Planning Company Travel Six Months Away — While Secretly Pregnant

When to Tell Your Boss You're Pregnant | CorporetteWhen should you tell your boss that you’re pregnant? Are there any circumstances where you should tell your boss earlier rather than later?

My husband and I are expecting our first child. I haven’t told anyone at work yet, since we’re still in the first trimester (due in June). I’m two years into my current job, and love my company and my work.

A few big opportunities and changes just came up that may affect my plans to “break the news” about my pregnancy earlier than intended:

(1) My boss, who supports my advancement within the company, just got a new position. With a change of management, I may not have a boss who is as supportive of me, especially given that I intend to be out of the office for three months.
(2) My team is planning now for travel that must occur in the spring. Travel involves going to developing countries, which I won’t be able to do on the cusp of my third trimester.
(3) I just found out I am scheduled to present two of my biggest projects to our Board of Directors in June, which is a major career opportunity for me. This cannot be rescheduled for many reasons.

Any advice?

Congratulations, A! We’ve talked about when is the best time in your career to get pregnant, how to announce you’re pregnant, and how to negotiate maternity leave before, but your circumstances may be sufficiently different so I’m curious to hear what readers say. For my own $.02:

The standard wisdom is to wait until the end of your first trimester because the risk for miscarriage decreases then, and I really don’t think you should vary that here.  (At the very least, wait until you hear the baby’s heartbeat!)  (Readers often recommend the work/life balance book, Balance is a Crock, Sleep is For the Weak — as the authors there say about announcing early to your boss: “shut your piehole.”) To put it another way: What are you hoping will change based on your sharing your news? Your boss is still going to take a new position. The Board of Directors meeting won’t be rescheduled — and the chance to present may be taken away from you. As for the other issue (spring travel), while it’s possible it may be moved up or changed, I still don’t think that’s a big enough reason to tell early. You could quit, be moved to a different team, or be hit by a cab (hopefully not!) between now and spring — and your company would keep moving and figure out the travel plans.

Furthermore, I think that everything you’re worried about isn’t so big of a problem. Your old boss will tell your new boss great things about you, and you’ll have time to get to prove the truth of those things to your new boss before you have to tell him or her that you’re pregnant. The travel is tricky, but teleconferencing and other solutions may help you be a part of the team (and I’d guess your company already has contingency plans in place).  Travel blogger Road Warriorette notes that she flew until her 34th week — but before deciding to go, talk with your doctor about what the hospitals may be like wherever your team is traveling.  (I flew around week 28, if memory serves, but just to California.  Even then, I called my insurance company to see what would happen if I needed to go to the emergency room, and, given my druthers, which ER I should go to.)  As for the Board of Directors presentation — it’s going to be a Big Deal, no doubt, but unless you actually go into labor during the presentation, you’ll be fine. (See further thoughts below in my update — I agree with the readers that my earlier advice was a bit bananas.)  Will it be the most comfortable thing on the planet if you give birth on Monday and have to give the presentation on Wednesday? Nope — you’ll be pretty hard core in my book. But it can be done, particularly if you’re 150% prepared beforehand. (Other thoughts: If you’re due in late June and the presentation is scheduled for early June, I wouldn’t worry about it — most first babies are late. If the presentation is scheduled after your due date, though, you may want to talk with doctors about the pros and cons of scheduling an induction.)

Readers, what are your thoughts for Reader A — particularly those of you who schedule travel far in advance for your job? 

Update: Readers are taking issue with my extreme theoretical about the Monday labor/Wednesday presentation.  But here’s my real point:  Reader A’s due date will be sometime in JUNE, a full 8 months away.  The baby will come whenever it wants to, probably within four weeks of that due date.  (My due date was August 10; I gave birth August 19.)  I don’t think Reader A should turn down plum assignments (or huge career opportunities that come along once a year) because she might be unavailable during the few hours the board meeting takes place.  As Sheryl Sandberg says, don’t leave until you leave.


