For the modern woman of this century, the idea is to have it all.
It then comes as no surprise that more and more women are choosing to work till their last trimester to ensure their careers are not slowed down a day sooner than is necessary.
Because pregnancies are highly unpredictable, the dream to work through it is at times, challenging.
To increase your chances of seeing this plan through, it’s wise to think about the possible obstructions and the small details you can take care of beforehand that can allow you to function optimally at work.
Which are some of these? Here are some pointers.
1. Know Your Rights and Limitations
An employer cannot fire, deny you a promotion or a job purely based on your being pregnant.
However, there is no legal requirement for an employer to make things easier for expectant employees.
Similarly, you cannot be made to take leave early, so long as you can accomplish work-related tasks.
In addition to your legal rights, strive to learn as much as possible about what to expect during this time.
2. Curb Pregnancy Symptoms
About 90% of pregnant women experience some degree of morning sickness, from mild and barely noticeable to the more severe form known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Talk to your doctor about what you could do about nausea and vomiting and take some precautions like sitting near an exit in meetings just in case you need to excuse yourself.
Also, look up some natural remedies of easing morning sickness and find a few that work well for you.
When you feel better, you are better placed to focus on work and get more done.
3. Fight Fatigue
Understandably, pregnancy, and fatigue go hand in hand.
Most women report feeling tired during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy. In the first trimester, hormonal changes and a drop in sugar and blood pressure are often to blame.
In the third trimester, the baby you are carrying has already grown significantly, straining your back, thighs and legs. You also urinate more often, making it harder to sleep well through the night.
If you feel tired at work, you will be surprised at how rejuvenated you could feel after a short walk outside or even a power nap over your lunch break.
4. Write Things Down
Approximately 64% of pregnant women report getting a pregnancy brain where they forget words, pending tasks, or lack the ability to focus.
While this is common in pregnancy, your employer and clients might not take it kindly when you double-book yourself, miss meetings or deadlines, or take twice the time to complete tasks.
Make a habit of writing down anything you need to do, the deadline, dates, timings, and so on.
Also, find out when you feel most alert and use this time to handle the more demanding tasks of the day that require the most attention.
To get more done, try tools such as the Pomodoro technique to remain focused and clear your workload.
5. Prepare Yourself for Both Good and Bad Days
Despite your best-laid plans, you are bound to have some days that seem to take a wrong turn all on their own.
This happens to all people, expectant or not, and is not something to beat yourself up about.
When you feel great, confident and bursting with energy, ensure you do as much as possible without overexerting yourself.
This extra effort should cover for days when you feel sluggish and are less productive.
All in All
In as much as you want to be seen as a competent professional, you are, pregnancy can also feel like a full-time job. Pace yourself, listen to your body, and know when to stop or slow down.
These tips will help you navigate this phase and safeguard both your career and baby.