How do you breeze through pregnancy while still holding a full-time job? Here’s what you need to know.
Yes, you can work while you’re pregnant! The challenge is to figure out how to take care of your changing body while carrying out your responsibilities. All you need is a plan – we’ll help you figure it out.
Give your boss a heads up: Spread the good news. Your boss would like to know when your leave starts and ends, and how you plan to fulfill your responsibilities during and after pregnancy. Be upfront if you need to quit or if you intend to take some months off.
Set realistic expectations: Make a list of what you can and cannot do, as well as what you want and don’t want to do. Don’t kid yourself; pregnancy will slow you down. If your job is physically demanding or time consuming, consider working part-time. Ask your employer if you can do some work at home. Prioritize your health, as well as that of your baby’s.
Take care of legal matters: Consult with your company’s human resource manager about the policy on maternity leave. Each company has a unique one and benefits will depend on your circumstance – tenure, number of leave credits, your position, etc. If you are working for a smaller company with no maternity leave policy, you can negotiate for a reasonable agreement. Fill out forms and submit them on time. Double check which ones will be handled by HR and which ones you should handle personally.
Know what to expect: Do your homework. It pays to know what lies ahead so you can prep your preggy self for it.
Put yourself first: There are anatomic and physiologic changes caused by pregnancy, which make you easily tired and breathless than usual. If you are pregnant and still at work, give yourself time to rest frequently and defer from strenuous activities, like lifting heavy objects. Take deep breaths. It’s also important to be hydrated throughout the day. Women who are expecting have increased water loss due to breathlessness. It is best to drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day. Also, take small frequent meals to avoid gastro-esophageal reflux.
De-stress: Don’t let the stress of the workplace affect your disposition. Take it slow. Keep your mood positive with meditation and breathing exercises. As much as possible, be around people who radiate positive vibes – people who are happy and stress-free. It helps to be independent, too. It doesn’t help to complain about every little thing.
Be on top of things: As soon as you reach your third trimester, get everything prepped. Turn over materials and responsibilities as early as your first trimester, because you’ll never know when you’ll be absent due to pregnancy conditions.
Be accessible: Even while you’re on leave, you have to keep in touch with people at work. Give your co-worker or subordinates a list of things that should be done while you’re away. Be available, especially regarding decisions that require your expertise. Let your office know when and how to contact you. Should you need additional time off, consult with your supervisor or let your staff know what’s happening. An emergency plan should be in place for this.