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Announcing the exciting news about your pregnancy to the world is one of the best parts of being pregnant. While breaking this “good news” to the family can be quite a breeze, it is the part where people at the workplace have to be informed, that gives us sleepless nights.
How to Announce Pregnancy at Your Workplace
Announcing pregnancy to work colleagues needs some amount of preparation (and a lot of tact) so that one can devise the best way to approach this topic.
However, your office pregnancy announcement need not be as stressful as you think it will be. Here are a few super-practical tips you can implement when you decide to spill the beans at the office:
1. Let the Boss Hear it from You
Deliver this piece of information to your immediate boss personally, preferably face-to-face. This provides a dual benefit; your boss will value the importance you give him and you will be able to gauge the reaction first-hand. Make sure you keep your pregnancy news off social media till the time you disclose it to your boss, since many of your colleagues will be on your friend list. Experience says that the first-person tactic is the best in such a situation and is appreciated by the upper echelons of the corporate hierarchy.
2. Choose the Right Time to Tell Your Boss
While your excitement about breaking the news is plausible, do not choose a time when your boss is busy or distracted. Ask for his time, sit face-to-face and deliver the news in a private space. When you treat this special announcement with care, your boss will realize how important it is to you and he will extend all his support. Most women wonder when to tell about pregnancy at work. Waiting until the end of the first trimester is a great idea. This can be done provided morning sickness does not spill the beans earlier than you actually intended to. Telling your boss just before promotions or raises are due or on the cusp of a new project being announced is also not a good time.
3. Choose an Appropriate Place to Break the News
Decide where you want to share this important piece of information with your boss. The coffee machine or in the office lobby are definite no-no’s, given the continuous foot traffic one can expect here. Your boss’s cabin is the best place or you could even grab a quick lunch with him/her if you are comfortable.
4. Talk Openly About Maternity Leave and Benefits
One of the primary concerns of your department will be if you will come back after your delivery. If you haven’t made a decision yet and need time to decide, be honest and tell your boss accordingly. Think about training someone to take over during your absence and you will convey a message that you are a responsible person who will not leave the organization in between. Speak to the HR department and get details of the leaves you are entitled to and any other benefits. Don’t hesitate when asking about your maternity leaves and other benefits. Discuss clearly and enjoy your perks, you deserve them.
5. Stay Cool, Stay Professional
Pregnancy is an important phase of your life and you need not hesitate about the timing while announcing it to your boss or your team. Avoid the words “I am sorry” and be as professional as you can while sharing your happy news. If there is an important project you need to be a part of, make it obvious that you will do your best to prepare in advance and you will be as committed as earlier. At the same time, always acknowledge that pregnancy will affect work in some ways and you are willing to take it in your stride.
6. Make it Fun and Informal with Co-Workers
If you have been working in an organisation for a long time now then surely your relationship with your colleagues would be very cordial. You may not be that formal with each other and you could even be friends with some. So, why shy away from sharing your happy news? In fact, you can announce your pregnancy to coworkers in a fun way. Your absence will obviously increase their workload, so appreciate them. And if this is your second child, how about clicking a photograph of your child holding a placard that says, “I’m going to be a brother/sister now” and showing it to them? They will be extremely happy for you.
7. Do Not Be Afraid
Pregnancy is an experience of a lifetime, don’t be afraid of sharing this news with your boss or other colleagues. Most women feel that they may be asked to resign and won’t find a place in the corporate set up after they have a baby. However, this is a discrimination and most professional organisations would refrain from doing something like this. The bosses of today are open-minded and they understand, so don’t be afraid.
8. Be Proactive About Your Absence from Active Work
Show the company that you have thought about how things or a certain project can be managed while you are away. If you can commit to a certain time during the day when you can check on emails, phone calls and project updates, go ahead and do that. This will help you remain in the loop and will create a responsible image of you.
9. Keep Your Clients in the Loop
Do not forget your clients. If and when you decide to come back, you do not want to ruin the existing relationship because you “forgot” to tell them. This will send out a subtle message to them that they matter and that you care. It will also help you manage the expectations they have of you during your absence.
Announcing your pregnancy at work may get you worried, but your organization is in a dilemma too. They will be worried about work getting affected and projects being delayed, so give them and yourself enough time to take appropriate steps to manage things. Keep all lines of communication open throughout this period and you will be able to manage things well. Communicate to your boss that you are willing to take the effort to ensure there is minimum disruption but pregnancy is a tough and important time for you too.
Also Read: Taking Care of Your Pregnancy at Work