If you find out that you’re pregnant and you’ve been working at your workplace for a while, your mind may quickly go into overdrive trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do.
It can be a bit tricky to navigate telling your employer while still keeping your pregnancy confidential.
There is no hard and fast rule on when you’re supposed to disclose but there are a few work related things you should do to make your pregnancy go smoothly and stress free.
First and foremost, ensure that you see your doctor.
He or she will answer your burning questions and will help alleviate your pregnancy anxiety.
In the mean time, here are a few quick tips on the first things you should do at work when you find out that you’re expecting.
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1.Prepare Yourself At Work
If you’re already having a particulary trying pregnancy, or you find yourself going through the motions of morning sickness, decide on quick routes throughout your building which can lead you to quiet spots where you can comfortably see yourself through your morning sickness.
This is especially great because you don’t have to explain to co-workers what’s going on with you.
It may be a bathroom, or a quiet conference room.
Physically scope out your office space and decide where will be the best place for you. This may also be the time that you want to think through your work options.
Perhaps you work in a relaxed office place where you can ask your boss to work from home, think through whether this may help you out in the long run with your morning sickness and also doctor’s appointments.
Related Reading: Telling Your Boss You’re Expecting
2.Grab An Employee Handbook
I remember when I found out I was having a baby, one of the first things that crossed my mind was how much time I would have off to spend with my baby.
I wanted to know the total amout of time off I had accured, however I did not want to speak with my company’s benefits person too soon into the pregnancy.
If this sounds like your situation, consider getting your hands on your employee handbook.
More than likely you received one when you first got hired, and it usually details how much time you can have per the company’s policy, for maternity leave, unpaid leave, personal time off and other forms of leave such as sick and extended sick leave – as well as short and long term disability
3.Use the Intranet
Many companies are now moving away from offering employee handbooks both in an aim towards greener options and also to make information more user friendly and readily accessible to employees.
Instead of offering the handbooks upon hire, some places may instead direct you to the company’s Intranet site.
Go to the benefits section of your company’s site, and search up “What to do when you’re having a baby”.
4.Understand the different leave types
Read through and be sure you understand the differences between each type of leave your company offers. There are some that have to be used concurrently and some types of leave don’t pay you out a paycheck.
FMLA for instance protects your job for a specific period of time while you’re out on leave but it’s different from PTO (Paid Time Off) which pays you out a paycheck for the days/weeks you’re out.
5.Get Required Paperwork
If you work for a larger company, the Intranet site is usually filled with information on how to obtain FMLA Paperwork. Print these out, and start preparing them. It’s never too early in the game to start filling these out and remember they also have to be signed off on by your doctor.
6.Calculate An End Date
While knowing the different type of leave your company will offer you is very important, it’s also equally important to know just how much leave you’re going to require.
The amount of leave you will have will usually be determined by your tenure with the company.
Unfortunately if you are a new hire, you might not qualify for any type of paid leave.
If you’re a tenured employee, do a total analysis of all the leave you may have.
Decide whether you will use your leave intermittently for doctor’s appointments and sick days, or whether you will work with your manager on an alternate scenario so that you can save your leave for bonding time after the baby is born.
7.Decide on When You Will Disclose
Most employers would ofcourse prefer to know sooner than later if you’re expecting.
Employers value the advanced knowledge of a pregnancy so they can put a plan in place for who will cover your work while you’re out.
But at the end of the day, it’s ultimately your decision, so disclose when you feel comfortable.
Related Reading: Creative Ways To Announce Your Pregnancy At Work
8. Talk It Out
One of the things that’s really helpful in regards to your first pregnancy is talking to a colleague who has just had a baby.
You most certainly want it to be someone you trust, if you haven’t yet made the announcement to your other colleagues.
Talking with a coworker who has just had a baby can help you in navigating the maze of maternity paperwork and time frames in regards to submitting them.
They can also provide you with alot of emotional work support as they truly know what you are going through. Rely on them and allow them to coach you through the benefits process.
Are you expecting? Or perhaps you just had a baby? Do you find these tips helpful? Join the discussion in the comments section below.
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