Even in 2019, women still get nervous to announce their pregnancy at work. Many feel that even if they don’t plan to take time out of the workplace to raise children, that their career will still be negatively affected. But that’s not always the case. You have options and many employers are making pregnancy and maternity leave easier than ever.

You decide when to tell people at work that you’re pregnant. Some women wait until after their first trimester is complete and the risk of miscarriage is lower. Others can’t wait to share the news and tell everyone right away.

Whatever you choose, here are some things to think about when talking to your boss about your pregnancy:

be proactive

If possible, find out as much information from your doctor or midwife before announcing your pregnancy at work. Know your due date, travel restrictions, and current physical limitations. Speak up, if there’s a business trip or work task that will be difficult for you. The goal is to continue to do your best at work but to also keep your stress levels low and protect your pregnancy.

  • Make sure your boss finds out about your pregnancy from you. You don’t want them hearing about it from one of your coworkers. Give your boss the respect of being the first person at work to know you’re pregnant.
  • Tell her about time you may need away from work for prenatal care. You won’t just need time away to deliver and nurture your newborn, you’ll also need time for many appointments along the way. Be prepared.

have a plan

Take ownership of how tasks will get done while you’re away. This really helps if you have given people more than enough notice. Even if you haven’t announced your pregnancy yet, get planning beforehand, so things are in place to run smoothly once you do.

ask yourself these questions:
  • When do you plan to start your leave? Will you work right up until your due date? Or will you stop working a few days or weeks before the baby’s birth?
  • How long do you plan to stay at home with your new baby? Do you need to go back to work right away? How long can you afford to stay home without working?
  • Does your employer offer paid maternity leave or short-term disability benefits?
  • Does your health insurance continue while you’re on maternity leave?

continue to do quality work

Being pregnant won’t exempt you from your work responsibilities. And while your employer will likely make accommodations for any limitations that you may have, this is not a vacation. Stay focused and make every effort possible to continue to produce quality work.