(Closed) telling my PhD supervisor I am pregnant

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I feel like I could have written this (except I’m not pregnant). My PhD advisor is EXACTLY the same way, and I dread ever getting pregnant while I work here for the same reasons. Good luck with everything! If you ever need to commisserate over grad school, you can PM me.

Post # 4
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m sorry to hear about your situation 🙁 I disclosed my family planning plans to my advisor before I got pregnant but I knew she would be understanding since she had twins herself and has been through 2 other Ph.D. students who had infants while in the program (one female and one male). So it was no big surprise when I announced my pregnancy.

Just remember that your family planning is your business and it’s a priority for you. It might be super scary but it’s better to communicate things earlier than later, so that things like funding and project scheduling can be arranged around your leave. Well, we don’t actually get maternity leave at my school, but I’m planning to take a couple of months off this summer (unpaid).

Post # 5
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@araneidae:  I am newly pregnant and in med school.  I am in my second semester of second year, and next year we start clinical rotations.  I have yet to tell anyone since I am only about 5 weeks, but we are supposed to schedule our clerkships on the 31st of this month.  I suppose, even though it’s so early, I should probably go talk to someone about not sticking me with surgery as my first rotation when I will be 30 weeks pregnant, and “Oh, by the way, I’m going to need to take a few weeks off after I have barely started 3rd year.” 

I am not the first female in med school to get pregnant, so I’m sure they’ve had to deal with this before (probably same for your school).  I remember one gal at a meeting we had about having babies during a medical career said to our supervisor here, “I’m NOT sorry, but I am pregnant.”  She said that you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed for having a baby, no matter when they come.  

I know what you mean about being terrified to tell supervisors, and it kind of sucks that we live in a place where too many people frown upon starting a family before you finish school.  However, by law they are required not to discriminate against you and to give you time off.  So, even if your supervisor isn’t happy about your news, there is nothing she can do but get over it, because it’s obviously not going to change.  

Let’s form a pact to not let the joy of having a baby be stolen by having one during school! A whole lot easier said than done, but I am going to try hard to just spit it out, reassure them that I am still fully committed to this program and will make up the time that I take off, and paste a smile on my face (while hoping they don’t notice my heart going about 120 beats per minute). 

Post # 6
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m not pregnant yet but I feel this way about my manager. She’s very keen to have me progress in our very specialized research field and if I fall pregnant she will not be terribly pleased.

Good luck!

Post # 7
329 posts
Helper bee

I think its common for people to have babies during PhD programs esp. with all the pressure of tenure ahead.  I agree with others that you shouldn’t feel ashamed at any time.  Good luck and don’t let her get you down!

Post # 9
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@araneidae:  Oh goodness, this is EXACTLY how I felt when telling my supervisor I was getting married and moving away to join my partner where he’s doing his PhD. Ugh. It was miserable and made me so anxious. We’re planning to start trying for a baby before I finish and I’m really not looking forward to it, as she’s previously mentioned offhand that she “worries for me” because I like babies so much (umm… I already have a 9 year old, ha).

Oh, I just saw your update as I scrolled down – I’m so glad it went well! That gives me some hope 🙂

Post # 11
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I was about 1/2 way through my dissertation when I found out I was pregnant. I told my advisor the next morning. i was 4 weeks along. She was amazing. She got me lots of summer funding so I could finish and bent over backwards to do things like return chapters with notes the day after I gave them to her. I found out may 4 and had my diss done mid June and defended mid July. I graduated in August. I couldn’t have done it without her.

I hope it goes better than you fear. Are you in your grad assistant union? If so, they can help if she gives you problems. I would tell her ASAP. 

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