Telling Your Boss the News
No matter how nervous you are, your maternity leave is one matter you must address in a timely, professional way. By preparing for such a discussion, you can cut a good deal with your boss -- and cut out a lot of stress.
Mind Your Health
Health factors can also influence your decision to tell your boss early in your pregnancy. "If you need to put your head on your desk every lunch hour for a nap, you may want to tell your supervisor earlier," says Robin Hardman, communications director for the Families and Work Institute in New York City.
That's what happened with BabyTalk senior associate editor Kristin O'Callaghan, who informed her bosses of her pregnancy when she was seven weeks along. "I had to explain why I was late for work and needed to lie down," she says.
And if your work environment or the job's rigors are potentially harmful to you or your fetus, you should tell your employer right away so you can discuss changing some of your responsibilities. Such jobs could include working with chemicals in a laboratory or factory, standing all day while styling hair or working at a checkout counter, or lifting heavy objects.
Whenever you tell, be sure not to blurt out the news to the office blabbermouth before informing your boss. "If your supervisor finds out through the grapevine, it sets up an atmosphere of distrust," warns Linda Anderson, a consultant with Hewitt Associates, which is a benefits consulting firm in Lincolnshire, IL.
When Patty Patino-Serrano, an account representative from Cicero, IL, informed her boss she was pregnant, he didn't seem as ecstatic as her mother had been. But, Patino-Serrano says, when he found out she wasn't quitting, he was so relieved, all he could say was, "Wow! Congratulations!"