  1. TJ – I am looking for a nice gym bag ~$100 to give as a gift. Any suggestions where to look?

  2. Oh, do I ever WISH it was ME! Right now, I am workeing on getteing to a SECOND Date with a guy, b/c all of these guy’s seem to forget that I want to get MARRIED before haveing a BABY. So many guy’s just want sex, but NOT a baby, or to get MARRIED. What is it about guy’s that just want to take advantage of us women? They are realy PIG’s for NOT considering US in the equation. They just live for the MOMENT and we live for a life-time. FOOEY!

    I am goieng to give the Judge’s NEPHEW, Micheal, a chance today. Mom say’s that mabye he is goeing to be fine, even if he run’s a deli. I have to think that I can love a deli guy just as much as a guy who work’s in a bank. Margie told me about a place on 2nd Avenue today that I will sugest to Micheal where we can go to eat. I love Italian food so I hope he does also! YAY!!!

    The manageing partner came in today with a coconut pie that he bought in honor of Lynn’s BIRTHDAY. She is 24 year’s old — so YOUNG! I remember when I was 24 just comeing out of law school, and that seem’s so LONG ago! FOOEY b/c if I had just NOT dated Alan, I probabley could have been married already and with Child! And mabye with Grandma’s $50,000. Now I have no boyfreind, no child, and no $50,000 — FOOEY, tho I DO have a JOB that pay’s me well and a manageing partner that is happy that I am workeing for him. YAY!

  3. Is this really advice to consider an induction so she can give a work presentation? I think that is kind of crazy, and debating the “pros and cons” of a non-medically-necessary induction is like saying it’s okay to debate scientific facts. Your baby is supposed to grow inside for 40 weeks – those last few weeks matter big time. That’s not an opinion, it’s a medical fact. Yes, babies who are born earlier can be just fine, but why deprive your baby of those last few days/weeks of growth if there’s no medical reason?

    • Diana Barry :

      +1. I personally think it is INSANE to think about scheduling an induction because of a work presentation.

      To the OP, don’t tell until you were planning on telling anyway. As Kat noted above, everything that will happen will happen anyway, with or without your telling, and telling early wouldn’t achieve anything in this case.

      • + a million. If the presentation happens before your due date, rock it. If it’s after you’ve given birth – they’ll understand (and if not, that’s a pretty clear signal about company culture and what to expect when you return from mat leave). Someone else can give the presentation on your behalf (hopefully someone you trust and who will give you proper credit in the introduction).

    • Anonymous :

      Yeh the induction suggestion is insane. But I’m not surprised considering the amount of women who “schedule” inductions or C-sections based on when they would like the baby to be born, or when it is convenient. Every week (and day) counts when it comes to fetal development. And giving a presentation 2 days after delivery? Like really? This is what we expect of women now?

    • I LOL’d

    • I interpreted it as “schedule on an induction on your due date” not saying she should have an induction before 40 weeks. But I agree that its crazy to schedule an induction, which has its own medical risks, because of a work presentation. I do know people who had crazy easy deliveries & were back at work after just a few days (my mom says she was riding a bike 3 days after giving birth to me – I’ve never been pregnant but just hearing her talk about it makes me wince) but I think that’s the exception not the norm and I wouldn’t plan on it. There will be other big presentations that you can be better prepared for.

    • mama of 2 :

      Seriously. This induction advice is bananas, Kat, and so is the advice to give a presentation two days after delivery. Even after the easiest delivery of all time (two hours of labor, one push, no drugs, healthy-baby-easy-peasy), I still would not have been prepared to give a presentation, ESPECIALLY if it’s one that is important to your career. Heck, you’re probably not even discharged from the hospital two days later! You’ll be establishing breast-feeding, bleeding, sleepless, and that’s under the best of circumstances.

    • Yeah, I agreed with all of the advice until she suggested doing a presentation 2 days post-delivery or scheduling an induction. That’s just insulting.

      I’m surprised that a mother actually wrote that.

