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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


MaddAddam Sat 01-Mar-14 18:21:18

The first time was not a good time as we were just starting a new project and my boss was surprised, she'd thought I'd be waiting a few years.
The second time was not a good time as we were still on the same new project and my first dd was less than a year old and my boss was surprised, she'd thought I'd wait longer between children.
The third time was the worst time, because by then it was getting embarrassing to have to continually admit to the same very family friendly boss that I was going off YET AGAIN. 3 children in my workplace is seen as excessive and inappropriate.

I learned the third time. Do not tell your boss you are pregnant yet again in a car which she's driving if she's an erratic type. She nearly crashed.

addictedtosugar Sat 01-Mar-14 18:23:41

When you need to.
So if there are things requiring an occ health assessment ASAP, they need to know as soon as you know.
The girl who didn't tell anyone til 24 weeks, and carried on doing a job she KNEW would be removed form her as soon as she told anyone she was pregnant (minor chemical issue) wasn't well received.
If your struggling with morning sickness or HG, they need to know to help you.

If your doing fine, the appointments fit round work, and no adjustments are needed, tell them in time to get your maternity leave.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Sat 01-Mar-14 20:22:16

It can be quite embarrassing to feel you have to explain to your boss that the reason your work has been severely under par for the past month, and you've been late every day and not putting in the hours, is because you've been totally knocked back by severe morning sickness (and that's why you're telling her at 9w, even though you'd rather wait until after the scan, so this is not official, and please keep it confidential) and for her to reply

"Oh, I hadn't noticed any issues. By the way, congratulations."

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Sat 01-Mar-14 20:27:24

I didn't tell my boss the first time. I miscarried at 8 weeks and I didn't want work to know, I wanted to carry on as normal to take my mind off it. I did tell one trusted colleague who covered for me in difficult circumstances (co-workers announcing pgs for example). But he was very discreet and not too intrusive- I felt if I'd told everyone else I'd have seen it in their eyes IYSWIM.

The second time I waited until the 12 week scan, then went into my boss's office, closed the door and said. "Are you sitting comfortably? Do you have a drink? I'm pregnant." He was a bit blindsided but reacted perfectly, with smiles and congratulations.

I didn't have morning sickness so didn't need to hide it. I went on a business trip at 10 weeks but it was with the same trusted colleague from my previous pg and I'd told him so didn't have to mess around with pretending to drink and surreptitiously avoiding salmon mousse.

Paintyfingers Sat 01-Mar-14 20:40:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FightingOverImaginaryIcecream Sat 01-Mar-14 20:53:50

DC1, my boss knew from when I started trying as I had to avoid certain work areas incompatible with even the possibility of pregnancy. I still got a promotion soon afterwards (into his new team) meaning I no longer went near anything dodgy. It took us so long TTC, that I think he'd thought it was all a ruse to avoid doing unpleasant jobs and was quite surprised by an actual announcement. I needed to tell at about 8 weeks as the morning sickness was hideous, as he knew we were TTC I thought it wouldn't matter that much as not that unexpected.

DC2 I very nearly announced at 6(ish) weeks by being sick in a very senior manager's lap, fortunately managed to run in time, but no-one who heard the retching was left in much doubt... Officially announced at 12 weeks, but nearly everyone seemed to know by then.

2stopspastdagenham Sat 01-Mar-14 21:46:17

It isn't funny. Many firms don't find it amusing. Many bosses less so. Wish were different....

Do it over tea. Work out after scans. Know you and baby are well. Get yourself knowledgeable as best at this stage you can. Take advice from mumsnet, mums you know, women you know. Book a comfortable slot; 11am or 3pm often good if an office. Ask for a 1:1 and make clear there's stuff to talk about. Pre read policy info have questions ready. This sets you both on new ground. It's important. It's proper personal news. Treat it with the reverence it deserves. It's momentous - you will be a mum.


AndHarry Sat 01-Mar-14 21:56:18

I think after the 12-week scan is a good time to tell your manager, unless there are problems before that point that might require you to take a lot of time off either as sick leave or to attend extra appointments. In that case, the sooner the better as then you are protected from disciplinary action on the basis of your pregnancy-related absence, paid time off to attend relevant appointments and any pregnancy-related sick days won't show up on your absence record if you decide to go for another job. Another time to tell as soon as possible is when you work in a job or an environment that is potentially hazardous to the baby or pregnant women.

The worst time to tell... Maybe when your manager is über-stressed about something or other, the day before the statutory time to tell is up or the day after you give birth?!

