If you are an expecting mother pursuing a career, you may find it hard to part from your workplace, even during pregnancy. Sometimes financial constraints forbid you to take a break from work even if you want to. Working environments are not always safe and comfortable for pregnant mothers. Exposure to radiations, infections and long or late working hours can be detrimental to your health.
Plan for your pregnancy well in advance.
It goes without saying that in order to keep your pregnancy safe, sound and healthy, you must plan it months ahead. And also consider the safety measures at the workplace.
Plan your work schedule, keep off the stress. Planning for the pressure at workplace and the mounting demands of growing pregnancy is always a wise move. Plan well in advance about how you are going to ensure that your leaves for maternity needs and delivery do not affect your work . If possible, plan your pregnancy in such a way so that you are able to show the required efficiency in order to make way for your promotion, pay raise and leave assessment.
Arrange for projects in the pipeline. As a sincere employee, it’s your responsibility to make arrangements for the work to be carried out in your absence. If there are projects in the pipeline, you may suggest a solution to keep them moving. Although you can schedule your maternity leaves beforehand, things become all the more uncertain in the third trimester because of unexpected circumstances or complications.
Piggybank your sick leaves. One solution can be to save your sick leaves for maternity. But that doesn’t mean you overstress your early pregnancy with too much of work. You must take care of your baby’s health right from the start. Taking occasional breaks from work help you keep yourself refreshed.
Arrange for an alternate resource in your absence. As a responsible worker, you can also consider arranging and training an alternative resource so that the latter can take up and accomplish the task at hand with ease. This also helps you spend your leaves without getting bothered and feeling guilty about neglecting your work.
Your doctor can help in planning. Most importantly, your doctor is the best planner for you. Explain your work type , demands and take advice from your doctor about how to plan out your work schedule so that it becomes less stressful for you.
Don’t get cold feet in declaring it at work.
Many women find it hard to declare their pregnancy at the workplace. The reaction of the bosses and colleagues can be one out of the myriad reasons why they hesitate to announce the ‘good news’.
Decide wisely about your announcement of pregnancy. Some may suggest that it is wise to wait for a while before making it public. There are many factors that can confuse you as to whether or not you must announce your pregnancy. Matters like fear of miscarriage and the chances of being underestimated for certain tasks by the colleagues and seniors may inhibit you from declaring it in open. Moreover, if you are expecting a pay hike or a promotion, announcing your pregnancy may turn the tables for you.
Announce to be on the safer side. There are certain reasons that may provoke the expecting mother to pronounce her pregnancy at work. For e.g. ensuring your safety and comfort by keeping away from hazards at workplace means your seniors need to be informed about your state. Plus, you may not want your boss to hear it from anyone else, before you tell him. Also, conditions like morning sickness and the change in your physical structure may reveal the fact before you do, making things a bit embarrassing for you.
Disclosing it early can ease your work load. Announcing it early has its own benefits as you get support from your colleagues and assistance when needed from the seniors, making life easier for you. You won’t be overloaded with work and can take as much rest as required. It is a good move to contact your HR manager and get an insight on the benefits that your company offers. Convince your employer that you are capable of fulfilling your duties at both the fronts easily.
Don’t let discomforts deter you from working.
Most expecting mothers who are also working experience certain discomforts that pull them down from work actively. You must be prepared to handle such circumstances at work.
Avoid situations that encourage nausea. Nausea and vomiting are the most cumbersome of all the problems mothers face during pregnancy. To avoid the feeling of nausea, try to avoid places and items that stimulate that feeling, like dingy places, smelly food items etc. Carry healthy snacks like nuts to fill in the occasional appetite. Divide your eating time into 5 small meals rather than 3 huge meals. Most of all drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters a day) to do away with the chances of dehydration. Water cleans up your system and reduces the level of stress. You can also consider having fresh fruit and vegetable juices, shakes, buttermilk etc. during the day. It is advisable to sit near the door during meetings to rush out in case you suddenly feel nauseated.
Rest often to drive away the fatigue. Exhaustion can also be a real hinder at work. Although you must pay heed to it whenever it creeps in. The best way to ward off fatigue is to take short naps on your desk or sick rooms in office. If that is not possible, close your eyes for a while and stretch your legs and arms a bit. Taking short walks can also be reviving. If you drive to work, consider relaxing a bit before starting your work. Avoid long drives and if possible, avail a driver facility.
Keep your back comfortable. Backaches are common problems especially during the later stages of pregnancy. For that you need to make yourself comfortable on your seat as you may have to sit all day long on it. So, go for a chair with straight back and adjustable bend so that your back is relieved of the pressure. Make sure your chair has a proper arm rest and foot rest. Don’t forget to take short walks frequently.
Comfortable clothes are always ‘in’. Wear clothes that are loose fitting and extremely comfortable. Prefer wearing sneakers to shoes. Or you can always change into them while commuting. Cotton and linen are the most comfortable fabric during pregnancy.
Cut down on transportation. Commutation stress can take you over during pregnancy. Convince your seniors to allow you to work from home. You can consider travelling to office during early hours. Those using public transport must be extra careful from elbow punches.
Planning for what lies next helps ward off stress. Planning and prioritizing always helps to reduce stress. Try to plan your schedule for the coming week or month. Explain the situation to your team-mates and take help from them whenever necessary. State it clearly yet politely to your seniors that you are being overburdened. Adopt methods to relieve yourself off the stress.
Today, career is an inseparable truth for mothers. But pregnancy is and has been a bigger reality from the time immemorial. Wisdom is to make pregnancy and profession ally and figure out ways to make both of them go smoothly, hand in hand. Here are some crucial facts for expecting working mothers upfront. Know what is best for you and you can always be a great mother and a professional, all at the same time.