03 May Working While Pregnant
For most of us, bringing a child into the world is a major financial impact. It is becoming even more common now for women to continue working well into the third trimester of their pregnancy. Financial reasons aside, many women place equal importance on their careers as they do their families, knowing that they can fulfill the roles of mother, wife and career woman all at the same time. In fact, some women continue working until they actually deliver their baby. This is a departure from the old practice of women resigning immediately after finding out that she is pregnant, which for many years is believed to be one of the reasons why women should not advance as high as their male counterparts do in the workplace hierarchy.
The truth is, it’s not impossible for a woman to continue working during pregnancy, as long as she remains healthy during this period. However, there are certainly some challenges that come with working through most or all of the pregnancy. In this article, we’ll go through some of the challenges, as well as ways to help you get through them.
Challenges of working throughout your pregnancy:
Morning Sickness: Whether in the morning or throughout the day, feelings of nausea can hinder your work and overall energy level.
Try this: Have a chat with your work team or manager and let them know ahead of time what you might be dealing with on any given day. Let them know that there is a chance you’ll need to take a rest day or you may have step away from your work for a bit. Take a walk outside, drink some ginger tea, and do some breathing exercises before heading back.
During pregnancy, it’s expected that you’ll be more easily tired and uncomfortable. Our bodies cope with the increasing physical demands of carrying the baby.
Try this: Make sure you’ve set up your workstation in a comfortable way. A few suggestions are to add a pillow (or two) to your chair, bring midday snacks that satisfy your pregnancy cravings, or setup a diffuser with safe essential oils to feel relaxed. Depending on the work you do, you may also ask your manager if you can work on the tasks that most excite you. It never hurts to ask this and it might just be a great distraction from feeling uncomfortable or tired.
You may be feeling uncertain or stressed about bringing a new baby into the world, so who needs more stress on top of that? Job conditions whether it’s workload or team dynamics can be stressful at times a pose a challenge with working while pregnant.
Try this: Talk it out. Talk to a co-worker, your spouse, or your boss about what’s stressing you out at work. The best way to get through this challenge is to talk through it with someone and get to the bottom of what specifically at work is making you anxious and how it can be solved.
Pregnancy can take a major physical toll. Your back may hurt more, your feet could be swollen, and your body can feel generally sore.
Try this: At work, make sure you keep some remedies around to combat some of the expected pain points. Belly butter and an abdomen support belt might be helpful to keep around your work area. Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes, especially if your job requires a lot of walking around.
If your job is more physically demanding, make sure to use proper form to spare your back, even if you’re lifting something light. Bend at your knees, not your waist. Keep the load close to your body, lifting with your legs and not your back. Avoid twisting your body while lifting. If a load is too heavy to handle, ask for help.
Working well into pregnancy is much more common these days, and in most cases, it does not have any harmful effects on you or your baby. There are some new challenges you’ll face, but be sure to pay attention to your body and how you’re feeling when you’re working.