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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


CMOTDibbler Fri 28-Feb-14 11:20:39

I think its best to tell your manager as soon as possible.

When I was pg with my ds, my boss was over from the US just after I was 12 weeks, so I told him then (I'd had repeated mc, so he knew I was ttc). What he didn't expect was that my colleague had just found out she was pg with twins, and she told him then. He was delighted for us, though 8 weeks later when another colleague anounced she was pg -and this made the entire female uk contingent pg - our unit manager was a bit shocked!

KateOxford Fri 28-Feb-14 13:46:18

I think it is best to tell them as soon as possible as this helps your employer to plan and helps them to adjust your work to your situation. I told mine early on as due to the nature of my job I have to be out of the office for long periods and was struggling with constantly needing the toilet! Also I got very hungry and as we have set lunch times I had to ask to be permanently put on early lunch break. We could have been told off for snacking in the office but they understood that I got very hungry! The worst time would be when they have noticed all of these things and perhaps think you are not being honest in telling them sooner. My boss was very pleased and accommodating of my needs, which in turn made me more relaxed and able to focus on my work. I didn't have any morning sickness. When I was pregnant it was also a time of extreme weather with snow and ice and so I was able to remain in the office rather than slipping around on the ice as I have to walk to appointments often. I feel I made the right decision in telling them sooner than most people would have done but I think they appreciated me doing so.

NotCitrus Fri 28-Feb-14 14:02:33

I think as soon as possible, assuming your boss is a halfway decent human being.
First time: I told my new boss before I started a temporary promotion with him, the day after he had offered me the job with the comment "just as well you did an excellent application form and I know you, as that was the worst interview I've ever seen. And luckily for you the other guy was crap!" I replied saying the reason I was so out of it turns out that I'm actually 4 months pregnant and starting to feel better now. He was actually happy as most people in the temporary team wanted to stay as long as possible, so it was good to have one person wanting to push off earlier.

Second time round, I found out early on and wasn't planning to tell people until 12 weeks, but was feeling so ill and exhausted I had to tell my manager. Who was lovely and I think relieved I wasn't dangerously ill. Though both times I ended up off sick for months, so despite managers being nice people, I came out badly in the appraisal process simply for not being there.

MrsMonkeyBear Fri 28-Feb-14 14:34:43

I told my boss as soon as I found out. Sat down and had a meeting with all the managers in the hotel. I'm a chef and if anything goes wrong I needed to know that there was a good support net at work. I was very upfront with the subject. However I am now quite upset as someone in the management team breeched my confidence and now the entire staff know and I'm only 7 weeks. One of the other managers has set me up with a chair and a bucket in his office tho, which I thought was incredibly sweet.

Puppypoppet Fri 28-Feb-14 14:58:22

I had to tell my boss at about 6 weeks when I started bleeding. I phoned in sick as GP signed me off and I had to mention it was pregnancy related as it is treated differently by my employer. Did suffer with morning sickness for the first 22 weeks. From about week 4 to going off sick at 6 weeks I was pretty ill - remember eating little pieces of crystallised ginger and drinking lemon and ginger tea which must have looked a bit strange!
Boss was very understanding luckily and returned to work at about 12 weeks when bleeding settled down.

Alice2014 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:52:52

How not to tell your boss: expecting a phone call to my mobile from an external tech support team. I answer my phone in front of my boss; he can clearly hear the conversation... "Hello this is the midwife just calling to make your booking in appointment..." I could hardly tell her she had the wrong number. And so my boss found out before my parents! If it would happen to anyone it would be me. Luckily he was really nice about it, and laughed when literally 30 seconds after that call we had the support team call back. At least it avoided me feeling awkward, and it was easy for me to make GP appointments. I do think 6 weeks pg is very early to tell people, especially work people, but what else could I have done?

MrsLoada Fri 28-Feb-14 16:03:50

I think telling you boss as soon as possible is best
I told them at 10 weeks as I wanted time off for the scan, he just laughed and said I wondered when you were going to tell me, I asked how he knew . He told me it was the fact I'd only nibbled on ginger biscuits for a few weeks and that I kept going green and dashing to the loo.