      • Seattle Lawyer Mom :

        Yeah, agree 100%. (1) The induction advice is ridiculous and part of what’s wrong with modern American medicine. The idea that you would do what is an invasive procedure at some level AND leads to risks of more complications and interventions in order to accommodate work is dumb, dangerous, and I’m hopeful no doctor would agree. (2) There’s no way, in my book, that a first time mother who just delivered is going to be in the right mental and physical frame to give a major work presentation two days after delivery, so regardless of the due date sequencing, the induction won’t help. So, the answer is maybe you don’t tell them now, but you tell them soon, and you politely and with regrets (but no whining or asking others to feel sorry for you) tell people that you can’t do any presentations etc. starting two weeks before your due date, but you’re happy to help prep someone else up until the time you need to leave. It’s just reality. I had to forego being part of a really cool trial team because of my due date for my second child. It’s part of being a career person plus mom, and you just accept it and move on because there is NOTHING that can be done about it.

        • I think that the you should definitely be prepared to do the presentation and commit to doing it. At any stage in life things can go wrong that mean you miss a presentation. just because you’re pregnant doesnt mean you shouldn’t contribute or take a back seat.

          I dont think you should plan to do a presentation two days after giving birth, but I dont think you should rule it out either. If you came down with hideous food poisioning on sunday night and had a presentation on friday would you cancel? No. you’d wait and see how you feel. The presentation wont probably go for more that an hour becasue lets face it what board spends that much time on anything. the father will most likely be off work at that point to be with baby. why can’t Dad hold the forte for a couple of hours while Mum is in the room next door smashing it?

          If you did feel up to it and you did do a presentation two days after giving birth, no one could EVER question your committment, work ethic, accuse you of not being focused on work anymore etc. You could throw it in every chauvinistic face for the rest of your life.

          It would suck and would be hard, but god it would be great to see the look on their faces after they’ve probably been discussing how you’ll never perform as well again over the water cooler.

          if you can, stick it to them.

  4. Um, seriously? Give birth and then 2 days later do a major presentation? I know lots of women have uncomplicated births, but it is a MAJOR physically taxing thing your body is doing. Not to mention what if you have a c-section? I was still hooked up to an IV two days after my complicated c-section delivery. Plus even with an “easy” delivery you’ll be sleep deprived, sore, nursing often,etc. I just don’t think that is a reasonable thing to tell a pregnant women to try to aim for (even by teleconference). I’m getting a little sick of the tougher than thou pregnancy/birth attitude among working women. Giving birth is a big deal physically, lets not try to minimize it or push people to be up and running around a day later.
    I’d start planning ways to prep a co-worker to do it or hope you deliver past your due date.

    • This. I had the easiest pregnancy imaginable, but ended up with a c-section and hemorraghing so bad that I wasn’t able to stand up out of the hospital bed three days later. I could barely drive (to the end of the block) at six weeks post partum.

      Birth, while obviously “natural,” is still a complicated medical procedure that requires recovery. There is NO NEED to present at work two days later. The company would survive if you got hit by a bus or had a brain anuerysm, and it will survive if you miss for this too. Don’t jeopardize your health or your baby’s health for some misguided sense that the company needs you.

  5. Also, think about the increased likelihood of a C-section. Even if work is the priority here, you might do better on your feet 1 week after a V delivery rather than 2 weeks after a C delivery.

    • Yup. Do people who haven’t had c-sections not realize that it is major abdominal surgery? You don’t just breeze in and out. Two weeks post c-section was the first time I was allowed to drive, lift anything heavier than the baby, and the wound still wasn’t totally healed yet.

      • All of this. A mother with a 2 day old baby should not even think about work. We are never going to get anywhere in the fight for broad, respected parental leave if this is the kind of advice we give each other. I’m really surprised to see this here.

        My advice would be, when you feel medically comfortable sharing, whether that’s 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks or whatever, share it and help plan for these events. You’re being safe but proactive and that’s all anyone can ask of you.

  6. I’ll totally out myself with this. Please say hi in real life if you recognize me!

    I learned that I had won an 8-month contract role with a client in a different city the same week I learned that I was pregnant. The contract role was set to end two weeks after my due date. As a lawyer, I did not feel like I could accept without letting my client contact know the sitation (materially impacting the representation and all that). I also felt like it would be a bait-and-switch not to tell them.