In early pregnancy with DC1 I had swine flu so was easily able to attribute any tiredness or sickness to that. I was lucky to have an easy pregnancy with DC2 so no excuses were ever required.

I had different managers with each pregnancy and told them face-to-face in private before sending a back-up email with all the relevant information to them and HR. Both times I had a middle-aged male manager and they were very positive.

IncaAztec Sat 01-Mar-14 22:23:27

I told my boss on a one to one meeting after my 12 week scan. I had quite a bit of sickness but somehow hid it. I told my boss at 12 weeks as I felt he needed to plan for my maternity leave etc. I think the worst way is to wait too long, I did this during my second pregnancy as I waited til my 20 week scan due to complications. I felt bad about it but my boss was fine with it.

milliemoon Sat 01-Mar-14 22:26:57

I told the boss straight away as I worked with challenging behaviours so there were some aspects of the job I needed to avoid straight away

changedirection Sat 01-Mar-14 22:45:25

Told my boss around 7 weeks as was feeling so rough and tired I only felt it was fair he knew. Asked him to to himself though and told rest if colleagues after 12 week scan.

It was good telling early, reduced the amount of worrying about his reaction (which was, of course fine)

LackaDAISYcal Sun 02-Mar-14 00:59:10

In my current job its best to tell your line manager as soon as possible so a risk assessment can be carried out. Not likely to ever have to tell them so not an issue! I hope!!

Worst time would be just before a big deadline in any job, or just after you manager has announced that she/his wife has had a miscarriage (this happened to a friend of mine)

With my first DC, we were booked to go on a work weekend jolly to Barcelona. I had to tell my boss as I was concerned about flying just incase anything went wrong, and then I had to tell my colleagues as A) I wasn't drinking and had been up to that point a right ole lush and B) we went to a really famour fish restaurant off Las Ramblas, and I spent the whole time running outside to puke in the gutter and eventually had to excuse myself and go back to the hotel and C) I was asleep by seven every night and had to explain my absence at dinner, drinking and clubbing...boss was surprisxed like everyone else as my long term partner and I had just split up!

With DC2, I had already had a miscarriage so I guess they were expecting another announcement so weren't surprised when I did announce it. In fact my boss asked me first and I had to try and deflect him. He wasn't convinced! this boss was altogether more sexist and told me about his wife giving up work as soon as she found out she was pregnant and then staying at home to raise his babies...

I then found out I was pregnant again before my maternity leave was up so went from one straight into another with a couple of weeks signed off with PND. That went down like a lead balloon hmm

RubySparks Sun 02-Mar-14 06:43:02

Telling your boss needs to be quite early on so time off is given for appointments, so at least before 12 week scan. As others have said, having bad morning sickness meant I couldn't keep it quiet even if I wanted to! Bizarrely the first time I worked in male dominated company/industry and 3 of the women in the office became pregnant the same time I did! So that helped me feel less unusual...

TheSumofUs Sun 02-Mar-14 07:18:10

As early as you feel comfortable

Waiting too long is inconsiderate as the employer needs to make coverage plans

CrewElla Sun 02-Mar-14 10:18:47

Both times I told work quite early; the first time as I was so sick and couldn't hide it and the second time because the job was so stressful I needed early accommodations.

In the terms of best/worst I think that is dependant on the woman. If she is ready to share then that's the best time, if her news gets out before she wants to tell then it is the worst time.

I never had to hide my morning sickness or explain it away.

My first employer was terribly negligent in dealing with my pregnancy but my current employer was good.

LouiseFromLondon Sun 02-Mar-14 14:51:12

I'm 8 weeks pregnant and planning to tell my work at just after 12 weeks. However the father and I (though good friends) are not a couple and I'm really worried about being the centre of stigma/ gossip if I were to tell people that I am doing this alone. I am tempted to pretend that the father (who they will never met anyway) and I are a couple! This would be easy as my work life is completely separate to my personal life. I work in a small team of women and they love to chat and gossip (my boss is VERY nosey) so I know I will have to bat away endless questions. Either way I feel I can't win! Anyone been in a similar situation?? Any good advice?!

BlizzardInWales Sun 02-Mar-14 16:10:57

~ 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

The first time it was easy. I'd been with the company for years! Everyone was surprised, but very pleased. I told very early because I was just so excited.

This time was a little different... I'd only been with the company for a very short time. On the one hand it made sense to leave it as long as possible so that I'd been there at least a few months! On the other hand, the role involves working with potentially physically aggressive children and teenagers, so the employer needed to know ASAP.

I eventually told at 11 weeks when I deemed that I was far enough along to feel at risk in the environment I was in.