Keenoonvino Fri 28-Feb-14 17:03:09

My employers are not very nice people. The first time I was planning to tell then after 12 wk scan, but sadly it didn't go well and I had to tell them bad news instead. They then docked my wages when I was off sick in hospital with a d&c.

I still haven't told them this time (it's still early) - I now work on a consultancy basis and feel that they don't need to know until I want to tell them.

I think if you boss and company are nice and understanding tell them as soon as you want to, then if anything goes wrong or you have to be at appointments you don't feel that you have to lie. And you may get treated slightly better!

Missingcaffeine Fri 28-Feb-14 17:13:40

I just made sure I chose a day when my boss was in a good mood! I told her really early on, as I wanted her advice, as I'd been offered another job (promotion) and wondered if I should decline the promotion. She told me to go for the promotion as it would probably suit me better and would probably be less stressful (current job really stressful and long hours).

Hopezibah Fri 28-Feb-14 17:29:43

~ 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

If you get on well with your boss and have a good working relationship with the organisation then there's no reason to avoid telling them and I would tell them once I announce to everyone else i.e. friends and family. I would do it when my belly starts showing a bump and after 12 week scan so around that time.

Having said that with my first pregnancy we didn't tell anyone until 17 weeks as bump didn't show until then.

I think it is professional to arrange a short meeting to tell your boss so that they / you aren't distracted by work going on around you.

~ when's the worst time?

If they hear from elsewhere first, that is not good!

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

Just say you're feeling under the weather. I snacked loads to keep sickness at bay.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
They were really pleased (or seemed to be at least). Then we talked through the work arrangements after the excitement.

sharond101 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:09:28

~ 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 just after the 12/13 week scan when you are telling everyone else, but before you tell other work colleagues.
~ when's the worst time?
I'd say hearing it from everyone else is the worst time.
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
I had hyperemesis and had to tell my boss right from the start so no excuses there.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
I didn't want to tell my boss until later on but felt myself needing to when I started bleeding the day after I found out. I had to leave work and couldn't think of any worthy enough excuses except of course the truth.

Bubbles85 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:14:06

~ 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 told them as soon as we had the first scan.
~ when's the worst time?
Leaving to too late or telling them as soon as you get a BFP.
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
N/A only had these after they knew.
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction?
Outright. She was really happy for me.

BrokenToeOuch Fri 28-Feb-14 22:56:46

~ 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 - after the 12 week scan ideally, though I was so far gone with my 1st pregnancy that I didn't find out until 7 months.
~ when's the worst time? - probably at around 7 months pg! It was a bit of a bombshell and my boss was quite worried I had done myself harm (worked in a pub, was often shifting barrels, on my feet all day/night, didn't eat well, everything was absolutely fine though!)
~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts? - I didn't have any!
~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? I phoned (from the doctors) and told her. She was shocked and happy, but we had a close friendship and we have remained friends ever since smile

devoncreamtea Fri 28-Feb-14 23:10:46

I think wait for your 12 wk scan, unless you going green and reaching for the bin every 5 mins!

BrokenToeOuch Fri 28-Feb-14 23:51:56

Devon I agree! Though I was lucky enough to avoid any sickness throughout my 3 pregnancies so no problems there.

BlindKitty Sat 01-Mar-14 07:11:07

I just told her to start looking for my maternity leave cover grin

livingzuid Sat 01-Mar-14 12:38:46

I had hg and was off sick for most of the first trimester. It was complicated as I was on a fixed term contract and also had a scan at 7 weeks where they said it might not be viable. It was really hard with that and permanent vomiting to do much of anything! Ideally I wanted to wait until after the 12 week scan but it just wasn't possible.

I told my boss at 9 weeks and they were very supportive. If you are feeling ill and struggling in the first trimester then arrange a quick meeting and be upfront and honest. Most employers will appreciate being told as it gives them more time to prepare for your maternity cover.