    I told my practice group leader (the 5th person to find out, just after my sister) and we told the client contact (9th person to find out, just after my doctor). They were supportive and understanding, and I ended up working in the contract role until the week before my due date.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      Your doctor was the 8th person to find out?

      • Anonymous :

        You don’t usually get a doctors appointment until ~8 weeks. If there’s no history of problems, they won’t schedule you before then. So, you usually have a + pregnancy test weeks before a doctors appointment (and pregnancy symptoms, two missed periods, etc). It is likely you would tell parents, in laws, siblings, etc before doctor. I, personally waited until three months to tell anyone , save husband, so my doctor was the second to know (third? including me), but it doesn’t always work out that way.

  7. hoola hoopa :

    I agree with everything Kat said except in regards to the Board of Director’s presentation. Echoing pp, scheduling an induction or presenting two days after giving birth is not what I would recommend.

    When pregnant with my second child, I had a major presentation scheduled for my due date. I had zero control over the scheduling. I focused on preparing the presentation and even took on more responsibility in that phase to assure that I’d have plenty of contribution to point to in case I didn’t actually present. I made clear to everyone – fellow presenters, organizers, and key audience members – that it was my due date and that I would be there if I were still pregnant but would miss it if I had a baby before then. I helped create a contingency plan for who would give the presentation if I couldn’t make it. Ideal? No. But people understand! It was not a big deal, and I certainly was not dinged for it. In fact, I was able to present and earned mega points for waddling in on my due date and giving a major presentation while hugely pregnant.

    • I agree with this. I don’t think OP’s concern is that the company won’t survive without her. I think her concern is that this could be a major feather in her cap and she doesn’t want to miss the chance to get it. The solution isn’t to try to present two days postpartum, but to strategize beforehand about how to get credit even if she can’t be there. I’d suggest she come out and ask her boss how she can make sure to get recognition for what she’s done even if she’s not there in person on the actual day. A good boss will work with her on this.

  8. Even someone who is “150% prepared” may do a crappy job presenting 2 days postpartum. Like the other commenters, I wouldn’t recommend this.

    • In other words, presenting 2 days postpartum could hurt one professionally, rather than help. You are not at the top of your game, plus people may wonder what the h3ck you were thinking.

      • I agree. I would seriously question the judgment and priorities of someone presenting 2 days PP.

        • Totally agree.

          I had burst blood vessels all over from pushing. 2 days later, I could barely sit on a hard surface or wear clothes with cr*tch seams (hello, denim, you are not my friend) on them even with the cushioning of the world’s largest maxipad and those scary hospital underpants. And that pad needed to be changed every other minute and STANK.

          If someone didn’t know I’d just had a baby, they might think I had just been in a car crash and should be evaluated. If someone knew I’d just had a baby and still wanted to give a presentation, they’d probably want me evaluated even more so.

          And, from reading these boards and talking to friends, my deliveries were easy and uncomplicated (so for those of you with second degree or worse tearing: I am so sorry). A guy wouldn’t do this after a stroke / heart attack / etc.

    • Don’t forget controlling the b00bs! That’s about the time the milk comes in. This is NOT a good idea.

  9. Wow. I’ve never been pregnant but I have to say I’m surprised by the comments. I understand pregnancy and giving birth is a big deal but so are career opportunities like this. Shouldn’t we work to try to make sure both can happen instead of calling women who are trying to make both work insane?

    • I think the issue here isn’t a work/life balance issue as much as an issue of it being physically and mentally unwise to attempt to give a huge, career-impacting presentation two days after you go through arguably the single most strenuous physical activity of your life and then proceed to get approximately 3 hours of sleep before the presentation. When you’re likely to be incredibly sore, bleeding, and mentally drained (even if you have the best, easiest labor and delivery).

      • And just to add – I’ve also never been pregnant. But my planned accomplishments on day two of post partum include keeping the baby fed, keeping myself fed, hoping we both get a little rest, and relying on my SO for just about everything else. And I’ll be in my jammies all day.

        • Yep. You’d also probably be checking out of the hospital. Once you’re home with a new baby, showering is ambitious.

