Pregnancy is one of life’s biggest juggling acts but when you’re trying to balance your job and your new life change, it’s a juggling act that you may never have anticipated. While you may well be looking forward to the juggling act of parenthood, you could find managing a heavy workload and pregnancy difficult. Being pregnant is not the problem when it comes to everyday life, but when you’re in the workplace, the side effects of pregnancy can make life a lot harder than you’d imagined. Morning sickness and extreme fatigue can interrupt an average day, never mind a twelve-hour shift. If you already have children, you’ll be juggling the pregnancy as well as their needs and when you throw your job into the mix, you could find yourself a little overwhelmed.
Being pregnant is a huge mix of emotions, so it makes sense that you’d want to minimise your stress the best that you can. The biological and psychological changes that you experience when you are carrying a baby can have a huge impact on the way that you see your life. The things at work that once didn’t bother you might easily start to get on your nerves as your hormones are heightened. The changes in your hormones can lead to nausea and exhaustion even more than you’re already experiencing, and if you are in a single-parent home, you’re going to have triple the work. Trying to manage mood swings with your stressful job and the kids at home and the changes in your body? That’s the biggest juggling act possible. The best thing that you can do is learn how to manage your stress so that you can manage your work life. With the tips below, you can make this period of your life less stressful on you all.
Talk About It. You need to approach your manager and your human resource department as soon as you can in your pregnancy. There is no need to fear your management team because when it comes to your pregnancy, they are there to support you and make life easier on you. Book in a meeting to discuss your maternity leave options and if you are in a high-paced job such as nursing, discuss a risk assessment to make sure that your job is safe for you. Your human resource department may even suggest getting some maternity scrubs from www.wonderwinkscrubshop.com to make getting around the wards more comfortable. Your employer should be supportive of your situation but they can only be supportive if you reach out and discuss the pregnancy and the changes it will mean with them directly.
Be Honest. Where possible, try not to tell people at work that you are fine when you are not. It isn’t shameful to find things a struggle, so don’t brush off how you feel. There are going to be days where you are not feeling yourself and you won’t be performing to the level that you have displayed previously and that’s okay. This will happen a lot toward the end of your pregnancy, especially as you get nearer to your leave date. It’s important to make adjustments to your pregnancy routine as you go along, because what you agreed when you first talked to your boss may not be applicable now.
Discuss Your Options. You may have nine months to wait for your baby, but it’s going to go so much faster than you think. Discussing your back to work options and how long you plan to take off should be done as early as possible, as you’ll want to be able to give notice on whether you want flexible working options or if you plan to come back at all. The earlier you can give notice to your employer about this, the faster you can relax and know that you have things worked out and ready to go. You can even discuss whether you can go on light duties or admin duties and work from home if necessary. Having a plan discussed and in place can make things feel easier for you.
Morning Sickness. Fatigue is a tough pregnancy symptom, but the tougher one to handle is often morning sickness, especially in the workplace. It’s extremely common to develop morning sickness in the first ten weeks of pregnancy and even beyond this; the key is management. There are conditions like hyperemesis gravidarum that cause you to have morning, noon and night sickness to the point of dehydration. If this has happened for you, then you’ll need to discuss with your management how to deal with it while working. Keeping crackers, flat lemonade and ginger biscuits in a locker at work can help you to manage the symptoms. You could also try wearing travel bands like these to stop you from puking at work.
Be Safe. Working in a fast-paced role is often tough on the body but when you’re carrying precious cargo, it’s even tougher. Ensure that you have a risk assessment in place to ensure your workplace safety. Unsafe or high-risk environments require specific training and understanding about how things work at work, and when you’re pregnant, this training needs to be repeated again. It’s never a bad idea to ask to be switched into a position that is safer for you.
Embrace It. Being pregnant at work isn’t something that you’re going to be able to help unless you are able to have the lifestyle to give up work to raise children. Instead of being fearful of the future, embrace it. Feel grateful for the fact that you have an understanding employer who is willing to work with you through your pregnancy and will celebrate you coming back into the team afterwards.
Your pregnancy is something to be excited about and once you’ve allowed yourself to relax about it at work and your management has stepped up for you, you’ll be able to enjoy it even more. Enjoy every moment of this life-changing time!