A baby, and a lot of changes on the way

Being pregnant and getting ready for parenthood can cause all sorts of feelings. You may feel excited, anxious, sad, stressed and happy all at the same time! It’s OK to feel like you do. 

In this topic, learn about ways to deal with your feelings and the changes happening in your life so you can better enjoy your pregnancy. 

Most women who work can keep working during pregnancy, even right up until their due date. But managing work and pregnancy can be tricky. If you’re working during pregnancy, find out about maternity leave, disability benefits and health insurance. And decide how and when to tell your boss that you’re pregnant. 

Most common questions

What are my rights for maternity leave?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees can take time off from work without pay for pregnancy- and family-related health issues. The act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that you can keep your health insurance benefits during the leave. To qualify, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months, and worked at a location where the company has 50 or more employees within 75 miles. This time off is in addition to whatever maternity leave your company offers. Ask your company's human resources representative about maternity leave and FMLA.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says it's unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related health conditions. Women who are pregnant or affected by pregnancy-related conditions must be treated in the same way as other employees with similar abilities or limitations. If you feel you're being discriminated against at work because you're pregnant, contact your company's human resources representative.

When should I tell my boss I'm pregnant?

That's up to you. Some women tell their bosses as soon as they find out they're pregnant. Others wait a while. Whichever you choose, make sure that your boss hears the news from you. You don't want him to hear it from a coworker or as a rumor. If you're having common pregnancy discomforts, like having to go to the bathroom a lot or feeling tired all the time, you should tell him so he understands why you may be acting differently at work.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).