    • As you say you’ve never been pregnant, I’m going to assume you’ve also never given birth. It isn’t called “labor” because it’s easy–it’s the hardest physical work your body will likely ever do. And a C-section is major surgery. Going into birth with the expectation that you’ll be back on your feet and ready to give a huge, career making/breaking presentation two days later is insane. And the idea that you would compromise your baby’s health (and potentially your own) with a non-medically-necessary procedure is also insane. Of course her career is important. But our culture seems to be getting so blase about birth and maternal/fetal health in this “women can do it all! don’t let pregnancy or a baby stand in your way of ANYTHING” mantra that I think there needs to be a reality check.

    • Just to be clear, your phrasing suggests that career opportunities are as big a deal as “pregnancy/giving birth.” I’m sorry, but this is insane. And it’s very clear you’ve never given been pregnant. You didn’t even need to give that caveat.

      • ah, the smug superiority of the “having children is the most important thing ever” camp. glad to know if I chose not to have kids that I am doomed to a life that is unquestionably less important than the life of the stay at home mother.

        • Your comment says more about your own level of (dis)comfort with your own choices than it does about anything else.

        • oh please.. no one said that..

      • SeeDub, you come onto a careers blog and spout about giving birth as the all time highlight of your life. I am a mother, about to have #3. Love my kids to death, but I have a career too. My husband steps up as he should its 50/50 at our house. I’m not saying giving birth isnt a big deal. but the biggest deal is bringing the kids up not pushing them out. you’re basically saying once you’re a mother your career takes a back seat in your life. you sound like an old man. you probably also think that mothers are less focused on their work once they’ve had kids and should be the first to be made redundant as clearly their priorities are else where.

        I would never say a major career opportunity which could change the course of the next 30 years of employment is insignificant enough to just write off, for any reason.

    • Also in Academia :

      Personally, I’d rather us work to make sure that parental leave policies are more generous and employers are more understanding of the demands of pregancy/birth/pumping/childcare than try to create a world in which everyone is heroically giving presentations while giving birth while also checking their email and cooking a gourmet dinner for their toddler who is also nursing (sarcasm! all of these things are great if you can do them!). . . that is not what feminism or equality or opportunity looks like to me.

    • Slow. Clap.

    • No. Sorry. Have a baby and then let us know what you think about this.

  10. As someone who miscarried at almost six weeks, I recommend waiting to tell anyone about it. I was so close to telling two of my clients, and I’m really glad I didn’t.

    • I’m sorry about your miscarriage :(.

      Sometimes you have to tell, though. By the end of week six, I’d already been hospitalized twice for hyperemesis, and I figured I needed to disclose at work or people would’ve really been worried.

  11. Lyra Silvertongue :

    Look, I understand that work is important. VERY IMPORTANT, to put it in Ellen’s caps. However, having a baby is MORE IMPORTANT. I think the advice regarding the Board of Directors presentation, induction, and pp presenting, is quite frankly nuts.

  12. Holding my 3-week old while I post…

    You MIGHT feel ok presenting 2 days after giving birth, but that’s a long shot. I just had a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks, and 2 days PP, I was majorly hopped up on pain killers and still mostly bed bound. Could I keep an eye on emails and weigh in on things here and there? Sure. Give a major presentation? No way.

    I told my boss at 8 weeks and the rest of the team at 10 weeks because my maternity leave is happening at our busiest time of the year. I wanted things wrapped up and under control before I went out. To be honest, I got so that I was avoiding off-site meetings the last 2-3 weeks because I was so miserable. This is definitely a know your office situation. Manage expectations and keep everyone in the loop, but don’t try to be a hero–the professional payoff is unlikely to be worth making yourself miserable at the end of your pregnancy.

  13. Heck, I had the easiest delivery in the world and would never have given a presentation two days after birth!! It’s akin to major surgery – you feel like you were hit by a truck. Even Marissa Mayer gave it 2 weeks.

