The Ultimate Guide to Working While Pregnant

Depending on the job, working while pregnant can be completely doable. Certain working situations and pregnancies will require alterations to make them safe, but it can be done in most cases. It is important to remember that you are the expert on your body and pregnancy and are the best person to say if working your job is an excellent move to make while pregnant. If you continue working, here are some good guideposts to doing so safely and efficiently.

Share The News

Although it may feel scary, it is best to let your boss and co-workers know you are pregnant in most work environments. Letting them know can allow them to alter your work schedule, load, and prepare for your upcoming parental leave. In addition, in the early days of pregnancy, many individuals experience intense morning sickness and may need to miss work. If your boss and co-workers know the reason for your absence, it can increase their empathy and understanding.

Take Breaks

Working over forty hours a week during pregnancy is not ideal, especially in high-stress jobs. However, this is one of the scenarios where talking to your boss could be the best thing for both you and your baby as you continue working while pregnant. Whether working at a desk job or on your feet, it is a good idea to take frequent short breaks where you do the opposite of what you usually do. These breaks are mainly physically helpful but can also be emotionally and mentally beneficial.

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Eat & Drink as Needed

While at work, it is crucial to eat and drink well and often. This might look like having high-protein snacks available at your desk or in your bag if you are on the go. Bringing whole food protein-rich meals is another great idea to give you stamina for your day and encourage the healthy growth of the fetus. Bringing a large refillable water bottle can be inspiring for adequate water intake. My best advice for water intake is to make sure your water bottle is cute and one you love; it sounds silly. Still, something about loving your water bottle is highly motivational for hydration.

Start Healthy Habits at Home

Part of surviving working while pregnant is caring for yourself at home. Getting adequate exercise or movement and sleeping enough are two key contributors to energy levels throughout the day. Another thing to remember is to keep up the protein-rich meals and snacks while at home and on hydration. Our at-home habits impact our day-to-day in more ways than one. If we cannot care for ourselves at home, it could cause more stress than good in a work environment.

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Keep a Schedule

Balancing pregnancy appointments, adjustments, childbirth preparation courses, and doula interviews with working can feel like a lot. Scheduling things out is a great way to save your sanity while juggling all these things simultaneously. The more you can schedule your appointments around your work schedule, the less you will have to miss and the less stress you will feel. If there is an appointment you absolutely cannot schedule around work hours, talking to your boss is a great way to find a solution that works for everyone.

Plan Ahead

We all know that with work and pregnancy alike, there are both good and bad days. As much as we hope every day of pregnancy will be good, it is essential to plan what you will do if you hit a bad day and still must go to work. Planning might look like getting extra work done on your good days so you can take it easier on your worst days. 

Prepare for your postpartum leave and look at your different options. It could be that your company offers an incredible parental leave for postpartum. In the United States, this may not be as likely of a case. Suppose you get very little parental leave postpartum. In that case, it might be a good idea to consider changing positions at your work, leaving work altogether if financially possible, returning part-time, or using paid vacation leave to supplement the income. Only you know what is best for your family and postpartum needs, but if your work life is no longer a good fit, trust your intuition and move on to what is coming next. If you feel like the best plan of action is to take parental leave from work early, prepare ahead of the time. For some parents, taking a break before provides them more time for nesting and birth preparation, but it is not always feasible. If it works for you, taking leave can provide great timing for nursing and bonding with the baby. Remember, only you will know what is best for your needs in this peripartum.

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