Pregnancy is a beautiful stage in a woman’s life. However, if you are working, it may not be that easy to cope with pregnancy symptoms and stress together. One should remember pregnancy is one of the most wonderful phases in a woman’s life. It is a phase of your life that you should enjoy and revel in, and this can be done even if you are working. That is, if you learn to stay healthy and find ways to lessen the discomforts pregnancy brings with it.
All you need is planning; right from breaking the news to your boss and colleagues to easing pregnancy symptoms, focusing on work, managing jobs, taking precautions, planning maternity leave and deciding when to rejoin work after delivery. Here are some life hacks that will help you sail through every stage of pregnancy.
Life Hacks For Working Pregnant Women
Breaking the news
It is best to inform your boss first about your pregnancy. Normally, a co-worker or the team gets to know first. Try and inform your boss before you break the news to your co-workers and colleagues. Of course your nausea, fatigue and frequent visits to the washroom are good indication of your state, but don’t take it for granted.
Also, contact the HR department of your workplace and find out all the details about maternity leave. Apply for it right away based on your due date and use the time to train your replacement.
Handling Pregnancy Symptoms
You need to learn to ease pregnancy symptoms at work. To lessen nausea:
- Get rid of everything and every smell around you that causes you to become nauseous.
- Keep some snacks close to you like crackers and citrus fruits and have them whenever nausea strikes you.
- Ginger helps in keeping nausea at bay. You can drink ginger ale or even drink black ginger tea to ease your nausea.
It is natural to get tired during pregnancy. To reduce fatigue at workplace use the following hacks:
- Deficiency of iron leads to fatigue during pregnancy. Eat food rich in iron, like leafy vegetables, poultry, red meat, whole grains and beans.
- Drink lots of water. If you can’t have plain water, keep sipping fresh juice after every half an hour.
- Keep taking frequent breaks. Your breaks may last only for five minutes, but shut yourself off from everything around. Close your eyes and put your feet on a stool or chair for a couple of minutes. This will rejuvenate you for the next 1 or 2 hours.
- Cut down on extra work like shopping or cleaning the house. Start doing online shopping and hire help or ask family and friends to chip in to do the household chores.
- Being fit is the key to a healthy pregnancy. If you have a desk job, take stairs instead of the elevator. During your lunch break, after eating, go for a short walk. This will not only keep you fit, it also will prevent your feet from swelling up as your pregnancy advances. Or, join pre-natal yoga classes.
- You would need at least seven hours of peaceful sleep during your pregnancy. So go to bed early and sleep on your left side to maximize blood flow.
To focus, use these hacks:
- It is natural to have lack of focus during pregnancy. Avoid missing important deadlines at work by taking notes and penning reminders in your calendar.
- Don’t take on extra duties. Refuse any additional work your supervisor or boss tries to load you with. Explain the reason and people will be understanding.
- Try and finish the most challenging tasks first thing when you are fresh and vibrant. As the day progresses, your focus and concentration levels will reduce.
Stay Comfortable Even In Office
During pregnancy, one tends to gain a lot of weight and this can pose a problem for many women, as they may find it difficult to sit or stand up. Other than taking frequent breaks and moving around every 30 minutes, use the following tips to stay comfortable at work.
- Sitting: Sit on a chair where the backrest can be adjusted to suit your requirements. Keep a cushion to support your back. Don’t keep your feet hanging too long. They will swell up. Instead rest your feet on a cushion or stool to avoid this problem while sitting.
- Bending: Take precautions while bending, as you can injure your back. If you have to bend, bend your knees, keeping the weight close to your body and not back. Don’t lift any heavy weights.
- Standing: Don’t stand for long. Don’t wear high heels. Wear comfortable and flat-heeled shoes to work. This will ease the stress on your feet, legs and lower back while standing and walking.
Stay Away from Stress
Jobs can not only be physically draining during pregnancy, but mentally too. Learn to stay away from stress.
- Prioritize your work and delegate work so as to stay ease your workload and stress.
- Talk it out with a close friend or colleague whenever you feel low or stressed out.
- Breathe deeply, meditate or count backwards if you are getting agitated at work. Practice relaxation techniques whenever in stress.
Precautions for Working Pregnant Women
Ensure that you take precautions no matter how healthy your pregnancy is. Avoid the following:
- Lifting heavy stuff
- Standing for too long
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Extreme noise
- Very high or low temperatures
- Night shifts
You have a right to a safe workplace. You can always ask your employer to reassign your duties to a comfortable place if your job is physically demanding or there are risks of infections or injuries. You can wear a maternity belt to support your abdomen and avoid backache. Whenever possible, sit down to take the load off your feet.
Plan Your Maternity Leave
Every company has a mandatory paid maternity leave. You can check the Family Medical Leave Act and see what regulations are followed by your company.
Almost every company lets you enjoy short-term disability coverage, which includes pregnancy. This enables pregnant ladies to take six weeks postpartum leave in case of vaginal birth and eight weeks leave after a C-Section. If you use some part of your leave prior to delivery, that many days are deducted from your postpartum maternity leave.
Most companies don’t mind giving their female employees unpaid postpartum leave. Check with your HR department prior to planning maternity leave.
Last But Not The Least, When To Rejoin Back After Delivery
This is a very important question because you can’t even imagine how it would be after the baby. No one can imagine the sleepless nights and fatigue of bringing up a newborn.
These days, most companies don’t mind being flexible when it comes to their star employees. You can try considering working part time or as a freelancer with your employer. Check for options like working from home and being present at office just for important meetings. Speak with your employer if he can allow you to bring your baby to work. Many companies also run creches and childcare centers for working and single parents. If that facility is available at your workplace, make use of it.
Take as much time off as you can after giving birth. This is the time not only to look after the new member of your family, but to let yourself recoup and recover after pregnancy and delivery.
As a good employee, ensure you leave your desk well-organized with all key points and notes in place before you start your maternity leave. Either don’t be a part of any new project that you may have to leave in between, or if you are already part of some on-going project, do keep other team members in the loop, so that they know what you are handling and what you have completed. Let your replacement know all the details.
No matter how you plan your leave after delivery, don’t make this mistake of promising to work from home while on leave. You just won’t be able to do anything for the first two months after the baby is born. And after all, your baby should be your priority and not your work.