You’ve found out your pregnant! Whether planned or not, this is an exciting time. You may be wondering when to share the news. Maybe you’re eager to shout it from the roof tops and tell everyone you know right away. On the other hand, you may be nervous and hesitant to share the news for a variety of reasons.
Many pregnant women choose to wait until the end of the first trimester to share the news. After 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically and your belly starts to give away the news for you. My husband and I usually wait until this time to share the news, since we have had a few miscarriages. Waiting avoids having to explain to acquaintances in the event something should go wrong.
My husband and I have noticed that the response we get becomes considerably less positive with each baby. With the first two, the reaction was very excited. With the third, many were less excited and would say things like “Really? Are you trying for a boy?” NO! The few people we have told about #4 probably think we’re crazy, but hesitate to say it out loud. I know I will spend the next months hearing annoying comments about the boy thing again. (We have 3 girls)
Waiting to tell your employer gives you some time to consider your plans for after the baby is born. Will you be returning to your job? Or, do you want to stay home with the baby? If you will be returning, how long do you plan to stay out on maternity leave? Take your time to consider all these choices by waiting until the end of the first trimester to break the news.
If you will be returning to work, waiting to tell your boss gives you time to consider your maternity leave. You can make a general plan for how your leave will be covered and how long you plan to stay out. You may consider childcare options as well. This way, when you do approach your employer with the news, you will have a plan to lay out. One word of caution, if you plan to wait to tell your boss, don’t tell your coworkers. You want your employer to hear the news from you, not second hand.
Take the time to find out your company’s policy on maternity leave. If you work for a company with 25 or more employees you are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, which was signed into law by President Clinton. This law says you are entitled to up to 12 weeks in a calendar year for leave relating to your health or that of an immediate family member. Maternity leave falls under this law. Keep in mind this leave is often unpaid. Some employers offer a small amount of paid leave, but this is unusual. Find out your company’s policies and consider your family finances when planning your leave.