  14. Ekaterin Nile :

    Am I the only person who knows someone who went back to work 2 days after giving birth? One of my best friends had to return to her family law practice at a small firm because the firm didn’t provide her with any leave (too small of a firm to be covered by the FMLA or equivalent state statute). Her baby was in the NICU, she was a single mom, and if she didn’t have benefits through work, her baby wasn’t insured and she’d now be bankrupt due to the medical bills.

    Obviously this is totally undesirable, and obviously this is totally different from voluntarily making a major presentation 2 days postpartum, but I’m really surprised that nobody else seems to know a woman who had to return to work so soon after giving birth.

    • Anonymous :

      My heart breaks for any woman in a situation like this.

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        It was really terrible. But she had no legal recourse, and apparently basic human decency was not a factor for the two partners. They expected her to be at work 8-5 while her baby was on a feeding tube and in an incubator. They also jacked up her insurance premiums after she got pregnant.

        But on a happier note, she has a different job, and that little tiny baby is now a delightfully chubby, cheerful toddler who always seems to be smiling!

        • Wannabe Runner :

          The employers jacked up her insurance premiums? Or did her insurer raise her premium because, um, now she had to cover a new dependent?

          Farm workers do it. Slaves gave birth and then went back to work in cotton fields. But it sounds pretty awful that any women in 2013 have to do it.

          • Ekaterin Nile :

            The employer jacked up the amount of her premiums that she had to cover, which happened before she had the baby. So I don’t think it was a question of increased premiums due to the new baby. It was a question of the employer raising what percent of the already-existing premium she had to cover.

            BTW, what’s with the “um”?

  15. Maddie Ross :

    Honestly, 2 days post-partum would be the worst time to give a presentation, no matter how you felt physically, as your hormone levels plummet on the 2nd day after you give birth. I spent a good 2 hours bawling that day — over stupid things (for one, my dog barked at my baby and I spent at least an hour crying over how we would have to get rid of him… um, no). It was literally the only time I cried during the entire post-partum period.

  16. Lawyer Mom of Four :

    As someone who has had four kids and has also presented to my Fortune 100 company’s Board numerous times, there is no way I would plan to do it anywhere near my due date unless I was a regular presenter and the board already knew and trusted me. But I also think it is way too early to worry about a Board presentation in June–lots can happen, your topic can be bumped, etc. Same with the planned travel to developing countries–unless your company is very different from mine a trip that far out is highly likely to change.On the issue of when to tell, I know it is a very personal thing but I have always been an advocate of telling sooner rather than later, assuming you like and trust your boss. There are a couple of reasons. First, because it generally helps a relationship and in my experience has enhanced my reputation to demonstrate trust in your close co-workers. Second, and this has happened to me, if something goes awry you are going to need support from these folks. I had a miscarriage between my first two kids, and it was exhausting physically and emotionally. I didn’t share all of the details with anyone at my office, but was grateful that I had told them about the pregnancy because it made it much easier to share the news of the miscarriage–for me, for lots of reasons, not sharing that news would not have been possible. Finally, don’t worry too much about what the books say, what posters to this blog say, etc.–might as well get used to trusting your gut and making your own best decision based on available information and your instincts. That will be great practice for parenting!

  17. Congratulations!!!!!!! So dealt with all this stuff last year (I had a new CEO, not new direct supervisor), and here’s what I’d say:

    1) Travel: Go ahead and plan your travel (for me it was conference presentations, and that was awkward at times). As you make plans, make a mental note about who can/should take on each assignment for you.

    2) Board Presentation: In NO WAY should you consider inducing labor for a Board Presentation. That’s insane. You’re taking about the health (and possibly life) of your child. There will be other career opportunities. Your child has one birth. Plus, if you handle this well, it will end up working for you in the career department, anyway.

