Work and Pregnancy
Berkeley Parents Network >
Working & Careers >
Work and Pregnancy
I'm 8 weeks pregnant and haven't yet told my boss or co-workers.
I was wondering at what point other women revealed their news at
work, and what their reasons were for choosing that point.
I guess the only reason I'm waiting is that I would want to keep
an early miscarriage a secret, although my chances of that are
slim as I've already had an ultrasound and seen the heartbeat!
You never know what's going to happen, so I would say at least
wait until the whole first tri is over. You also don't know (or
at least didn't mention) how you think the news might be
perceived by your boss. I would say get some background
information first, because if your boss it the type who would
get cranky at the prospect of maternity leave, you might want to
wait until you really start showing to minimize negative
I have waited until I was 14-15 weeks before saying anything to
my employer & the general population at my work place (I did
tell a few co-workers w/ whom I am very close friends prior to
that). I did not feel that my employer was upset that I waited
to say anything. I think it is pretty common, in fact that's how
most of my co-workers have handled it also. I can also say that
I was glad that I waited in the case of my second pregnancy,
since I experienced complications & ultimately lost the
pregnancy just before the end of the first trimenster. I did
tell my employer what had happened (since I had to miss a bit of
work) & she was very kind & kept the matter to herself,
saying, ''you should tell only the people that you feel can
support you right now''. She was right. I did tell a few co-
workers, but I didn't have to deal w/ everyone asking me
Do what you feel is right for you. Gook luck w/ your pregnany &
Another Berkeley Mom
I wasn't sure if I was going back to work after the baby was
born and needed time to decide before I talked to my boss, and I
knew as soon as I told people I'd get a ton of unwanted
advice... so I waited until I was 4 months along and couldn't
hide the belly any more.
Suggest waiting as long as you can
To make sure I passed my 1st trimester, I waited until then. I
had so many weeks to tell my job, but because of a miscarriage
the first time, I hid it until the last week that I had to tell
them which was right before my 1st trimester was over.
If your worry is about keeping a miscarriage secret, then you
should at least wait until the second trimester (after about 12-
13 weeks). Sorry to tell you this, but just because the heart
beat is seen doesn't mean you can't miscarry. You are in the
middle of the prime time to miscarry. About 25% of all
pregnancies miscarry anyway. So I would wait about a month
I told my work as well as all my friends at 13 weeks - after the
transnuchal ultrasound. I wanted to make sure everything was ok
and we were out of the danger zone. My whole department was so
excited for me and adore our daughter. I also took 3 1/2 months
off which was probably not enough in hindsight. Next time around
I am taking more! Enjoy and good luck
FT working mommy
I waited until I was 14 weeks to break the news to my bosses. I
figured if something were to go wrong after that, I'd probably
need to take some time off, anyway, and it was better that they knew.
I told my boss when I was 7 weeks pregnant. My reasons for
telling her then were:
1. I had seen a heartbeat on an ultrasound at that point so felt
fairly comfortable that my pregnancy was viable.
2. One of the other people in my department was expecting his
first child 2 months before my due date and I wanted her to have
plenty of time for her to prepare for us both being out in close
3. I knew that if I had had a miscarriage, I probably would have
ended up telling her anyway.
I told the rest of my co-workers at 4 months.
Depending on how good your relationships are, I would probably
wait till after the ultrasound (and amnio if you are having
one). For one thing, at 8 weeks you are definitely not out of
the range of having a miscarriage (many happen up to about 13
weeks). It's awful to have to explain to people you don't really
know or care about that you're no longer pregnant. For another,
some people may judge you differently if you are pregnant, even
though they're not supposed to. In my case, I was already having
difficulty with one individual who seemed to be blocking my
promotion, and I thought it was best to simply proceed with my
performance and hopefully get good projects to work on. Finally,
if you are carrying a problem pregnancy or if you think you
would consider terminating with an abnormal amnio, you really
don't want people to know that and subject yourself to others'
judgements. And again, it's awful to have to explain that you're
no longer pregnant. On the other hand, if you work with a group
of really supportive people, then tell them as soon as possible
so you can all plan together and you know your work will be
covered when you're gone. (and if you're exhausted in that first
trimester, you don't have to come up with alternative
explanations or pretend that you're not exhausted).
I suggest that you do a few things before you tell your work:
1. Research your work's maternity leave policy.
2. Determine for yourself how much time you'd like to take off -
you have the legal right to 4 weeks before the birth date, 6
weeks after (all ''disability'') and then 12 weeks of unpaid
family leave(FMLA) for a total minimum of 22 weeks.
3. Evaluate your work load and responsibilities. Develop a
suggested plan for the delegation of your work while you're
gone. Be sure and include the part where you return to work and
take up where you left off! You want to send the message that
you fully intend to return to work (even if you're secretly not
sure) and won't tolerate becoming obsolete.
4. Talk to your boss about it before any coworkers. This is a
courtesy and a sign of respect that she/he will appreciate. They
often enjoy being the ones who announce your pregnancy to the
rest of the team.
5. Remember that your boss is only human. He/she might have some
anxiety about how to fill your roll while you're gone without
actually replacing you. You can alleviate some of those concerns
by having a well-thought out plan in advance. You want your boss
on your side.
6. Don't cave to any subtle pressure to return to work before
you have to. Women who do that always regret it. (''you have the
right to take this leave but gosh, what are we going to do
without you?'' ''this is going to be a real problem for us!'' ''can
you really afford to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave?''.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2005
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network