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Telling the Boss You’re Pregnant

You're expecting, and you're ecstatic. But how should you tell your supervisor? To ensure the announcement goes as smoothly as possible:

Have a Plan
First, familiarize yourself with the company's family-leave policies. Read the employee handbook, or discreetly ask coworkers who've recently been through the process. Then, decide how much time off you want.

Before you meet with your boss, come up with suggestions for how your work should be handled when you're gone, says Laura Castergine, a family-resource consultant for Ceridian Performance Partners, a Minneapolis-based work/family consulting firm. Should it be parceled out, reassigned to one staffer, or given to a temp? Also, figure out whether you want to return full-time or ease back part-time.

Wait, But Not Too Long
Most moms-to-be break the news at the end of the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage drops significantly and it becomes difficult to disguise a growing belly. But if you're having a complication (such as severe morning sickness) that may cause you to miss work, or if your job is potentially hazardous to your unborn baby, you might have to announce earlier.

Tell Your Boss First
No manager wants to find out an employee's expecting via the grapevine.

Arrange a Meeting
Don't stop your supervisor in the hallway with "By the way...." Set up an appointment instead. Afterward, follow up with a memo: Outline the length of your leave, how your work will get done, and, of course, your plans for coming back.

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