Getting pregnant is a major life change, and it can be hard to strike the proper balance between being a new mother and being a career woman. The reality is assuming the mantle of new mom and continuing to work a job is sometimes very challenging to handle at the same time. Here are some tips on how to schedule work around your pregnancy.
• Schedule Check-Ups. A newly pregnant woman needs to schedule regular check-ups with their practitioner, and that can be difficult to balance with deadlines, meetings and/or quotas. It’s a good idea to schedule them before work or during a lunch break.
• The Third Trimester. Most women feel pretty good in the second trimester but find themselves tiring easily in the third trimester. It’s smart to plan ahead and save sick days and vacation time for your third trimester, or for after you return from maternity leave.
• Changing Your Duties. Depending on the job you’re doing, you might shift some of your duties around to others as your pregnancy progresses. That could include things such as standing on your feet, lifting heavy items and the like.
• Delivery While Working. If you are still working but are coming up on the baby’s due date, make arrangements ahead of time and share them with your employer.
• Maternity Leave. The length of maternity leave depends on how smoothly the delivery went, as well as whether you’re experiencing postpartum depression and other negative symptoms. It also depends on the employer’s policy.
• Returning to Work. When is it time to go to work after being on maternity leave? That boils down to factors such as your finances, your emotional attachment to the baby, and the logistics of having the baby taken care of during the workday.
• Breastfeeding at Work. There are a lot of studies suggesting that breastfeeding is very beneficial for both the baby and the mother, and ideally, work shouldn’t keep you from nursing your baby. Figure out what time and space is permitted at your job for nursing or pumping breast milk with a breast pump.
• Looking for Childcare. In preparation for returning to work, it’s a good idea to look for possible childcare providers. The quality of available care might factor into your decision about whether to work or stay at home.
• Giving Yourself Time. Even a super woman will need time to figure out how to balance work with motherhood. Don’t give up on your job right away when you return, but ease into it and give it time before you decide to make a change.
• Flex Time. One of the best things new mothers can do when returning to work is arrange for more flexible hours. While this isn’t always possible, the ability to run out and check on their child or do some of their work at home can make the transition much easier.
The Bottom Line:
It’s never easy to balance work and family, especially for new mothers. Fortunately, times are much more favorable toward working mothers than they used to be, and there are laws in place to ensure that women aren’t mistreated at work for their mothering requirements. Take it slow, think it through and eventually, you’ll figure out a strategy that works.