14/08/2014 12:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Pregnant Women Dread Telling Bosses They Are Pregnant

Pregnant women are too scared to speak to their boss about maternity rights claims study

A survey has found that almost half of all pregnant working women feared telling their boss they were expecting.

The study revealed that some mums even thought that just ASKING about their maternity rights could affect their career.

Researchers said the findings revealed how concerned women are about broaching the subject of motherhood in the workplace, and called for companies to make their policy openly available to their staff.

"In today's economic climate, women are understandably concerned about job security," said Craig Holt from law firm Quality Solicitors who commissioned the survey. "Even more are unclear about their maternity rights, amid fears that even asking about a company's policy could affect their career."

He said that despite there being strong legal regulation to assist the employer and employee, a culture of 'don't ask, don't tell' has been allowed to develop.

"Women are not asking about their rights, and employers are not always communicating clearly what these rights are and where they can find them," he said.

Parentdish says: "Plucking up the courage to tell your boss you're pregnant can cast a shadow over your euphoria at being pregnant, but you just need to go on and do it – most women will do after their first scan at 12 to 13 weeks.

"Once you've shared your news, you're free to really enjoy your pregnancy – and a little well-deserved attention.

"It's important to remember your rights to maternity leave and to not be discriminated against during your pregnancy and once you return to work are enshrined in law – you can read more here.

"You should never feel by going on maternity leave that you are letting your work colleagues or your boss down. You are having a baby – and that's wonderful.

"The best work cultures appreciate the value of women in the work place and our multi-tasking ability – honed even more when balancing children and work – and our loyalty to a place that has fully supported our maternity leave and return to work."