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I am moving to a new state and starting a PhD program mid-August. I just found out I am pregnant; probably 6 weeks or so along. I am still planning to start the program mid-August and also have my baby. I am just clueless about how/when to disclose this to my PhD advisor. My tuition is funded and I will receive a stipend, so it will be crucial that I continue with my research in order to continue to receive my stipend and keep my heath benefits. So, I imagine that his concern would be my ability to make progress while having a baby. I will most likely be showing once I arrive to school or soon after. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice even if you have not? Maybe it is similar to starting a new job when pregnant? When/ how to I tell my advisor, graduate school- chair, ect.? Thanks!
I do not have experience with this, but I know with a job you are not legally obligated to disclose pregnancy at all-- at least not until you are getting day for maternity leave. Since you may be beginning to show it will probably be obvious, and if it comes up I would just cheerfully reassure everyone that you plan to fulfill your duties and obligations and have childcare in the works for after baby is born. I doubt it will be a problem -- I know people who have gotten pregnant during college and had no problems with continuing and graduating, so I would think phD programs will be accommodating as well. Congrats on starting your phD and your baby .
I'm not entirely sure of keeping it mum for long. I would probably sit down with your advisor shortly after arriving and laying out for them your plan on how to handle various tasks just before taking time off for maternity leave. You may be given the option to start on some tasks this summer instead of waiting for August.
If you need to I would shoot an email to your college's HR department and ask them what would be required of you in order to fulfill your obligation to the college. Thankfully your situation is not unique and I'm sure they're used to handling it.
'Scuse the bad typing, please. 'Breast is Best' but not when browsing the internet!
I don't know what kind of research you will be doing, there is a risk to you and your baby if you are doing some chemical or other lab work. Even if it is mostly sitting in front of your computer, there is special risk to pregnant women. I am not trying to scare you, just think it is best to let the uni know, and they can do a risk assessment for you, make certain adjusts to accommodate you. If the project has certain parts needs more desk work, then it might be negotiable with your advisor to do that part in your late pregnancy and first few weeks after you had your maternity leave. Most university provide on-site creche, check with them about availability, cost, distance to your living quarter and your department, age range (from few months to 3 years?), opening time. Can any of your family come to assist you? as you are in a new state, if no family, you need to find commercial support as soon as possible: like antenatal club, childminder, babysitter, female colleagues who already have kids (some may even babysit for you). Plan ahead, you should be fine. congratulations.