You have just discovered that you are pregnant. Yes! It is an indescribable feeling. However, if you are a working woman, be prepared to face a few challenges that come with being pregnant. Although, being pregnant does not mean that your career has to take a backseat; it is still a challenge to manage, no doubt.
Most women look forward to work for as long as they can during their pregnancy so that they can accumulate leave for later after the baby arrives. If you are facing the same situation, gain control and strike that perfect balance with some simple tips and tricks. Remember, nobody says that it is going to be easy. However, it will all be worth it.
Here are some common challenges that career-oriented pregnant women face and what can be done to handle them better:
Also Read: 7 Foods That Increase Fertility In Women
This can cause a lot of anxiety. If you are poised for a promotion, have just joined, or are at the peak of your career, it is normal to feel that announcing your pregnancy will hamper your success. However, you need to make the announcement as early as you can and as professionally as you can.
When you do it, discuss the due date and assure your superior that you will continue to work to the best of your abilities. However, before this, talk to your doctor to understand health-related limitations, if any. Have a plan ready for what roles and responsibilities you can handle before you announce your pregnancy to your boss. This will make things easier for everybody.
Most companies start taking decisions to ease out the workload for pregnant co-workers. They do this assuming that it is in their best interest. For instance, they may choose another person to go on a scheduled business trip (for which you might be planning for months), instead of you or simply reduce your working hours even though you may not need this to be done.
It is your responsibility to communicate about your health in the correct manner. Most women tend to talk in greater proportion about the fatigue or the morning sickness as part of a small talk with co-workers. This, in turn, projects an image that you are not able to handle certain things because of physical limitations.
Therefore, be clear about the things that you can do and what you cannot do as your pregnancy progresses. If you do want to take some time off because of your health issues, make sure you position it correctly. Do not tell your supervisor that you need to take off because you are feeling sick. Instead, tell them that travelling may make you sick and unproductive and therefore, you would like to work from home. Your request should project the best interest of the company.
Your co-workers will take it upon themselves to inform you about the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. This can be quite irksome at times. However, remember that it probably comes out of concern. Another issue that you will deal with is comparisons with other women who have been pregnant and have been working as well. Some stories may be positive and others can really be horrifying.
Do not allow these stories or advices to affect you. If you have any concerns after listening to certain advice or anecdote, just speak to your gynaecologist.
Most women find this very challenging. The biggest question is for how long can you take maternity leave. What are the terms of payment during that leave? When you are about to take your maternity leave, make sure that you read the clauses in your contract thoroughly. You also have certain rights as a working, pregnant woman. Learn your rights so that you do not feel anxious about demanding what you deserve.
Pregnancy cannot be a reason for you to be terminated or replaced in a company. A certain period of paid maternity leave, which varies from company to company, is your right and you must make sure you have it.
Women actually feel guilty to take time off from work to go see their doctor as per the appointments. Of course, your co-workers do not always help. They may pass remarks about how you get to take off when you like. They usually think that this is a fleeting joke. However, you know why this is important and how difficult it can be with certain physical conditions that come with pregnancy.
If it goes out of hand, communicate it to them. Otherwise, such remarks are best ignored. However, you must meet your doctor as scheduled.
Pregnancy hormones tend to make most women very emotional. If you sometimes feel overwhelmed by work and pregnancy, you must remember to take time off without any guilt. You can also look for some relaxation methods that will help you. A few minutes of soothing music, a walk, or even some breathing exercises will do you good.
Also Read: 13 Pregnancy myths and facts
This seems like a trivial thing but it can really affect the way you look at things at work. There are several brands like that offer smart office wear for pregnant women. Buy clothes that let you feel comfortable and confident.
Be proud of your baby bump or of the extra pounds that you may gain when you are pregnant. Your body is preparing to create life. Learn to embrace it and feel good about yourself. If you still feel concerned about working during pregnancy, talk to women who have done it before. Go for regular checkups during this period, to make it less stressful.
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