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8 Ways to Juggle Pregnancy and Work


juggling work and pregnancy photos
Photo credit: Getty Images

Finding out you're pregnant may be the best news a woman can receive. Likely, the thought of growing your baby inside your body is a welcoming and warm feeling. However, the side effects that come with pregnancy -- such as morning sickness, interrupted sleep and fatigue -- can put a damper on your lifestyle, especially pertaining to your career.

In fact, juggling pregnancy and work is difficult for many women, especially those who already have children. If you're wondering how you'll you ever be able to properly function at work while pregnant, follow these tips to make this period of your life easier.

Tell your boss you're pregnant. The difficulties associated with pregnancy and working are easier to deal with if you don't have to conceal them from your employer. Once you're comfortable announcing your pregnancy, often after the first trimester, tell your boss you're pregnant and discuss your maternity leave options. Doing this sooner, rather than later, will ease any stress you may experience relating to how your employer will take your new condition.

Announce your pregnancy to your co-workers. Once your boss knows you're pregnant, juggling pregnancy and work will be less difficult if your co-workers know as well. On days when you aren't feeling great, your co-workers won't think it's simply because you're slacking on your work duties. Use your best judgment when sharing the news with colleagues who aren't in your immediate work group. It might be best to explain any tiredness only when needed, since every woman experiences pregnancy differently.

Be honest about how you feel. On days when you're really not up performing at 100 percent, tell your co-workers and boss you simply aren't feeling well. This may occur more frequently toward the end of your pregnancy when it becomes harder to move around due to more weight gain and fatigue. Or, you may feel worst in the second trimester and better after those three months pass. Your colleagues will appreciate your honesty and will likely help pick up the slack. Be sure to return the favor by working extra hard on days when you feel better.

Start thinking about your options. If you intend to return to work full time after your pregnancy, tell your boss. However, if you think you would prefer a more flexible schedule, the ability to work from home, or returning to work part time after maternity leave, devise a proposal you can present to your boss. You will have an easier time juggling pregnancy and work if your post pregnancy path is already discussed and agreed upon with your employer.

Deal properly with sickness at work. Many women get morning sickness during the first trimester, a time when you may not have yet announced that you're pregnant. For this reason you need to properly deal at work with pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea. For example, keep crackers in your desk and have an emergency kit that includes a paper bag and washcloth in case you are nauseous or vomit at work. To deal with other pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue, avoid being on your feet all day. Also try to avoid very strenuous activity, get proper rest and don't travel at the end of your last trimester. Remember, you shouldn't over-exert yourself, in order to have a healthy pregnancy.

Prepare for both good and bad days. Know that when you're juggling pregnancy and work you're going to have good and bad days. There will be days when you're full of energy and excitement and other days when you're suffering from morning sickness and don't want to move. When you're feeling good, get ahead at work, complete projects before deadline and be as efficient as possible. This will allow you to take it easy on the days when you don't feel great.

Take safety precautions. If your job calls for you to work outdoors in inclement weather or in an unsafe environment, ask for a position that provides safer conditions while you're juggling pregnancy and work.

Enjoy being pregnant. Allow yourself time to enjoy the good things about being pregnant, such as shopping for your newborn, and decorating the nursery. In addition, allow yourself to talk about your excitement about being pregnant with coworkers. If you are strictly business at work, you're depriving yourself of sharing your excitement about your pregnancy. (Pay attention to non-verbal cues, since not every colleague will want to hear your personal business.) Enjoy eating healthily while pregnant; a good diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help you feel good during this special time. In addition, you'll be passing on the good nutrients to your baby.

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