When hearing the news that someone on your staff is pregnant, don’t be surprised if you experience a mixture of feelings. While you may be genuinely happy for the person, the announcement might generate concern for the future of your team.
If you are not already familiar with it, read up on the company’s. This information, coupled with the expectant mother’s due date, can help develop a time frame for when you’ll need to hire additional help or assign other employees to take over duties. While you can inquire about intentions beyond the scheduled time off, realize that the mother-to-be may not be ready to make such decisions. Likewise, plans often change when the baby arrives. Regardless of your worries, try to keep the conversation positive and professional. The employee hasn’t done anything wrong. She’s simply having a baby.
Your helpfulness and understanding can go a long way toward making the person comfortable during pregnancy. Realize that many women suffer from nausea, especially in the morning but possibly at any time of the day. Moving her cubicle closer to the restroom, covering if she suddenly needs to leave a meeting, and building more breaks into the schedule may be appreciated. If working remote some days may be an option, let her know.
As the delivery date nears, work with your employee to get things in order. (Managers may want to do this sooner rather than later in case a doctor puts the mother-to-be on bed rest or she goes into labor earlier than expected.) This can involve providing updates on the status of projects, training other team members, informing clients of the upcoming absence and creating lists of passwords and the locations of files. Be sure her contact information is up to date, in case a situation comes up during her leave. Consider setting up a schedule for periodically checking in to resolve any issues, keep her informed and hear a few stories about her new bundle of joy.