When you no longer fit in your clothes and have to leave meetings every 5 minutes to pee, it's time to tell the boss you're pregnant. You may be excited or scared, and inevitably questions will come up about maternity leave and more. So, take a deep breath and get ready for the big announcement, mama!

It's time to tell her

Most moms wait to announce their pregnancies until after 12 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage is lower than during the first trimester. I was not one of those moms. Try as I might to wait, the jig was up by 10 weeks. During my first pregnancy, a co-worker — and mom of three — looked at me one morning and said, "You're pregnant." I didn't even try a bad poker face.

Tell your boss early in your pregnancy, before you start showing and before you start telling others.

With baby 2, I had such bad morning sickness I got tired of taking the elevator to the bathroom on a different floor to throw up all day long and nearly hurled when a particularly pungent lunch was delivered for a meeting one afternoon.

Even if you can hide it longer than I was able to, HR professional Pamela J. Green says that's not always the best approach. "Tell your boss early in your pregnancy, before you start showing and before you start telling others." she advises.

And be sure not to tell a trusted colleague who may let the cat out of the bag before you spill the beans to your boss about your bump. Green says, "The boss should not be the last person to know."

The whole "are you coming back to work?" thing

Do not feel pressured to make a decision immediately, even if you think you know you may not.

You may be 100 percent sure about returning to work, but just like when you're planning for labor and delivery and think you may go all hippie natural or get an epidural on your couch, guess what? You may change your mind.

Green advises moms to: "Reassure your boss of your intention to return to work. Do not feel pressured to make a decision immediately, even if you think you know you may not. I've seen mothers change their minds after being at home for 8-10 weeks."

"You know your boss just as well as anyone — consider how they have handled prior pregnancy announcements and try to avoid any negative circumstances."

Your bump is only going to get bigger, so just do it

Take a deep breath... and go! (Into your boss's office, that is.)

"Be prepared for lots of questions and be open without disclosing too much personal information," says Green. "The key is to make your boss feel confident that you will continue to perform at a commendable level or higher and that you will keep (her) abreast of any changes in your plans."

Read more about the second trimester

Are second trimester ultrasounds necessary?
The second trimester: A guide to your baby's development
Can you afford to stay home with your kids?

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Sherri Kuhn February 05, 2013
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I felt so odd telling my boss that I was expecting! In the end, it was better to plan ahead for my maternity leave...but still hard!