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How to tell your employer you’re pregnant

If you’re expecting your first child, you will soon have to tell your employer you will be going on maternity leave. Here’s how to broach the topic and manage the conversation.

Pregnant woman at work

Not sure how to handle telling your boss you’re expecting? It can be a nerve-racking conversation to have, but follow these words of advice to help your meeting go smoothly.

Decide on the right time to tell your boss

There’s no perfect time to tell your boss your news, but as with sharing the news with most people, it’s smart to wait until after your first trimester. If you’re experiencing serious cases of morning sickness, though, you may have to tell your boss sooner, as you may need to explain why you’ve been late to work or why you have to step out in the middle of the day to see your doctor.

It also doesn’t hurt to give your boss the news when he or she is having a good day. If they’re particularly stressed over a proposal or for some reason in a bad mood, best to hold off until they’re in better spirits.

Be prepared with the information your boss will want to know

Your superior will want to know how long of a maternity leave you plan to take. If your news is unexpected to them, they may feel particularly panicked about how your responsiblities will be covered while you are on mat leave, so consider and suggest a plan for who might take over your job while you’re away, and if you have one,  present a plan of how you will help train this person.

Prepare your questions for your employer

Be knowledgeable about your rights as a pregnant employee in your province, and at the same time, be prepared with questions for your boss or human resources about what the policy and benefits are within your company.

Brace yourself for a possible lacklustre or even negative reaction

Even if your boss is happy for you, their immediate reaction may be less than joyous. After all, you’ve suddenly added to their workload, and they have more solutions to figure out. They need to make sure the company still meets deadlines and targets, and your upcoming leave will throw things off the plan. Understand that as a friend they might be thrilled for you, but as your boss, they have to keep the company’s objectives in mind.

More on pregnancy

How to prepare for your maternity leave
Understanding your prenatal care options
How to hide that you’re pregnant

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