Read This Before You Tell Your Boss You're Pregnant

Finding out you're pregnant is a life-shifting moment. It's normal for your emotions to play tug-of-war, and there are many things to think about when receiving news this big. You're excited, scared, anxious, and uncertain. What can complicate this news for many career-focused women is thinking about telling their boss. It's time for celebration for some, while it's not for others. Even still, many women worry about how things will go at work. You'll need extended time to bond with the baby, and when you come back to work, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. 


In theory, this shouldn't be such a terrifying feat, but it's normal to have anxious feelings. Pregnancy shifts a person's life in many ways, but some women feel that they will be stigmatized for being pregnant or have to overcompensate before having the baby (via The Washington Post). Before you march into the boss' office with news of your new bundle of joy, consider these things.

Know your rights

Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was established in 1978, women still report discrimination when it comes to being pregnant or potentially becoming pregnant. Things like being overlooked for a promotion and other personnel decisions should not be altered because an employee is pregnant. If this happens, it can be hard to prove (via The New York Times). That's why it's important to know your rights before embarking on the task of breaking this news to your boss.


Technically speaking, if your place of work employs 15 or more people, you don't need to tell your employer about your pregnancy until 30 days before birth, per the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, you'll definitely want to tell your boss before this time frame since there is quite a bit that goes into covering workplace absences. It's also advisable to read up on your company's maternity leave policy before dishing the news (via The Muse). Knowing what your rights are going into the office is key.

Timing is everything

Most experts recommend waiting until the first trimester is complete to share the pregnancy information. This is usually when the risk of miscarriage lowers. After the first trimester is also right around the time that many women start to show (via Most mothers feel more confident and have settled into the realization that a new family member is on their way. It can be difficult to wait this long if you are a person who suffers from morning sickness, but it's best if you can hold off until you and your baby are in the clear for a healthy pregnancy. Once you reach this point, it's generally safe to tell your employer.


Tell your boss before your colleagues

Expecting a baby is exciting news, and you may want to tell your close friends at work. However, you will be so grateful you waited until you told your boss first. News like this can leak easily, and the last thing you want is for your boss to feel betrayed in this process by finding out about the pregnancy from a coworker, or — worse yet — social media (via BabyCenter). Respecting the process and your employer will help everyone appreciate this new chapter for you.


Calm your nerves

For many moms, it can be nerve-racking to tell your boss you are pregnant. New mothers often worry about judgment from others, as well as the incorrect idea that they can't have both a family and a successful career. The truth is that you can have both. Maternity leave is a right, and taking a pause to connect with your newborn will only help your family. 


In addition, time management and resourcefulness grow from new motherhood challenges (via You should feel supported at a time as special as this, and worrying about how others feel is simply a waste of time. Before you share the exciting news, take some deep breaths and know you are doing amazing things.

Be confident and celebrate

Once you set up the meeting, discuss this with your boss confidently. Take on a confident tone as you enter the office. Telling your boss face-to-face — or on a video call if you're remote — is recommended so that everyone can be on the same page (via BabyCenter). It's advisable to have a plan in mind, too. Explain how long you'll need for maternity leave and when you think you'll be transitioning back to work.


It's natural to be nervous about sharing this news, but trust yourself and the process. Many have fought for the rights pregnant individuals have, so laws have been put into place for a seamless transition in and out of maternity leave (via The New York Times). You have rights, and it's good to know that you are supported.

This is a time full of big emotions. Nothing is as life-altering as adding a new family member. Know the policies of your workplace and your own personal rights. When you are ready, walk into this meeting with confidence.