I discovered that I was not the only one sharing their pregnancy news at first due to fears related to the virus. Although (thankfully) I have been working from home for years, many women I have spoken to have focused on telling their employers early to make sure they are not exposing themselves to others on their workplace, especially if their employers had been slow to act and put people to telework. “I had a major event taking place at work, which meant a lot of interfacing with organizational leadership and a lot of practical work, so I thought revealing my pregnancy early would be a kind of distraction. Originally, I planned to wait about 20 weeks, maybe a little longer, “says Amanda *, who lives in the Washington D.C. area and is currently 15 weeks with her second child. “And then everything started to change. Over the course of a week, we went from “oh, [the virus] is not a big deal “to cancel the event. With that in mind, I laid out everything for my boss. I prepared everything for HR. I said,” This is not the time to I thought, but that worries me, “she said. Amanda’s supervisors transferred her to a telework schedule, although the rest of her office was not yet one. A few days later, she discovered that someone in his office had a confirmed exposure. “One of my supervisors emailed me saying” I’m really glad you told us that last week and that you weren’t here this week. “It ended up being good foresight,” she said.
Concerns about her workplace were also the reason why JennieV, who is 14 weeks pregnant in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, told her managers at the University of Western Carolina a little earlier than she knew. wished. “I got permission to go to work remotely because of my pregnancy before the UNC system [where I work] mandatory telework, ”she says. “We were only released to the public a little early – I was still in my first trimester. I’m so glad we did – I had no way of anticipating a system-wide response and I felt I had to do something, “she said. “They supported me more than I thought.”
Laura in Atlantic Canada seized an unexpected moment when she was 10 weeks pregnant to speak to her supervisor, even though she had planned to wait until she was also out of her first trimester. “We had a briefing” everyone on deck ” [about the virus] for the whole building and they actually called [special accomodations for] “Immunocompromised or Pregnant” even if Canada [hasn’t] Pregnant women classified us as a vulnerable population. So after that, I asked for a private meeting with my direct boss, ”she says. “I spat” so, this is not when I wanted to tell you, but given the current situation … I am 10 weeks pregnant. We are very excited but also a little worried. And I know that my job is more difficult to do from home, but I would like to focus on some of these administrative formalities which are always put on the back burner. His response was “well first … congratulations!” But frankly, you shouldn’t be here right now. “I now work indefinitely at home. It was huge, immediate housing. My job is really on-site work, but they allowed me to focus on a smaller part of my role for the foreseeable future. very fortunate that it went well. ”
Samantha, who lives in Florida and is 9 weeks pregnant, felt a bit conflicted from talking to some people before the recommended 12 weeks of her high risk pregnancy, even though she thinks early disclosure is important to her safety. “Especially since it is a high risk pregnancy, it is still the first trimester and now there is a pandemic to consider, I tried to repeat to those to whom we told that it was still early and that we are in a state of cautious optimism, “she says. She spoke to close friends and family between five and seven weeks and her supervisor at work just under eight weeks, although she tries always limit the news to his extended family. “The people we mentioned are all people we would be open to in the worst case. I am relieved to now be able to speak to my close family and friends, especially to women who have experienced pregnancy. It was helpful to talk about all the usual pregnancy issues as well as the extra layer of COVID-19. And I am relieved that my supervisor now understands better why I might hesitate to work in the office for the next few weeks or seem to be even more careful with social distancing than the others, ”she said.