'I'm interviewing for jobs while pregnant. Do I really have to tell a potential employer?'

I've found myself in the awkward position of being unemployed (a negative) and pregnant (a positive) at the same time.

I have been unemployed and job hunting for about three months now. While it was never my intention to start a new job in the early stages of pregnancy, I am in my mid-thirties and my doctor, society and my mum have made me acutely aware of my depleting eggs. So like most people that are trying to conceive, my partner and I have been taking advantage of every fertile stage we can.

But here comes the catch — a roller coaster of emotions has ensued while I've been applying for jobs and battling my inner thoughts regarding my moral, financial and ethical(?) dilemma.

And it turns out, it's an even bigger topic of debate among myself and my friends.

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Do I owe it to the potential employer to disclose that I'm pregnant during the interview stage?

According to some close friends... yes. Many think I'm in the wrong for not telling my potential future employer that I have a baby on the way.


Although exciting, the first trimester is a lonely time. I would love to poll all my loved ones and ask for their advice on the matter, but the truth is it is so early in my pregnancy that I haven't told many people yet. Only the closest.

When I've asked them what they would do if in my position, it's been mixed to say the least:

You need to tell them in the application process, before the interview so they can consider the timeline.

I'm a small business owner and it would be harder to consider a pregnant person as the preferred candidate.

That is tricky but I'm stuck for advice as I've never been in that situation — sorry and good luck!

You don't owe them anything — tell them when you're ready.

I would have stayed at my old job!

Just wear baggy clothes and don't tell them.

I feel I am being dishonest by not disclosing the news to the hiring manager as this will ultimately affect this position at the company.

But then I think: stop beating yourself up, this isn't your fault. Yes, you did try to get pregnant while unemployed, but you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year now.

Like most women when they are in their thirties and start trying for a baby, you don't realise how hard it can be. Sex education led us to believe getting pregnant was e-a-s-y, but like most of my friends, it has been a difficult journey. 


Ultimately, there's no 'good' time to get pregnant. A wise person once said this to me and this motto has certainly stuck. The best time to be pregnant is whenever you can. The circumstances are never completely perfect.

Yet the niggling thought in the back of my mind remains as I desperately look for jobs — if I am successful during the interview and get the role, when should I let them know I'm pregnant?

Should I tell them during my probation stage or would that hinder my chances of progressing? Should I inform HR during my probation stage so it's in writing just in case there is a chance of unfair dismissal? I have this feeling of deceit for not disclosing my pregnancy, but to be fair, most people don't tell their employer until well into their second trimester (or any time they bloody want!).

I wonder if this is a bigger issue than I'm making it out to be.

But then if any of us were the hiring manager, would we be able to make an unbiased decision if we knew one of the candidates was pregnant? I'd like to think most of us would stay unbiased, but deep down I'm sure there would be a small lingering notion in the back of our minds that may seep into our subconscious.

Ultimately, I've landed on the decision not to tell my pending employer. Instead, I'll wait until I've been offered the job and I'm a few weeks into it before letting them know. I just hope I can find out what my future company's maternity leave policy is sooner rather than later.


Pregnancy is hard enough, let alone when you add on this amount of stress. It's like I can't shake the feeling of guilt. But remembering that this is a happy time — and forcing myself to remember this — has been a lifesaver.

I've come to terms with the fact that it's unlikely I'll qualify for paid maternity leave. Most companies require you to work for a minimum of nine to 12 months before you can receive paid maternity leave. I'm sure there are some exceptions at other companies, I'm just hoping that I can get my job held until I return. I also won't qualify for the NSW Government paid maternity leave as that requires you to be working 10 months prior to the birth. Damn.

Part of me also fears about socialising with colleagues and keeping it from them, even if for a few weeks.

Soon, I'll start sharing my special baby news with all my loved ones. It's something I feel so happy to share, excited to start this next chapter. But I know the opinions from others will soon flow in, questioning my decision to keep my growing baby underwraps in the workplace.

Sometimes though, secrets are necessary. And honestly — what would you do in my position?

Featured Image: Getty.

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