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How to Tell Your Manager You’re Expecting

Congratulations are definitely in order!  Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’re adding to your growing family, getting pregnant is definitely a celebratory event.  However, you may feel anxious about letting your manager know the news.  Follow these steps below to handle the conversation in a professional manner and how to tell your manager you’re expecting.

Let Your Manager Know First

Before you tell your colleagues and coworkers the news, you will want to have a one-on-one conversation with your manager.  You should speak with your manager first, before you let anyone else in the office know.

Your manager will be able to discuss next steps and will definitely congratulate you on the news.  You don’t want your manager to hear the news from someone else. You can either setup a separate one-on-one with your manager or wait until your scheduled meeting to discuss.

However, if you feel that your manager may not take the news well or may react in a difficult manner, then it is best to discuss with your Human Resources department beforehand.  They will be able to help you address with your manager.  In addition, you should know your rights when it comes to getting pregnant. 

Check Your Benefits

While you may be excited about the news, you will definitely want to review your employer’s policy regarding maternity (and paternity) leave.  Each company is different, and each state is different.

Read up on the employee handbook and understand the details and requirements.  Some companies offer maternity and paternity leave immediately upon hire.  Other companies require a certain amount of time employed at the company before you’re able to take advantage of the benefits.

If you are unsure of a policy, feel free to reach out to your Human Resources department for additional clarification.

Timing

Perhaps the most difficult part of the process is knowing when exactly to let your manager know that you are pregnant or expecting.  Typically, most women opt to let their managers know towards the end of their first trimester or the beginning of their second trimester.

The reasons for this vary, but the end of the first trimester and the beginning of the second are when most women begin to “show”.  Additionally, this time-period is usually marked by a decrease in miscarriage risk.

Discuss In Person and Be Brief

Discuss your pregnancy announcement and details with your manager in private and in a professional manner.  You can let them know you’re excited but will want to steer clear of getting too personal.

You should try to avoid too many intimate details which may not be appropriate for a work setting.  Be brief with letting your manager know and discuss next steps, including any major projects or tasks on your plate and who will be handling things while you’re on maternity leave.

You should focus the conversation on work and maternity leave benefits, including what you should expect from the leave and who will be handling your workload while you are on leave. 

You will also want to reassure your manager that you will have everything handled up until your leave begins.  In addition, you should let your manager know that you will have a full list of tasks and status on projects ready for reference in case needed.

Don’t Be Nervous!

While you may be excited and nervous to share the news, you should do so in a professional manner.  It is an exciting time in your life, but you should be careful to not overshare.  Give the news in person and professionally and discuss next steps at work.

Conclusion

Knowing how to tell your manager you’re expecting is an important step in keeping open, honest, and transparent communication between yourselves.  You should let your manager know before anyone else in the office and come-up with a game plan that is suitable for both you and the team.  Though you may be nervous, this is a natural and happy occasion and your manager will likely be happy for you.

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