If you are worried about any discrimination then make sure you keep a record of activity. There is separate legislation to provide for pregnancy and pregnancy-related sickness in the workplace so it may be worth asking for a copy of your organsiation's policy for pregnancy at work when you tell your manager. And do make sure a risk assessment is done.

There are some really sad stories on here of women who are being treated very badly. It's illegal to discriminate and illegal for them to not provide for you adequately during pregnancy so be sure to arm yourself if you think there is a problem.

Ilikepinkwine Sat 01-Mar-14 12:57:55

~ When's the best time to share the news with your employer? - It depends on your job. If you work in an area where you need to be on lighter duties, you should tell them at once and they should keep it confidential. Otherwise, I'm a strong believer in not telling anyone until after the 12 week scan if you can avoid it.

~ When's the worst time? The worst time would be finding out without being informed- it's inconsiderate and unprofessional.

~ How did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts? I really thought DD was food poisoning so that was the excuse I gave until I realised.

~ How did you tell your boss and what was their reaction? The company I worked for when I was pregnant weren't very nice. They were professional and worked within the law, but not exactly caring so I just informed them through HR.

Pinter Sat 01-Mar-14 14:29:06

Because of the nature of my work I told my boss at 9 weeks. Before my parents!
There was an excellent handover to my cover & I felt very supported throughout.
They are also being brilliant about my phased return & flexible hours have been made available

IceNoSlice Sat 01-Mar-14 15:54:28

The best time to tell the boss:
For both my pregnancies I told the bosses before the 12 wk scan - first time because there were a lot of overseas projects coming up which I was hoping not to be put on, and the sec

ClairityVerity Sat 01-Mar-14 16:00:39

Me: Hi, Boss.

Boss: Hi, Clairity!

Me: I have something important I need to tell you.

Boss: What's that, then?

Me: You know how I've put on a teeny weeny smidgen of extra weight recently?

Boss: Yes?

Me: Well, it's 'cos I'm actually pregnant.

Boss: <<mock surprise>> Oh, wow, congrats, I'd never have guessed.

Me: <<flicking hair>> I know, I know, some women can hide fifteen extra stone amazingly well. Guess it helps having long hair and hollow bones.

Boss: Yeah, you're looking really... well. <<furious scribbling on office sweepstake card>> So it's twins? Triplets? Quads?

Me: <<hard stare>>

IceNoSlice Sat 01-Mar-14 16:05:21

Fat fingers.

The second time I was returning to work after mat leave already preg. I was having lots of discussions about my return, setting objectives etc and work were being very supportive. So I would have felt dishonest not telling them.

It is probably best, in general, to tell them just after 12 week scan. However, I think that, unless you are worried about MC it is often best to tell them earlier. Especially if there is an annual planning process going on. But perhaps not immediately before promotions/bonuses.

The worst time/way:
As others have said, it is unwise and unprofessional for them to hear the news from other people before you formally tell them. Especially if that is from colleagues who have seen it on Facebook!

Morning sickness: I just said I was feeling a bit rough. It is quite common for us to be away from our desks so I don't think it was too noticeable.

How did they react? Really well. At least outwardly! Of the three men I work for, two had young families and the third was an expectant father. So it is a good team for that kind of thing.

PS I am a big tea drinker and tried a lot of decaf teas when preg and BF. PG Tips was the best by far - I choose to drink it when not preg to cut down on caffeine. Not saying that to curry favour but I genuinely thought it was the nicest I tried.

Lozmatoz Sat 01-Mar-14 16:40:59

I found bursting into tears and sobbing 'I'm pregnant' when asked if I was OK, worked really well this time!

PS I am pleased about it!

StarsAbove Sat 01-Mar-14 17:56:18

I had to tell my boss at 7 weeks as I had an early bleed and so several hospital appointments that week. She was really supportive. I didn't tell my team until 16 weeks, my boss hated keeping the secret! I was lucky not to have any sickness and wasn't showing yet so I waited until after the scan, telling my family and getting used to the idea!

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