    I presented to our Board of Directors at 8 AND 9 months pregnant. Did not go into labor either time. But I did miss a very important project closing meeting with our executive team (3 days after my son was born). For all those presentations, I had a second staff member prepped to step in. She would have been able to pick up any of the meetings and HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK – she only had to do that once. (BTW – presenting to the Board while super preggo is wonderful, because you get extra accolades). I know it’s hard to pass up face time, especially with the Board and senior leaders. But, trust me, having the ability to prepare and coach another person demonstrates leadership and initiative. It will be noticed, and it will make you look good (bonus points if you do this with a junior staff person who can get a great career development experience out of it). And I’m glad I did that, because I ended up having an emergency csection, and was on MAJOR MEDS 3 days after my son was born. If I’d tried to be in that meeting with the executive team, I would have made a fool of myself (imagine if someone tried to do a major presentation 3 days after having open heart surgery). That’s just crazymaking, and it makes you look like you have questionable judgment.

    3) New Leadership: Don’t sweat it. Your boss will advocate for you. Plus, if you handle this well, people will be impressed with you.

    Don’t tell before you feel ready. Some people announce early, some people wait it out. But none of these things are worth creating awkward situations. Then when you do announce, have a plan in place – know what’s coming up (travel, conferences, presentations), and make sure you have back up for everything (I had bases covered for a month leading up to my due date, and then all through it). This is all basic “I’m going on maternity leave” stuff, but it makes you look really good when you have it all together. Plus, you will feel less stressed knowing who is covering for what.

  18. I had a major trial scheduled for weeks 34-35 of my pregnancy (set for trial before I was pregnant) and rather than reset the trial until after my maternity leave, I kept the trial date. After a continuance, I gave my closing statement at 39w4d. My little one was born at almost 42w, but those last few days before my due date were incredibly stressful.
    You can plan all you like, but babies will take their own sweet time….or surprise you early. I’m not sure I would have planned my last trimester as it played out, however it was nice to return to maternity leave and not immediately begin preparing for trial.
    If I were the OP and the presentation was two weeks or more away from my due date, I would keep it scheduled. You honestly never know how things will play out, and a due date is not absolute, depending on the study, nearly 70% of women give birth after their due date.

    • Also I would absolutely wait before announcing anything. Due date in June means you are 5 weeks pregnant at the most. While it is nice to give everyone as much notice as possible, the next 8-10 weeks are critical.

  19. I felt great 2 days after giving birth…but it was great in the sense of, “I can stand up to shower & eat dinner at a table like a human,” not great like “giving the biggest presentation of my life.” It is a long ways off – any chance of bringing in the date of the presentation earlier?

  20. It is a myth that most first babies are late.

  21. OP here: Thank you to everyone for your advice! I really appreciate it! We did find out that we are further along than we thought (irregular periods so hard to calculate), so due date is now in May. My baby’s health and my own health are of the utmost importance to me, so I would not schedule an induction to “fit” the baby into my career (which is very important to me, but not as important as my health and baby’s health). I have decided that I would not travel for work because for me it’s not worth the risk of ending up in a developing country with beyond sub-standard medical care. In my mind I’ve been thinking about people who could potentially go in my place, and when I announce my pregnancy we can revise travel plans. And as far as announcing at work, everyone’s comments have been very helpful. I plan to wait as long as I can to announce (i.e. start showing). Thanks again!

  22. This post actually reminds me of how I told my boss. I was close to end of first trimester, after traveling nearly the entire time through that with a miscarriage scare (crazy, looking back). My boss the VP came to me with a big grin and offered me a very cool opportunity to lead a big thing in Geneva in a few months. He was so excited to give it to me… I wanted to come clean right away and make a contigency plan. So I said: I need to chat, let’s go to a private room. And told him. He couldn’t have been more excited for me- 4 grown kids himself- and worked out a plan right then for how to work around it. Prioritize your health and your baby’s, people… meetings will be there when you get back, they really will.

  23. I find the idea of advising someone to consider induction in order to meet a work deadline absolutely disgusting. Inductions can be dangerous for mother and child. Implying that you should have an induction in order to be the good little “corporette” is so incredibly backwards and misogynistic. It sounds like the sort of crap a 1950’s era male boss would spew to his downtrodden secretary, “Keep your womanly health issues out of this office.” I used to enjoy this website, hell I even recommended it to friends, but I am so appalled that I will not visit here again.

  24. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to point out that many short term disability policies stop paying once you walk back into the office. Since this is a common form of partial paid maternity leave, it’s definitely something to consider!

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