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How best to share pregnancy news with your boss: share your stories and tips with PG tips Decaf and you could win £250 NOW CLOSED

(88 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Feb-14 11:02:33

We know it's sometimes tricky to break your pregnancy news to your boss or line manager or even colleagues - the team at PG Tips Decaf would like to hear your top tips for this time.

They say "With early pregnancy being - sometimes - a tricky time - with lots of advice and do's and don'ts to absorb with PG Tips Decaf you're able to enjoy a caffeine-free cuppa - enabling you to carry on enjoying your favourite brew without the caffeine"

So please share on this thread....

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
~ when's the worst time?
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

Please share your tips and stories on this thread: everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £250 voucher for the store of their choice.

thanks and good luck

MNHQ

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 10:21:09

Hello am pleased to say that LouiseFromLondon wins the £250 voucher!
Congrats! smile

dandm12 Fri 14-Mar-14 06:22:55

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work
I think as soon as you can, depending on when you feel comfortable sharing the news. For me that was after my 12 week scan, but I realise that this might not be the case for everyone! I'm not sure I could have hidden it much longer though!
~ when's the worst time?
Maybe first thing Monday morning - let then have a cuppa and settle into the week first!
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
Luckily I wasn't too bad - just super tired so could pass it off as being under the weather.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
I asked her for a catch up and let her know. I was really nervous about telling her but she was lovely! Gave me a hug and congratulated me. And told me not to worry about anything. Was a big relief!

xxxkadzxxx Thu 13-Mar-14 20:55:58

I always think you are best to confess when you are 3 months pregnant, after your 1st scan. You dont want to risk losing your job in the early stages, you need to keep hold of it for as long as your able to work when your expecting to get all the money saved you can!
The worst time is before its confirmed! Dont tell your boss that you think you might be and treat them as a friend, only tell them when you are 100% sure your pregnant. They may know your trying for a baby and put you at the top of the redundant list if you let them know!
Luckily i have my own office at work so people didn't really see me popping out to the loo!
I was in a really hard situation. My boss is also my best friend! I couldn't tell him about my pregnancy as i wanted to wait until i was 100% sure and until 3 months had passed to ensure we were on the right track and he didn't start to look for a replacement before i had gone! I didn't only have to tell him i was pregnant but also had to explain why i hadn't told him sooner as he is my best bud! i think that is what upset him the most, understandably.
The business was in a pretty bad way which made things worse, i felt i was really letting him down but also being selfish about it for not warning him sooner but i just couldn't afford to be out of a job. I knew he would need someone else in asap to take my place, at least i though i knew! Turned out he was a star, i worked up until 2 weeks before my due date and he allowed me to pick and choose the hours i came in. He kept my job open for me and let me work from home when it was possible to save me from going into work.
The only problem is i felt i had to return quickly so i didn't take advantage but i done a couple of hours a day and the rest from home, the other staff were also great and took a lot of my workload for me until i returned to work full time! smile

Theoldhag Thu 13-Mar-14 12:37:28

I arrived at work in time for my lovely boss to hand over to me, she made cuppas and we sat down, I took my first sip and had to promptly put my cup down and run to the nearest toilet. I had my head down it and was puking, boss piped up 'oldhag' I think I will pop and get a pregnancy test for you and promptly popped to chemist over the road.

I remember sitting with my colleagues and boss in the office all waiting for the line to appear grin

Was a jolly good day

chewbecca47 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:15:30

By putting my scan picture on a massive screensaver, lol... :P

Rbeernae Thu 13-Mar-14 09:12:20

I think it is best to tell asap. That way the can be there for you in case something goes wrong or you are sick etc.
With both my pregnancies I told my employers before I was 10 weeks. Each time I was nervous. The first time because I didn't know how they would react and the second time because I had only just returned from maternity leave. But both times both my bosses knew already and wondered when I would tell them. They knew because they noticed the amount of food on my desk as well as my frequent trips to the loo to be sick.

thesoupdragon44 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:47:19

I didn't tell my boss till I was 4 months pregnant it was a bit tricky as after changing jobs I fell pregnant in the first month. I hid morning sickness with packets of gingernuts. I didn't tell the other people in the office till I was 5 months and hid behind baggy tops! at 8 months people still didn't believe me as I had such a neat bump!
I think judge telling people as you feel comfy and don't feel a pressure to tell just because you have to. It should be an exciting time, but sometimes your safety at work will mean telling all earlier than you would like!

crashbangboom Tue 11-Mar-14 21:37:51

~ when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work

For me I had to have early scans and unfortunately manager told people.

~ when's the worst time?
after you've told everyone but them!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?

No need - everyone in the region knew because of indiscreet colleagues.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?

Indifferent- she didn't care. Higher management only interested In leaving date and pushed me to leave early.

idleweiss Tue 11-Mar-14 19:47:41

Not long after I started a new part time job last year, my boss was asking me about my two little ones and asked me if I was planning to have more..I answered..yes, I'm actually pregnant with my third!! She was really good about it!! smile

WheresTheCoffee Mon 10-Mar-14 16:48:06

My boss at the time was horrible, so I told her as late as I could and treated the the conversation like ripping off a plaster...as quickly as possible!

