Once you've figured out how much maternity leave you want to take, the trick is to get it -- as you carefully tell your boss you're pregnant. If you haven't already, talk to your co-workers to see how they handled their maternity leaves.
Next, approach your manager. Keep it professional and don't apologize. And please, tell your boss you're pregnant in person -- preferably before your belly starts bumping into the conference table at staff meetings.
Your manager will take the news best if it comes from you directly. Here are some tried and true ways to make the conversation go smoothly when you tell your boss you're pregnant.
Now that you've had the in-person discussion, document the fact that you informed your manager of your intention to take maternity leave. Start with this sample maternity leave letter. Now adapt it to fit your employer's corporate culture or policies. Voila!
It helps to look at what other moms have done before you. Check out these stories from About.com readers to see what worked and what didn't, when it comes to maternity leave.
You'll also want to inform clients and colleagues of your pregnancy and plan to take maternity leave. Time the announcement so that they have enough time to ask you any pressing questions and wrap up projects before you leave. But don't tell them so far in advance that they'll have time to dump new work on you as you're trying to organize for your absence!