❑ Tell your boss before you tell anyone else in the office. Even close colleagues are known to spill the beans, and you don’t want your boss to think you’re hiding something from her.

❑ Give your boss a written plan about how long you’d like to be out and how the company can handle your absence. Even if it’s a tentative plan, your superior will respect the effort you made.

❑ If your company has 50 or more employees, you’re probably protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees you up to 12 weeks off, unpaid. You could also consider trying to negotiate a little more time off.

❑ Never apologize for being pregnant and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for having to take time off work.

❑ Don’t offer to keep up with your regular work responsibilities while you’re at home with your newborn. You have no way of knowing how you’ll feel; and bosses resent empty promises far more than they resent a planned absence.

❑ Don’t announce that you’re not coming back unless you’re absolutely, 100 percent certain you’re quitting for good.

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