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How Do I Tell My Boss I Am Pregnant?

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time of hope and excitement while awaiting your newest family member. It can also be a time of uncertainty, especially where your employment is concerned. Some employers have positive attitudes and policies regarding maternity leave and parenting, while other employers have a less than welcoming approach. The good news is that there are laws to protect pregnant women and most employers fall somewhere in the middle of the extremes.

Often, telling our boss that we are pregnant can be the biggest stress hurdle. Here are some helpful tips to help you tell your employer that you are pregnant:

1. Know your rights. Read your company’s policy on maternity leave and parental leave and familiarize yourself with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state laws regarding maternity leave. The U.S. does not have paid maternity leave laws. California is one of only four states that have paid maternity leave laws in addition to FMLA. It might tip your hand to ask HR for the company’s maternity leave policies. You should be able to access company policies in your initial employment paperwork, by requesting a copy of the employee handbook/policy manual from HR, or it may be in an employee online portal.

2. When to tell. Many women wait until they are into the second trimester (four to six months) before telling an employer of their pregnancy. Often, this is when women begin to “show” but it is also considered a “safe” time since most miscarriages occur in the first trimester (three months) of a pregnancy. Some women have such severe morning sickness that they may need to share the news with their employer early in their pregnancy as it could become a medical issue impacting their performance.

Consider timing your announcement until after an upcoming performance review, project deadline or deal. Telling your supervisor before a pending company reorganization could be mutually beneficial if you don’t plan on returning after the baby is born. It could be a good time to part ways and possibly leave with a severance package or unemployment benefits instead of just quitting after the baby is born. Conversely, if you plan to return after the baby is born, you might consider holding off on sharing your pregnancy news. Employers are not legally permitted to fire you for being pregnant but they can let you go under the guise of the reorganization.

3. Who to tell. Often, co-workers are close friends so women are most likely share their pregnancy news with them first – or with social media. However, it would be best to share your pregnancy news with your direct supervisor or human resources first. Which leads us to best practices on how to tell your employer you are pregnant.

4. How to tell. Face-to-face is the best way to tell your employer. This enables you to gauge her reaction and give you an insight into how she and/or the company may feel about pregnant employees, maternity leave, and accommodating working parents. If you are concerned about your direct supervisor’s reaction, consider sharing the news with HR first or requesting a meeting with HR, you and your supervisor.

5. What to say. The initial announcement should be brief to share that you are pregnant and the baby’s due date. Don’t overshare about the details – save those for your personal friends over lunch or dinner. You may want to assure your employer that you have given this much thought but all of the logistics (like this maternity leave plan) can be worked out in the coming months. Don’t lock yourself into any promises or commitments early on (i.e. Do not say: “I plan to work right up until my due date,” or, “I will only need six weeks off.”) because you won’t know details until you and your doctor discuss your medical needs in the coming months.

6. Email Follow Up. It’s always good to have an electronic record of the date and nature of your conversation. The face-to-face should be followed up with a simple email the same day: “Susan, Thanks for your time today so I could share my pregnancy announcement with you. The baby’s due date is… I look forward to working out the logistics for my leave in the coming months.”

With a little advance planning, telling your boss that you are pregnant can be a simple and positive experience. If you are pregnant and unsure of your pregnancy decision, the client advocates at Support Circle can listen and help you make a decision that is in line with your values. We can also help prepare for your conversation with your employer by helping you to talk it through and role play.

To schedule an appointment at one of our three Bay Area clinics, call 888-252-1822 or visit: supportcircle.org/today.

 

Helpful Links
Overcoming Anxiety

Professional Counseling

Schedule an Appointment

 

 

Reference Links
Dept. of Labor. Federal Law on Maternity Leave

California Legislature. California Law on Paid Maternity Leave 

Fairy God Boss. How to Create a Maternity Leave Plan

 

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

Fifty to seventy percent of women abused before pregnancy are abused during pregnancy. Domestic Violence and Pregnancy The form of abuse can present itself as physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, financial and medical.  It can happen to anyone.  Domestic violence knows no boundaries.  It happens to students, stay-at-home moms, cashiers and corporate executives.  Women of all ages, ethnicities, faiths, economic status and levels of education can find themselves in an environment where their intimate partner, or former partner, is abusing them.  It is more common than people believe.  According to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, as much as 35% of women experience some form of intimate partner violence.  That is equivalent to 1 in 3 women.

The impact of intimate partner violence during pregnancy presents countless health risks to the pregnant woman and to the health of the fetus.  Some of the physical complications for the woman include low weight gain, bleeding, infections, high blood pressure, placental abruption, uterine rupture and anemia.  Left untreated, major complications can result during the pregnancy and/or childbirth.  While these effects may seem temporary or manageable, the effects on the fetus can extend to childhood and even into adulthood.

