East Regional Manager
Area Partner Tinker AFB, OK
After a long first trimester, you’re finally rounding the corner and about to hit that “magical” second trimester! Around this time, your morning sickness will likely be getting better, allowing for more time at work, around friends, and less time attached to the toilet. If you are lucky and haven’t suffered the effects of morning sickness, then hiding the fact that you are pregnant may have been easy up to this point. As your bump starts to grow, however, your ability to hide your pregnancy will decrease. If you have been a green, puking machine, your time to announce your pregnancy to the world may be quickly closing in on you.
It can be nerve-wracking to tell your coworkers, supervisors and even your commanding officers of your pregnancy. This anxiety may be heightened if you are new to your position, have been trying for a while to get pregnant, or have a history of pregnancy loss or complications. So, why is it important to share your pregnancy news around this gestation period and what is the best way to accomplish this task?
If you are Active Duty, in the Reserves, or hold a civilian position that puts you at risk for injury or exposure, it is important to share news of your pregnancy to ensure you are not unintentionally required to work in situations that may put you and your developing fetus at risk. If complications arise at work, it is important for your supervisors to be aware of, and to accommodate, your unique health needs. It is also important that you are informed of your company’s policies regarding pregnancy and maternity leave, and your rights as an employee or military member in these situations. You can usually find this information out by speaking with your HR department or researching the policies and procedures within your work environment.
The manner in which you inform your employer of your pregnancy will vary drastically depending upon a number of factors including your position, your company’s policies, and the relationship you have with your managers and colleagues. If your co-workers are also your close friends, they may already know, or suspect, that you are pregnant. Telling this group of individuals will therefore be easy. If it’s easier to tell everyone at the same time, you might consider bringing a cake or cookies to the office to share the exciting news. Telling supervisors also varies greatly depending on your role and your relationship. Often these announcements are best made by having a private meeting or conversation with them. Another option would be to send a pregnancy announcement in an email. You should consider scheduling an informal meeting after the written announcement so you can go over the company’s policies with your manager.
Announcing a pregnancy to those you work with can bring out so many emotions. There may be fear for how the workplace may handle the news, excitement over everyone’s reaction, and anxiousness as to how it will all be handled and how your position may change. This is a big step in pregnancy, so know that it is ok to feel these emotions and that you aren’t the first one who may be hesitant in sharing this life-changing experience with others. If you are able, ask your friends, family and previously pregnant or currently pregnant coworkers how they shared the news so you can be prepared and make a realistic plan of action. Remember, you’ve got this and this should be a time of excitement and happiness, so harness that and run with it!