You’ve hit one of the biggest milestones in your life: you’re going to have a baby! So, you’ve already spread the word among your friends and family, and now you’ve told your boss as well. You might be able to work some accommodations into your job to make your life easier.
There are numerous ways to ease your pregnancy while still working. Check out these 9 tips on juggling your pregnancy and your job.
1. Acknowledge First Trimester Emotions
There are so many changes happening in your body during the first trimester, and you won’t “look” pregnant, so your co-workers may forget that you are. Hormonal changes during this time mean you’ll likely be fatigued and emotional, breaking down in tears for no reason. Reminding yourself (and sometimes your co-workers) that you’re a hot mess because of your hormones will help keep you on track.
2. Manage Morning (or All-Day) Sickness
Changes in hormones often lead to morning sickness, though some women experience this in the afternoon or evening, or even all day. Morning sickness is always worse when you have an empty stomach, so make sure you have snacks like dry crackers or granola and eat smaller, more frequent meals. Chamomile tea is excellent for upset stomachs, and ginger has been proven to help as well, though ginger can take up to four days to begin working.
3. Adjust Your Sleep Habits
Pregnancy is difficult even on a healthy body, and you’ll likely experience fatigue throughout your pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. This might mean cancelling your girls’ night out and going to bed right after dinner. If possible, add short naps throughout the day to help your body get more sleep. In the third trimester, pressure on the bladder will mean more trips to the bathroom, so add more sleep time to compensate.
4.Prepare – But Don’t Worry – For Labor
Many women worry that they will go into labor – or their water will break – while at work. Statistically, most women’s water doesn’t break until they’ve been in labor for some time, but if you’re worried, leave a change of clothes and several thick maxi pads in your desk for emergencies. Also, do some research into compensation for birth injuries caused by medical malpractices a just in case.
5. Juggling Doctor’s Appointments
Prenatal care is extremely important to monitor your health and that of your growing baby. But fitting in all this extra time from work might seem difficult. If you can, schedule all your appointments for the same day as well as the same time of day. Perhaps your manager will give you an extra day off each week to accommodate your increasing doctor visits. It may mean you must work later other days or for a few hours on Saturday to make up for it.
6.Manage Your Brain Fog
This is a very real thing often experienced by people with conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. But, it also occurs during pregnancy as well. Your brain is literally rewiring itself in preparation for motherhood, and this can make you extremely forgetful. To overcome this, make sure you take lots of notes, even for something as simple as a phone conversation.
7. Make Sure to Move Your Body
As your pregnancy progresses, your body’s center of gravity will change to accommodate your extra weight. This can lead to back pain, leg swelling, and muscle cramps. If you sit all day, make sure to get up and walk around for about 5 minutes every couple of hours. You can also use a stool under your desk to prop your feet. If you must stand, using a stool to lift one foot at a time off the floor is also helpful to prevent back pain.
8. Make Time for Bathroom Breaks
As you enter into the third trimester, pressure on your bladder from your growing baby will force you to make more frequent bathroom breaks. This will also help with tip #7 and make you move your body frequently, too. If you get up for any reason, take a trip to the bathroom.
9. Set Boundaries
As your belly grows, you’ll notice a greater number of people who will want to touch your bump. If this makes you uncomfortable, all it takes is a simple statement: “Please, don’t touch me, I’m not comfortable with it.” Most people will be apologetic.
Working while pregnant isn't always easy. However, making the right choices can make you better at juggling and working through this phase.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.