Women in an unintended pregnancy are burdened with the additional weight of choosing between a relationship with the father of the unborn child and the desire to live in a safe and secure environment.  Pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, have a higher incidence of suicide, and engage in substance abuse, which include the abuse of illicit and prescription drugs and alcohol.  These coping mechanisms may enable temporary escape but have long-term effects.  Best practices point to professional counseling and early medical attention as soon as pregnancy is suspected.  An intervention of this nature will help verify a pregnancy and its viability through a laboratory grade urine test and an ultrasound and help women in an unplanned pregnancy find a safe environment to discuss their concerns.

Women considering parenting are encouraged to secure prenatal care as soon as possible.  Lack of prenatal care affects not just the pregnant woman, but the baby as well. It can lead to immediate complications including premature birth and low-birth weight.  Low birth weight and premature birth could have long-term effects on the child including attention problems, behavioral difficulties, language delays, decreased IQ, motor function delays. These effects often create difficulties in school and on into adulthood.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Seek help immediately.  Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be complicated or confusing under less stressful circumstances.  An unplanned pregnancy while living in an abusive environment or while in an abusive relationship is overwhelming.  Developing a support system that includes individuals that will support and advocate for you while you make your final pregnancy decision will help you remain safe.

The counseling and medical staff at Support Circle have experience working with pregnant women who have experienced intimate partner violence.  One particular client, “Lily,” was in an abusive relationship.  Our patient advocate team advocated for Lily and her daughter by helping them find housing and other community resources to ensure their continued safety.  We are available to listen and to support you.

Support Circle patient advocates are here to give you the time, space and support you need during your pregnancy.  With three Bay Area clinics in San Francisco, Redwood City and Oakland, our team is able to listen and provide the support and community resources you need to make your pregnancy decision and for the coming year, regardless of what you decide.  We encourage you to call, schedule an appointment or walk-in today.  You don’t have to go through this alone.

Click for the Domestic Violence Intervention Program’s detailed list on signs that indicate you may be experiencing intimate partner violence.

 

Hotline Phone Numbers:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 TTY

W.O.M.A.N., Inc., San Francisco Bay Area 24-Hour Hotline: 415-864-4722

Support Circle can provide you with additional resources that may help you: 1-888-252-1822

 

Links:

Appointments and Walk-ins

Chat with a nurse

 

References:

  1. Saltzman, LE., Johnson, C.H., Gilbert, BC., and Goodwin, F. “Physical Abuse Around the Time of Pregnancy: An Examination of Prevalence and Risk Factors in 16 States”. Maternal and Child Health Journal, Vol. 7, Pg 31-42 (2003)
  2. http://www.dvipiowa.org/myths-facts-about-domestic-violence/
  3. Tjaden P, Thoennes N.Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 1998.
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971723/
  5. https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/Reproductive.pdf
  6. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/domestic-abuse/

 

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How do I tell my parents I am pregnant?

How Do I Tell My Parents I am Pregnant?

Are you feeling nervous, unprepared, or afraid of telling your parents that you are pregnant? It’s easy to share news we know for sure our parents will be excited about. But other times, we are not sure how they will take what we have to share. Telling parents that you are in an unplanned pregnancy brings its own range of angst. Here are nine areas to think about when preparing to tell your parents that you are pregnant.

Get the Facts

Before you tell your parents and before you get too stressed out, confirm that you are pregnant. The nurses at Support Circle can perform a pregnancy test for you to confirm the results of a home pregnancy test that you may have purchased at a CVS pharmacy or a Walgreens pharmacy.

If it turns out that you are not pregnant, you won’t have to have this difficult conversation with your parents. If you plan to remain sexually active, selecting a reliable birth control plan can help you to avoid facing an unplanned pregnancy. If you are pregnant, a Support Circle nurse can perform a free ultrasound that will tell you how far along you are and can determine if the fetus is viable. If the fetus is not viable, it will drastically change your decision making process and what conversation, if any, you might decide to have with your parents.

Know Your Parents

Think back to how your parents react to sudden news. Are they calm and rational? Do they freak out and then calm down and think it through? How your parents react will be determined by their personalities and also by factors including these questions you should answer ahead of time: Are they aware that you are dating? Do they know you have been sexually active? How old are you? Do they perceive you to be mature for your age? Are you in school, working or both? What expectations do they have for you? What are their values regarding dating and sex? Have your parents experienced an unplanned pregnancy? Knowing what to expect from your parents can help you to prepare for their reaction. Ultimately, you will not know how your parents will react until you tell them. The next steps will help you to prepare to tell your parents you are pregnant.