~ when's the worst time?

Pretty much when I told them!

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

I'm one of those irksome souls who doesn't really suffer beyond occasional nausea.

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

My boss was very kind, slightly put out in a humorous way. I was the fifth employee from that floor within two months to discover I was pregnant!! He's running out of staff.

Jinty64 Sun 02-Mar-14 19:33:16

~ 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, generally, it is best to tell them fairly early on so that it can be ensured that the environment is safe and a risk assessment can be done.

~ when's the worst time?
Immediately after your colleague tells them she is or in a board meeting!

~ how did you explain / excuse any morning sickness bouts?
The smell from the canteen would drift in our window from first thing in the morning growing ever stronger as lunchtime approached. I had all day sickness and the only thing that helped was sipping strawberry Ribena and normally I can't stand it.

~ how did you tell your boss and what was their reaction
Having had two miscarriages and being convinced that I would have another with ds3 I kept putting off telling anyone at work. I had just started a new job and two colleagues had announced their pregnancies the week before, both due well after me. I was 42 with two older children and when I told my boss I had something to tell her she said "oh don't tell me you're pregnant too" and laughed. She was very happy for me once she got over the shock!

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 19:51:51

best time? early on, so any health and safety can be addressed, time off for antenatal appointments is easier, allowances can be made when you are throwing up and your impending mat leave can be sorted with less panic. worst time? for me that would have been too early on in pregnancy, for boss it would have been later on in pregnancy. in both cases it's a balance between your needs and theirs, and timing is going to be different in different work places and pregnancies.

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 19:54:46


morning sickness was main reason I told before 12 weeks scan, I was throwing up loads and needed to explain why. last pregnancy I didn't realise I was pregnant until after I had been sent home from work after spectacularly throwing up. that, BTW, is not the best way to tell work you are pregnant ....

MadMonkeys Sun 02-Mar-14 19:55:15

I told my boss at about 10 weeks so i could be honest about needing time off for my 12 week scan. Amazingly nobody guessed despite my emergency sick bucket on the passenger seat or my frequent trips to the loo...

p.s. This will scupper my chances of winning the prize, but i actually think Sainsbury's own decaf is loads nicer than any of the big brands. Tetleys decaf is revolting... PG is okay.

StainlessSteelCat Sun 02-Mar-14 20:06:07

and again ...

I told line manager by waiting for a quiet moment, and then being very matter of fact. response was always very supportive, and continued to be, although I suspect the next manager up may have wished the timing was bettergrin The next step was to inform HR, then heath and safety get involved, and those parts were standard bureaucracy - almost impersonal, follow standard procedures.

I always dreaded telling work, but that's due to me being hormonal rather than their response. I have always felt work was supportive of me during pregnancy, even though one time there were several of us going on mat leave very close together. They were equally supportive of a colleague who went on extremely short notice adoption leave for 9 months, they definitely took the long view on staff taking mat leave.

DoItTooJulia Sun 02-Mar-14 20:59:30

1. As soon as you want to. I guess it depends on the type of job you do, how sick./tired you are, how well you get along with your boss and so on.

2. The worst time? I can't answer've stumped me. Straight after something terrible.

3. I just had plenty of snacks and drinks at the office. I don't spend all of my time in the office so that helped!

4. I told my boss during a regular one to one meeting. He seemed pleased and I thnk relieved that I wasn't leaving altogether!

manfalou Mon 03-Mar-14 12:24:02

~ 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

We don't tell anyone until after the first scan at 12 weeks so this is when I told my employer. If I was closer to them I probably would've told sooner but tbh they were horrible people and I didn't want them knowing.

~ when's the worst time?

at the very latest opportunity 25 weeks I would say.

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

Didn't have morning sickness and our uniform was baggy. I do pregnancy really well, get fat eventually but apart from that I'm as fit as a fiddle!

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

I had the morning off for my 12 week scan and then went straight into the office and told them when I got into work. A big fake congratulations as id just accepted a promotion haha I found out i was pregnant the day before I accepted.

AdamantEve Mon 03-Mar-14 12:35:09

I think it's best to inform your management team as early as you are comfortable with as if any allowances need toe made as the pregnancy progresses, they will already be aware.

Probably not a good idea to inform them when they are rushing and don't have time to discuss it properly!

Re. Morning sickness, I luckily didn't suffer.

I told my manager at 6 weeks, I may not have mentioned it quite so early but DP and I wanted to book a holiday and I thought it would help sway her decision to grant the leave! She was the first person I told face to face - had told my family over the phone, so it was strangely emotional.
She was very congratulatory. I cried.

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