Sixgeese Sun 09-Mar-14 00:42:20

For DD2, I had only been back from my second maternity leave a couple of months when I got pregnant again.

Our old director who had left during my previous maternity leave was visiting the office, I was only I was 5 weeks pregnant and obviously I hadn't told anyone yet.

He bumped into me and my line manager having a chat just outside the building, stopped and said "when does your next maternity leave start then?", I didn't know what to say, and ended up spluttering and saying not for a while yet, still early days etc.

It turned out he was joking as DS and DD1 were quite close together in age and he had no idea I was expecting DC3.

Not the way I planned on telling my Line manager, but I swore her to silence for the next few weeks.

I do have to tell them early as I have high risk pregnancies and lots of hospital appointments with haematology and Maternity to see me safely through the pregnancy and while I tried to get them on my days off some fell on working days.

The HR appointment was fun....the Bank I worked for was mainly based in Docklands, but my office was in the City, all the facilities for Pregnant/ breast feeding women were at the Docklands office, she had a tick list that she had to go through explaining about the quiet room I could use for a nap, or on my return to express and store milk, which was an 40 minute round trip from my office, not very useful for me, hopefully they considered the requirements to provide for the staff working in other sites

Naughty22 Sat 08-Mar-14 11:31:03

Probably not the best time but definitely got the best results..
When I was about 7wks pregnant with DS1 I got called into a meeting with my male CEO who told me he was having to make me redundant. It was a massive shock and I burst into tears and announced "But I'm pregnant!" He said "oh, congratulations, I'll just call HR in.." smile
Consequently, they extended my 'redundancy notice period' so that I qualified for SMP and cut my weekly hours down to achieve this so I didn't even have to work as much. The tasks dried up after a while and they then weren't bothered about me spending time at my desk setting up my own business for post-employment!

nerysw Sat 08-Mar-14 11:02:33

The best time is after your first scan I think when you have a clear idea of a due date and know that things are ok. It depends a lot on the relationship you have with your boss but a meeting just about that would be a good idea, instead of an ad on to another work conversation. The first time I told my boss when and how I wanted to but the second time I had to explain not being in work one weekend after being rushed into hospital a few days after finding out I was pregnant. Luckily all was fine and everyone at work knew before my family and close friends.
My workplace is great and as we're a small team people were very understanding of my pale greyness in the mornings and constant eating for the rest of the day!

There are certain legal requirements that you have to follow in any case. A good tip is to read your company policy well ahead of time. e.g. do you have to give formal notice in writing, to whom, what details does the letter need to include such as EDD? and so on.

What if you are in a situation where you know the news is not going to go down well? If there are tensions at work such as restructuring or new management? If you feel you want to leave it a bit longer, you have to balance this with whether you need pregnancy-related support. Your employer can't give time off and other support unless you've told them you are pregnant!

VivaLeBeaver Fri 07-Mar-14 15:24:22

I told my boss first.

Dh was abroad and uncontactable. I had a job which I couldn't do when pregnant due to health and safety. Took the test on a day off and rang my boss ten minutes later and asked him to come over to mine.

He came round for a cup of tea and was fine when I told him. Sorted out that I could work in the office while pregnant and then took me to the buttie van for a bacon roll.

Best1sWest Fri 07-Mar-14 06:13:31

Before someone else does. I told a couple of close colleagues over lunch, one of them told a third close colleague who didn't realise I hadn't told my boss.
Next day I got a phone call from my boss congratulating me blush.

daisybrown Thu 06-Mar-14 22:32:17

Definitely not too soon.
Wait for him/her to be smiling before giving them the good news.
Avoid Monday mornings!

Fairylea Thu 06-Mar-14 21:39:23

I didn't really have a choice but to tell my boss as soon as I found out I was pregnant - my work was very physical (running a busy chain restaurant with lots of heavy duties). I would have rather waited till past the 12 week stage.

At around the time I got pregnant I had a conversation with my area manager about potentially being promoted and surprise surprise when he found out I was pregnant that was never mentioned again and I had no written record of it being offered.

My immediate line manager was really supportive during my pregnancy. I ended up having a lot of time off for a high risk reason later in the pregnancy and she was very kind about it all.

CelticPromise Thu 06-Mar-14 21:33:14

In theory I think the best time is as early as possible, but in reality many workplaces are not supportive and women have very good reasons for not telling. The worst time I would say is any time you are forced into it by circumstances and can't make your own plans to tell.

