I made it most of the way through my very first trimester without the slightest hint of morning sickness. The first time I felt nauseous in the morning? The day I planned to tell my boss I was pregnant. That’s right, I turned into a total chicken. And it’s not because I was worried about my workplace not being supportive, or happy for me. I kept thinking about whether (and how) my coworkers might see me differently.
As a classic Type A personality, I find the fastest cure for the jitters is a solid plan. If you feel the same way, these guiding actions can help you build a plan that works for you.
Finding the right time
Let’s get real mama, there’s going to be a point where your body will make your pregnancy announcement – with or without you. Thankfully, if you’re a career-driven woman you’re probably no stranger to working on a deadline. Most women find out they’re expecting about four to seven weeks into their pregnancy and begin to show between 12 to 16 weeks (earlier if this isn’t their first rodeo). So you’ll want to assume that you’ve only got a window of a few weeks to work with.
I found it helpful to do an audit of my current and upcoming projects to assess where I might be leaving my team in a lurch. That way, when I shared my news, I’d be ready to allay some anxiety about how the work would get done. Remember, the best way to get your career baby ready is to remain as active and engaged at work for as long as possible.
Finding your stakeholders
Your immediate supervisor isn’t the only person you may want to notify of your baby news. Take a moment to think about other key players in your career who will appreciate hearing the news directly from you. Either in person or on the phone speak with each of these team members, mentors and maybe even clients (especially if you run your own business). If you can’t get them in person, be sure to craft a personalized email to them. The point is to use this as an opportunity to touch upon specific projects that you’re working on together, and discuss how you plan to continue to keep them going over the next months of your pregnancy.
Finding your message
A pregnancy announcement at work can be a great opportunity to publicly recommit to your career. You can use your baby news as a jumping off point to share your excitement of getting back to work once you’ve had a chance to welcome baby, and that you’re happy to continue supporting the company’s growth while your family grows. Remember mama, you’re in control of your career narrative, and baby can help set the stage for your next step.
To get planning for your baby announcement, download this step-by-step worksheet.