Hi guys - I need your advice. I have just found out that I am pregnant! Part of me thinks "Aaaarrrgh! now I am never going to finish!" - luckily the rest of me is more optimistic! I wasn't going to tell my supervisor until at least 3 months but my output has dropped considerably since I found out (I just can't concentrate and fall asleep in the afternoons!). I don't know whether I should tell him or not? Any advice?
3 months is normally the time when people come out with the news, right?! I suppose the key thing is that you are ready for the response of your sup - what is he/she like? I have heard of sups not being supportive (esp when they hear the news), so it is important you are ready to tell and have thought about plans how to finish the PhD. Good luck and - congratulations, it is good news really!:-)
======= Date Modified 15 Jun 2009 14:52:28 =======
Secondly, this isn't the nicest thing to mention (although I'm sure you are already aware of this) - as I understand it the waiting 3 months idea is primarily in case there are any complications as this is the most risky time. If anything did go wrong (which it won't, I'm sure) you don't want lots of people asking you about it. Also it gives you time to adjust physically and mentally to the (lovely, beautiful, but sometimes quite weird!) situation.
I know people who have told their bosses very early on because it was affecting their performance, or because they wanted to re-arrange working hours, for example. Others have waited the three months. I don't know anyone who has waited much longer because by that point a lot of tell-tale signs are beginning to appear even though you probably won't be starting to show. Also, people need a chance to arrange maternity cover.
Obviously that's not a problem with a Phd! However, with PhD supervisors, personally I think things are a little bit different from a relationship with a boss. This is a quite intense, one on one arrangement where you are having to be constantly accountable for progress. In light of this, I think I would be tempted to broach the subject as soon as you feel able to, with the proviso that you want to keep this information strictly confidential. If anything did go amiss (again, sure it won't) you would almost certainly want your supervisor to know anyway. However, I'm not sure I'd expect a supervisor to be happy in these circumstances for your progress to just slacken off. As long as you're not on leave they are going to want you to be getting somewhere. So, if when you tell him you have something like a plan of action up your sleeve, I think that would make the meeting a lot easier. You don't have to know how every detail is going to work out, but a willingness to think through the situation will reassure your supervisor and will give him something to work with.
Also, check out the maternity leave guidelines from your funding body/university first. He may not be clued up about these.
Overall, I think you need to do what's right for you. That might involve following the above advice (which I must admit I haven't personally had the opportunity to put into practice) or it could mean learning how to cope as best you can with the euphoria and tiredness of the first three months and then telling him when you are ready.
Good luck with it - and congrats again!
Congratulations :-)!!!!! I think maybe you should leave it til after your first scan, that way you know you're ok, baby is ok, you've had time to get used to the idea yourself, and have had time to make plans. He doesn't need to know before then, most people don't tell their employers (which is kind of what he is) until they are at least 12 weeks so I wouldn't worry. He'll soon spot the connection once you tell him between your output and your pregnancy. It is great news, it will be excellent and you will finish, it just might take a little longer - I started my BA when my daughter was a baby and have managed to keep going fine :-) Enjoy your pregnancy, these first 3 months suck, but then you'll get a lot more energy and will be able to power through your work in the middle trimester :-)
Congratulations! Hope that everything goes well for you.
Often times us phd students go through times when we can't concentrate and get no work done. It's pretty normal and your supervisor should almost expect it anyway! If he asks you could just say it was your personal life distracting you. I'd wait at least til you have yourself settled in and have a plan of action, certainly a few weeks anyway. If you are usually pretty open about personal things with him that might be different.
Best of luck!!
Do you have any idea what kind of response you will get? There must have been other pregnancies in the dept surely? After a few too many drinks I actually told my supervisor I was planning to have a baby (I had just started my second year - dd arrived the next July). He was very encorouging and it has never been a problem.
I was sick as a dog and very sleepy for the first three months - but high as a kite for the middle three. Then huge and lumpen at the end. It was not my most productive year.
I'm so jealous ;)
Anyway -- I'd keep quiet, but then I don't think my supervisor would be exactly thrilled (hopefully I'll get to experience telling him in about two and a half months time!)....
Plus, since I don't think he'll be thrilled I'm not exactly going to say "yes I was planning to get pregnant all along".... and if I did have a miscarriage then second time around it would be pretty obvious that it WAS planned!
Good luck with your pregnancy....
Congratulations - wish I were in your positions as I can see loads of advantages to taking maternity leave during my PhD but it's just not the right time for us in lots of other ways. I think this is all good advice. Whilst I'm sure you'l be fine, from experience of friends I would definitely wait until 12 weeks to tell him. That's not too long to deal with the drop in productivity - he'll probably just think it's a slow patch - but if he actually asks or you go fainting in his office or something you might think differently! I would have all your facts to hand when you tell him to make it look as positive as possible, and give some thought to timings, where you want to have got to by the time you leave to have the baby, how long you'll be off, and how you'll juggle your time once you do come back to work. The more you look like you've got all aspects of it under control the better! Good luck. :-)
Megara is completely right....
I've already got a sketch plan for the time I'd take off and then child-care arrangements; I think you really need to have this to hand when you tell your supervisor (unless you want to cultivate a negative reaction, in which case suggest you'll do your PhD work at home whilst looking after baby!!)......
First of all congratulations!
Second: Is the Ph.D. science/lab based? I'm only saying as my supervisor just got back from maternity leave herself and had her lab work severely scaled back due to some of the nasty chemicals we work with. If this is the case it's best to tell your supervisor ASAP or if you aren't comfortable telling him then at least the department safety advisor.
If this doesn't apply then wait until you are comfortable to tell him and the shock has worn off.
Thank you so much for all the congratulations - it is just beginning to sink in! I am in humanities and mainly work at home so there is no pressing need to tell him so I think I will keep in quiet unless comments are made about my lack of work! I already have a son but he is at school and babies seem like such a long time ago, it's like starting again!
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