that you’re about to jump ship.


Excerpted from The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy  by Kimberly Seals Allers (Amistad/HarperCollins)

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