When to Tell Your Coworkers That You're Pregnant
If you are reading this and are currently pregnant, congratulations! It’s a very exciting time in your life and likely comes with a healthy mix of emotions. Unless you are very lucky, you are likely feeling a bit of morning (or all day) sickness and might not be ready to tell people yet that you’re expecting. There are no specific rules or timelines for when to announce! Balancing career and family can take some planning, so here are some tips for navigating pregnancy and your workplace.
When to Tell your Coworkers
Whether you are bursting at the seams to tell others or want to keep your news private for a while longer, it has to be the right time for you and you have to be comfortable sharing. Co-workers may have lots of advice and opinions once you spill the beans! If you are thinking of telling someone at work and have a supportive supervisor, I would recommend telling him or her in confidence before telling others. Workplaces can be hotspots for gossip, so chances are if you tell one or two co-workers, the rest of the team or company may know shortly thereafter. Telling your supervisor first will also be helpful if you’re feeling queasy and need to run to the restroom or are looking to work from home sporadically when the fatigue prevents you from commuting into the office.
Stocking your Office or Cubicle
When it came to managing nausea, having plenty of snacks on hand was a lifesaver. While the thought of eating something may not be appealing when you’re feeling sick, it can be helpful to be eating small snacks throughout the day in order to prevent nausea and vomiting. Ginger and peppermint candies can also be super helpful in keeping that nausea at bay. Baby is also taking a lot of your hydration, so be sure to keep a water bottle filled at your desk too! Worst case, if you do get sick, the mints and water will help refresh your breath.
It’s so important to be aware of your company’s policy on maternity leave and it really is never too early to start looking into your options. You’ll want to know if your company gives any paid time off and if Short Term Disability and FMLA are options for you. Working with your boss and letting them know will earlier give you plenty of time to prepare for your leave. Once you know what your leave choices are, you can decide what might be the best situation for you and your family in terms of how much time off you’d like to take. Your supervisor can also work with you to plan for delegating your workload for while you’re out of the office.
While no one ever said pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood are easy, it’s important to soak up the happy moments while preparing for baby and enjoy the positive attention directed your way. Feel free to keep whatever information you want to keep private, private (such as baby’s sex or what you want their name to be) from your co-workers. Hopefully, others will be very happy and excited for you and will be considerate as you experience pregnancy symptoms along the way and keep on growing that baby!
Photo Credits: verywellfamily.com and whattoexpect.com
Heather Slugaski is a clinical social worker living and working in North Carolina. You can follow Heather on Twitter @heatherlynnsw.