Expert Support

What do you want to do about your pregnancy? In your perfect world, would you want to abort, place for adoption or parent? Regardless of your decision, you should talk to a professional pregnancy counselor because she can help you to determine your next steps. Pregnancy counselors have the knowledge of and access to community resources that you may need. They have lots of experience and can answer your questions. Caring counselors are able to give you the emotional support you need to make your best decision and throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you decide you want to talk to your parents, a counselor can help you to role play the conversation and create a plan for how to discuss different topics with them. Many women have found this to be very helpful prior to approaching their parents.

A Support System

You will need support from those closest to you. It will help to have someone in your life that you can talk to. Someone who can help you to process your thoughts, values, emotions, and options. Often, a wise support person may be a close family friend, school counselor, favorite teacher, aunt or uncle.

Make a Plan

Having a plan for your next steps, based on your pregnancy decision, will show your parents that you have given this thought. If you are younger, it will help them to see that you have begun to take a mature approach to your pregnancy. You do not have to have every area outlined or thought out – they can help with that. A trusted advisor or pregnancy counselor can help you to lay out a plan based on your decision. It would also be a good idea to have a plan ready in case your parents request that you leave your home or emergency shelter if your home becomes a dangerous place for you.

Bring a Friend

Ideally, you and your boyfriend or girlfriend should tell your parents together. Sometimes, that is not possible. The next best option is to bring a friend. If you are concerned about your parents’ reaction or need help telling them, it might be wise to bring a friend. The person you selected as part of your support system might be a good choice. If you are concerned about your safety, having a friend present could help to diffuse the situation. Or, you could meet with your parents in a counselor’s office. A professional pregnancy counselor can address your parents’ questions and concerns as well as provide valuable resources for your family.

The Best Time

There really is no “best time” to tell your parents about your unplanned pregnancy. However, there are “better times.” Right after work, as soon as your parents walk in the door is not the best time. A better time would be after dinner or after a younger sibling has gone to bed. Consider your parents’ schedules and select a time when they will be most relaxed and receptive to a conversation.

What to Say

Your plan will help you to know what you need to share with your parents. For example, if you are younger, or still under their medical insurance, you may need their consent for medication or procedures, or help navigating medical bills. Do you need a ride to/from medical appointments or financial support? A clear and concise: “Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant,” will certainly get the conversation rolling. Chances are, your parents will do much of the talking and asking questions after an opening line like above.

Give it Time

This is life-changing news. It took you some time to come to terms with your pregnancy. Allow your parents time to process this information and come to terms with your pregnancy as well. Just as you went through a range of emotions, your parents may as well. They have to grieve the expectations and plans they had envisioned for you and accept the new reality. Be patient.

What you do with your pregnancy is your decision to make. Hopefully, your parents will support you in your decision. If not, we hope the tips shared above will help you to have a plan and support system in place.

The caring and supportive nurses and counselors at Support Circle are available to help you with pregnancy testing, counseling during your decision process and on-going counseling and support for the coming year after your decision. We have three locations in the Bay Area including Redwood City, San Francisco and Oakland that offer services free of charge. You do not have to walk through this journey alone. Connect with us today and let us help you find the information you are looking for.

 

Related Posts:

 

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Options

Pregnancy Counseling

 

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She’s No Stranger

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In honor of someone you know that has been touched by an unplanned pregnancy, watch this exciting new 60-second video and share it with your friends and family on social media and email.  This is the perfect way to anonymously honor her.  She’s our sister, our daughter, our friend.  She is us!

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She Matters. And So Does HE.

Posed by model

Posed by model

She Matters. And So Does He.
At Support Circle, She Matters. And so does He. Support Circle offers tangible help by providing medical and counseling services where women can come to address their most pressing needs and fears when facing an unplanned pregnancy. We offer this to each woman because we believe She Matters. And so does He. Recent research by Public Opinion Strategies showed that for women unsure about their unplanned pregnancy, the number one concern/factor in their decision is the relationship with the father of the baby. The research also showed that most men would like to be involved with their partner in the decision-making process.

Support Circle recognizes that men need support as well in this situation and provides the following services for men:

  • Addressing financial questions and concerns in an individual counseling setting
  • Insurance assistance and enrollment
  • Answers to medical questions related to the pregnancy
  • Discussion facilitation – Sometimes conversations can be difficult with sensitive issues like an unintended pregnancy. Having a qualified third party facilitate discussion between the woman and the man is extremely helpful. Our professional counselors specialize in facilitating discussions with couples who are “unsure” of their pregnancy decision. All sessions are confidential and free.
  • Individual counseling – Enables the man to sort out his own thoughts and plans in complete confidentiality with a professional counselor.
  • Relationship counseling
  • Co-parenting counseling

Support Circle is a safe, civil place where a woman and a man can address their most pressing needs. It is a place they can both come and have a professional counselor facilitate a discussion so they can both really hear each other. She Matters. And so does He.

 

Services for Men at Support Circle

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