If you're expecting a child, hearing the good news that you're pregnant might be one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to you. Undoubtedly, it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside to think about your baby growing inside of you. However, pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, insomnia, and lethargy can make it difficult to maintain your normal routine, which includes your professional life.
Many women, especially those with other children at home, find it challenging to balance employment and pregnancy. If you're pregnant and worried about keeping up with your responsibilities at work, then read on for some advice that should make your life a little easier at this time.
If You’re Navigating a New Career, Being Honest is Essential
You undoubtedly told your new boss that you were pregnant when you started working for them in the first trimester, especially if you had negotiated maternity leave as part of your contract. You shouldn't feel obligated to tell your boss or coworkers immediately away if you're pregnant. When you are ready, you can share the good news with them. However, if it causes excessive weariness or nausea, you may want to share it with your coworkers. If they know what's happening, they'll be more patient and understanding while you learn the job.
Transparency is important, so inform your boss (and maybe your team) about your pregnancy constraints. Some women don't need to cut back on work, but many women can't work as well as they did before pregnancy. If you're one of them, check in with your manager regularly to avoid being overworked. It's hard to turn down extra work in the first few months of a new job when you're trying to impress.
Morning Sickness and Other Pregnancy Symptoms Require a Plan
If you're like most women, you probably didn't want to announce your pregnancy in the early stages, when symptoms like morning sickness are common. Because of this, you'll need a strategy to deal with morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms while at work. What you can do is keep crackers and a small emergency kit with a paper bag and a washcloth handy in case you get sick at your desk and need to throw up.
In order to alleviate other pregnancy-related symptoms, like exhaustion, sitting down during the day is recommended. You should also avoid traveling at the end of your third trimester, engage in strenuous exercise only when absolutely necessary, and obtain plenty of rest. Keep in mind that in order to have a safe pregnancy, you shouldn't push yourself too hard.
Network With Other Working Parents At Work
There is no time in a woman's life when social support is more important than during pregnancy. Pregnant women benefit mentally and physically from increased social support as it lessens the effects of stress on their lives. Lack of social support during pregnancy has been linked to substance abuse, the onset of mental illness, and unfavorable results for both mother and child.
Who else do you know who is a parent in your company and works full-time? Try to strike up a conversation with them and see if there's any way you can connect. Through socializing, you can meet other parents who are also working while raising children. Alternatively, you might want to organize a parent-friendly group at your workplace to connect with other working parents who are facing similar issues. Group work can make you feel less isolated and provide the reinforcement you need to get through the day and take care of yourself as a parent.
Plan for Good and Bad Working Days
It's important to realize that there will be good days and terrible days as you try to balance pregnancy and employment. Some days you'll feel energized and excited, while on some days, you'll be sick all day and too exhausted to get out of bed. When you're in a good mood, you should maximize your productivity by finishing tasks early and getting ahead of schedule. So that on days when you don't feel well, you'll be able to relax and take it easy.
Know Your Rights
Pregnancy discrimination is illegal in the United States. So, you can't be fired, given fewer hours, or passed over for a promotion only because you're expecting a child. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. An employer must, for instance, let a pregnant worker keep working for as long as she can do it effectively.
In the eyes of the law, being pregnant is neither a disease nor an injury. In the event that you become unwell or injured during your pregnancy, you are still entitled to take time off work. In addition, you have the right to take time off work for medical visits you may have concerning your pregnancy.
If you work with chemicals or animals or undertake physically demanding labor like heavy lifting, you should be extra aware of the dangers and hazards to your pregnancy. Think about how your employment, travel, posture, and daily movements affect your body and mind. It's more likely that you'll experience discomfort in your hands and arms, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, if you're expecting a child. Do not undertake an activity at work that causes you to feel dizzy or ill, and instead consult a doctor if you have any doubts about its safety. Furthermore, you can consult with the company's health and safety officer.
Working while you’re pregnant isn’t always easy. However, you can make things easier for yourself by creating a work environment that is welcoming and supportive for working parents. You can also network with other working parents, be aware of your rights, and take safety precautions. And, when things get tough, remember that there are lots of resources out there to help you navigate this challenging situation. Enjoy this special moment in your life and the positive aspects of pregnancy, including planning for your baby's arrival and going shopping.