I told when I needed time off for scan. I was the fourth woman in a month in my firm of 18 staff to tell my boss I was pregnant. I asked for a word in a side room and she said, "You're not pregnant are you?" grin She was very lovely about it but mat leave was a headache that year...

asuwere Thu 06-Mar-14 21:21:45

*when's the best time to share the news with your employer(s)? - both in terms of your pregnancy and other things going on at work* I think whenever you feel comfortable enough to share the news. Personally, I would think after you've told close family and friends so they don't hear it through rumours. As for suitable work time, preferably at a quiet time when your manager can deal with any paperwork/risk assessments necessary.
*when's the worst time?* hmmm... Day before you're due to leave? Or just before manager leaves for a 2 week holiday?
*how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?* I have felt very nauseous with each pregnancy but I've never actually had sickness so not had any real issues.
*how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?* I work in very large office and my job doesn't need to be covered as such so I have left it as late as possible to tell with most of my pregnancies. Each time, my manager has been very happy (different manager each time) and supportive, if slightly surprised.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Mar-14 19:21:59

I felt dreadful and had already had a couple of days of with a "tummy bug". I was 7 weeks pg with dc1. It was school holidays and very few people were in, but managers had been called in for a meeting. At lunch time I went and got the three folk I reported to/worked most closely with and told them I had something important to say. When I told them I was pg my line manager looked really relieved and said he thought I was going to resign! News of pg went down well. I also said I'd never felt so ill - just as well as I was hospitalised with hyperemisis later that day.

The driver for telling work early was being so ill. I knew I couldn't function properly or do my job so I thought they needed to know before I took any more random sick days. I didn't realise i was about to be off for 8 weeks!

Work were fab, and various people came to see me in hospital and later at home. Did my risk assessment with my line manager at home before I went back. Loads of support. I think telling them early helped. Because I'd had a good experience first time, I didn't hesitate to tell them when I felt hyperemisis looming for the second time, again at 7 weeks.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 06-Mar-14 17:09:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I told my manager soon after my 12 week scan both times. The first time, it was because I was so excited and the second time, I started showing from 10 weeks so really couldn't keep it hidden. I'd say the worst time to tell my manager was when my colleague announced her pregnancy the day before - ooops! But my employer has been very supportive both times.

Chot Thu 06-Mar-14 15:15:19

With my first baby, I had to have some early scans and also had morning sickness so was off work a fair bit - but by the time the morning sickness fully kicked-in, I had already told my boss - or rather, a colleague had very kindly (gritted teeth!) done so!!!!!!!!!!!!! She had guessed, after I'd had another hospital appt, and had asked me outright (who does that?!) and I can't lie so had said yes - I was then off work the next day (can't remember if it was booked leave or morning sickness!) and when I came back into the office, she had told EVERYONE!!!! I was so cross - and so embarrassed that I'd not told them myself (not that I'd really had a chance, I was still only about 6 /7 weeks at this stage and had only known for about 10 days myself!!) - everyone was very nice and kind and pleased for us, (and I was glad they knew early on as it really did help when I was absent so much due to the sickness) but I really wish I'd just found some way to brush off that colleague's questions so I'd have been able to tell my boss and my team in my own time in my own way! It would have been quite early anyway, as my job had elements that I had to avoid in pregnancy - but I'd have possibly given myself another week or two to get used to the idea that I was pregnant myself first!!

With subsequent babies, I didn't make that mistake again and always made sure I told my boss before anyone else at work (I had changed teams / offices between 1st and 2nd babies - and my colleagues in that team were more respectful of my privacy, etc. so I don't think any of them would have been so indiscreet, but I wasn't taking any chances!!).

With my fourth, I was very paranoid that something bad was going to happen so didn't want to tell anyone until after the 20 week scan - but, as they do, my baby scuppered those plans as I was so obviously pregnant by about 15 weeks (like already in maternity clothes!!!!), that I had to tell my boss - I was a bit nervous about it as I was (am) now working for a small, private company (previously I had been in a public service dept. where they'd followed all the mum/parent-friendly guidelines!) and I knew it would impact heavily on them - but they were so sweet, really genuinely delighted for me and instantly put me at ease about it. (My boss is a working mum herself, which helps.)

But, in general, my advice would be - tell them when YOU'RE ready to tell them (early is good if you need to make changes to your work or are ill early on but don't feel pressured to tell before you're ready to tell) and tell your boss before you tell your colleagues (!). Also, be tough about it - if they're a bit un-pregnancy-friendly, read-up on your rights and put yourself first - you have an extremely precious "cargo" on board and their & your welfare is far more important than deadlines / work's needs!! smile

Lent1l Thu 06-Mar-14 14:30:32

I work from home but for a large organisation. I get on really well with my boss (luckily). The first pregnancy (2 years ago) I let him know quite early on as I realised I would be leaving the team for maternity leave a month before the other person who did a similar job retired. I wanted to give them as much motice as possible so they could cover our area with both of us gone.

This time I left it longer as there was no immediate worry to tell him. We were having a face to face meeting so took a scan photo along and said I had something to show him! He groaned and asked how would they cope without me again before congratulating me.

I think the best time and how depends very much on your own personal circumstances and the relationship you have with your boss. I'm lucky, except that with jsut 5 weeks left at work he takes every opportunity to remind me at the moment that I am having 8 months off and how nice it would be to have such a long holiday! I know he's joking but some days when I am being kicked hard in the ribs it is a joke I could do without.

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