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It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.



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Hey, Boss…

Telling your workplace you’re pregnant

By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

  The test was positive and you were excited; it’s been hard not telling the world that you are going to have a baby.

 Perhaps you choose to keep it quiet, at least in some areas of your life, for the first thirteen or so weeks. Or just long enough to tell the Grandparents and close friends first.

 Whether it’s thirteen weeks later, or you’ve just found out, telling your Boss the good news is often a daunting task.

 With your Boss, there’s not just the personal level as your Boss still needs your job done and will wonder about your maternity leave and coping without you, and so on. And, maybe, the relationship is very formal so personal topics are hard to raise. Or any number of other factors comes into play to make it awkward to tell your boss.

 Regardless of the relationship you have with your Boss, consider the following points: 

    Tell your Manager before you announce it to other work colleagues; it’s courteous and respectful to so. Any close friends at work may be told earlier, but only if they are able to keep a secret!

    Tell him or her privately and when you are both free to sit and talk for five or ten minutes; ideally, divert phones or sit away from your desks to have your chat.

    Choose your timing. If a major job is due tomorrow, wait for the next day; don’t try and tell minutes before your Boss is due in a meeting or to leave for home.

    If you are at all concerned about the response, do some research first. Find out what the company policies are on maternity leave and know the safety aspects of pregnancy in relation to your duties, as well as any legal requirements in your state and industry.

    Consider your options and desires before hand so you can tell your Boss whether you plan to return to work, and when. You are free to change your mind later, but give your boss the chance to start planning for your absence.

    Tell your boss before it becomes obvious! This may give you more or less time in which to do it, but don’t let you boss have to ask if you’ve just put on weight …

    Many people wait until after the first trimester (at about 13 or 14 weeks) so there is less miscarriage risk. However, if you can’t wait, that’s fine to tell work sooner. Consider, too, that if you are having problems with morning sickness or need a change in duties, you may be best to tell earlier than 13 weeks.

    Be prepared to ask about part time and work-from options for after baby’s arrival – or even beforehand – if you want to keep your job. Not all jobs suit such arrangements, but it may be worth asking the question if it matters to you.

    Negotiate different conditions if necessary. When I was heavily pregnant in summer, I worked to seven at night as the office was air conditioned and I was more comfortable there and I then took some long lunch breaks for a nap instead.

    If there are other expectant or new Mums in the company (or department for a bigger place,) you could always ask them about how their news was received – and how they did it! Of course, this may result in some people knowing before your Boss, so be discrete with who you ask!

    Wait until after a job or salary review if one is imminent – then no one can associate the two, deliberately or otherwise. Of course, be careful about future plans made in such a review …

    If possible, announce it just after completing a major job or some other achievement as this demonstrates you are still focusing on work which may be a concern for your Boss.

    Depending on circumstances, you may wish to confirm agreements from the meeting in writing afterwards. Include such details as changed responsibilities, duties or hours as well as anticipated leave arrangements. Ensure a copy of the memo/letter goes in your personnel file.

    If there are doubts or concerns, talk to your Doctor or midwife first so you know where you stand medically before needing to discuss this with your Boss.

 Of course, some people find it easy to talk to their Boss, and want a different approach for fun!

 The following list includes some fun ways of sharing your news …

    Have a coffee and tell him/her in a casual format

    Pull out building plans to determine where the crèche will fit or reorganise your work area to fit in a cot!

    Write a formal memo, using obscure wording to announce the news

    Fill in a leave application for 12 months leave in nine months’ time and see how long it takes for him/her to register the times involved

    Let your Boss find you scribbling with crayons at your desk – then explain you’re practising for your new role!

    Ask him/her little questions over a period of time until the penny drops (eg “do you prefer John or Tom?” “is lemon or lime a better neutral colour?” or “I’m thinking of learning to knit”)

    If your boss is a parent, start asking lots of questions about when the kids did certain things, how they made decisions, where the baby was born, and so forth.

    You could ask “Do you want the good news {pregnant} or the bad news {I’m leaving} first?” and take it from there

    Set up a little chair beside your desk as “you’re working for two now”

    Wear or place on your desk a Learner sign – although this may be less relevant if you already have a child at home!

    Send him/her a teddy bear from “someone looking forward to meeting Mummy’s Boss in seven months”

    If it is close to a particular event like Christmas, his/her birthday or Boss’s Day, send a card or email from the baby – or just from you as usual but sign it from you and Baby.

    Send a memo or email requesting s/he plans no meetings or deadlines for you on a given date as you have major plans that day 

And remember that not everyone is as excited as you about your baby. If your Boss isn’t particularly positive, that’s his or her choice and needn’t stop YOU enjoying the fact you’re pregnant!


Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and assists businesses in preparing all written documentation and web site content. Tash also writes parenting and business articles for inclusion in newsletter and web sites.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.


© 2003, Tash Hughes