You’ve told your family, you’ve told your close friends—and now that you’re seriously considering those elastic pants from A Pea in the Pod, you know the time is coming to tell your boss. Maybe you have a good relationship with her and it feels like no biggie, but still, the thought of actually having that conversation gives you waves of anxiety, waves that you do not need to be feeling right now! Here, experts tell you everything you need to know, so that you can go on celebrating this super-special time in your life:

Question No. 1: When, exactly, should I say something at work? 

“I always suggest women wait until after their first trimester to tell their employers,” said Colleen Lauria, president of Ginger HR Consulting in New York City. “That leaves more than enough time to plan coverage while you are away.” Ultimately, the best time to tell your employer is based on your individual situation and what would make you feel most comfortable. Some women may find that telling their employers on the earlier side helps them feel more relaxed because they have more time to prepare. If you choose to wait to tell your employer, that’s perfectly fine, too—just keep in mind that the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employees to give their companies at least 30 days notice if they plan to take unpaid family time, added Donna Levin, co-founder and vice president of Care.com Workplace Solutions.

Question No. 2: Who should I tell first?

Tell your direct supervisor and then HR, according to Lauria. HR can help explain any maternity benefits. These benefits can potentially include everything from backup childcare, which is something offered through Care.com Workplace Solutions; flexible schedules; and parental leave for both new moms and dads, Levin added.

Whatever you do, don’t tell friends at the office before your boss, Levin warned. While you may have a close friend at work and you’re dying to tell her your happy news, news travels fast and shows a lack of professionalism if the news gets to your boss second-hand. And if that close friend at the office speculates you’re pregnant, just deny, deny, deny until you’ve told your boss. “I’m taking antibiotics so I can’t drink at happy hour” will all make sense to your coworker soon enough.

Question No. 3: How should I tell my coworkers—and my clients? 

“You and your manager should work together to develop a communications plan
to deal with clients, vendors and coworkers,” Lauria said. “This provides your manager the opportunity to assure key stakeholders that there is a coverage plan for
your absence.”

When you have the conversation with your manager, make sure there is a plan in place to address your work responsibilities and how to transition your workload while you’re away, Levin said. Planning ahead will create a smooth transition into maternity leave so you can enjoy time with your little one without work stress hanging over your head.

For more details about how to manage your maternity leave, visit the Maybrooks Maternity Leave Tool Kit.

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This article was originally published by our content partner Levo League. Levo.com connects you with the people and learnings you need to advance your career.

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