If you’re pregnant and need to tell your boss, first of all – congratulations!
Also, if you’re anxious about telling your boss and not sure how to break the news, that’s perfectly normal.
The important thing is that you tell your boss as soon as possible and you are aware of your rights and how your time off will be handled.
To help you out, here are some tips and examples on how to tell your boss you’re pregnant by email and in person:
How to Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant Email Template
Most women like to break the news to their boss by email so they can copy their HR department into the email and have everything on record.
Exactly what you say will vary based on the exact circumstances of your job, but as a guide here are a couple of templates you can use:
Subject: Request for maternity leave
Hello [Boss’ Name],
I hope you are well. I am writing to let you know that I am pregnant and have an estimated due date of [insert due date].
This means my maternity leave of [insert number of weeks] will start on or around the [insert date].
However, I’ll wait for confirmation from HR as to the exact dates.
While I’m excited and can’t wait, I’m mindful of the impact my time off is going to have on the team and department.
I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to discuss this in more detail, but I wanted to reassure you that I’ll take any measures necessary to ensure there is adequate cover in my absence.
I’ve given you as much notice as possible, please feel free to ask if you have any questions.
Note to HR – Please let me know what documentation you require from me.
Subject: Request for maternity leave
Hello [Boss’ Name],
I’m emailing you with great news (for me), I’m pregnant and am expecting the birth of my child around the [insert due date].
I will wait for HR to confirm, but I’m assuming that means I will be off on maternity leave from around the [insert date].
I’m sure we will meet up to discuss this in person, but I’m already thinking about everything I can do to make sure my responsibilities are covered when I’m on maternity leave.
I look forward to hearing from you,
How to Tell Your Boss You’re Pregnant In Person
I’m sure you’ll need to send an email to confirm your pregnancy to the right department, but you might want to break the news in person if you’re close to your boss.
So, before they open the mail if you want to tell your boss in person you could catch a quiet moment with them and say something like:
- “Hi, I have some exciting news to share, I’m expecting my [insert number] child!”
- “Hey, I know this is coming out of the blue, but I wanted to tell you in person – I’m pregnant.”
- “Some exciting news that I want you to hear from me before opening the email, I’m pregnant!”
- “Hi, this came as much of a surprise to me as it’s going to be to you, but I found out on [insert day] I’m pregnant.”
- “Hey, just wanted to let you know in person that I’m expecting, so I’m going to be taking some time off soon.”
You can never be too sure how someone you work with is going to take this kind of news, so you’ll have to go with the flow depending on how your boss responds.
The important thing is that you tell them as soon as you know so you give them as long as possible to prepare for your time off.
Things to Keep in Mind when Telling Your Boss You’re Pregnant
1. They Will Be Happy for You – but Thinking About Your Cover
I’m sure your boss is going to be supportive – after all, it’s great news!
But they will also start thinking about how your work is going to get done in your absence as that’s their job.
Try not to take this personally if they ask more questions about who will be covering your work than how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
They need to make sure there is someone who can fill in for you while you’re off or they’ll end up struggling.
2. They Will Be Concerned You’ll Not Come Back
Even though it’s illegal for your boss to ask, they might be worried about you not returning from maternity leave.
This is especially the case if you’re the only person in your team or department with your skillset.
You should try to allay their fears by reiterating your commitment to the company and your team – if you’re sure you’re coming back.
If you have a good relationship with your boss, it’s always best to just be honest about your plans after maternity leave.
The thing is that a lot of women change their minds about returning to work after their child is born, that’s something you’ll have to address at the time if you get such feelings.
3. They Might Not Be Aware of Company Policy
If you’re the first woman to announce she’s pregnant to your boss, they may not be aware of company policy or the laws relating to pregnancy in your state.
There are governing bodies and federal laws that protect the rights of pregnant workers in the US, and companies have their own pregnancy procedures.
This means they may say or do something that isn’t going to happen, so give them time to digest the information and seek the proper support.
It’s also pretty big news for them to take in if they know you well and it comes as a surprise to them!
Laws and Regulations to Be Aware Of
In the United States, there are three main pieces of legislation that govern your rights at work as a pregnant woman.
- These are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
There are some different rules and regulations depending on the number of employees your company has and some other factors, so it’s worth seeking the advice of a professional if you’re unsure about anything.
But what these legislations are in place for is to make sure that your workplace does not – or is not allowed to – discriminate against you because you are pregnant.
It’s Time to Tell Your Boss!
I hope the information this post has helped you feel better about telling your boss and the email templates will come in handy.
Remember, the important thing from here on out is the health of you and your child.
I’m sure you love your job and your career is important, but women take out the time to have a child and resume their careers without issue.
The key is to be as prepared as you can be, and to give your boss all the support they need to make sure your role is covered in your absence.
Sources we used to verify the information in this article:
Image credits – Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.