Working through your pregnancy might be a daunting thing to face, especially if the first trimester is giving you a run for your money. But many women do it and manage to make it through to their planned date to take maternity leave. While you can’t predict what will happen, you can plan for a healthy pregnancy and aim to stay at work as long as you want to (and will be physically capable of doing). Some unique challenges can present themselves when you plan to work through your pregnancy. Thinking about how you’re going to get through it is important for your health, your sanity, and your career.
Feeling Comfortable at Work
When you find out you’re pregnant, there’s a lot of excitement. But you can also begin to feel under the weather, which might raise one thought concerning work. How are you going to get on with your job when you feel rubbish? If you’re used to soldiering on when you feel ill, the thought of working through morning sickness, backache or even exhaustion might not seem too bad. However, sometimes it’s not until you experience something that you realise the reality of it. If you want to make sure you’re comfortable at work, speaking to your employer is a good idea. They can help you out with any accommodations that you might need.
Taking Time Off for Appointments
Being pregnant means going to the doctor fairly often, perhaps more frequently than you’ve ever seen one before. This often requires time off work, unless you’re able to fit your appointments around your working hours. If you need to take time off for an appointment, your employer should allow it. They need to offer a reasonable amount of paid time off for antenatal appointments as part of their maternity leave policy. To hold up your end of the bargain, you might be asked to show a medical certificate proving that you’re pregnant. You will also need to make sure you arrange the time off properly.
Maintaining Your Professional Image
Keeping up your professional image when you’re pregnant might seem like something of a challenge. Rushing to the toilets when you feel nauseated or needing to sit down because your feet are swollen might not give you the best look. But you can be prepared for what’s ahead of you and perhaps make your pregnancy a little more private. One thing you might want to do is avoid talking about the pregnancy too much – although that can be difficult with people asking about it a lot.
Deciding When to Take Maternity Leave
When to leave work for your maternity leave can be a tough decision. If you work as long as you can, you’ll get more time to spend with your baby. On the other hand, continuing to work when your pregnancy is nearing its end can be tough. The earliest date is usually 11 weeks before your due date. Although you can work for as long as you like, it’s important to be realistic about what you can manage.
It’s not easy being pregnant at work, but it’s worth it for the end results, as well as for your career.