How to Manage Pregnancy as a Working Woman
Contributed by: Nvks
Now being pregnant can be tiring enough on its own, but being pregnant and going to work? Even worse.
Getting a seat on the underground can at times be a battle, you take twice as long to get anywhere because you’re carrying another person and work clothes that fit are few and far between.
So, here are my six key tips to manage pregnancy while working.
Be as upfront and forthright with your employer as possible. I’m lucky in that the organisation I work for has a lot of measures in place to support working parents, but even if your company isn’t this type, be sure to tell a close senior colleague, or a performance manager about your situation who can then give you advice on how to navigate this and the next steps on your journey.
2. Maternity leave/pay
Read up on your firms’ maternity policies to check whether you're entitled to company maternity pay and the rules around this. For example, I was entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave. However, my company only offers company maternity pay after a year of continuous service and luckily I completed a year just before I popped so I was entitled, but I only knew this from checking my firm's policies. You’ll need to also check statutory maternity payments and time frames, which are government-determined.
3. Keeping in touch
Try to keep in touch with work colleagues or up to date with office goings-on. I say this because it is easy to forget that you have a job and it makes it that much harder to get back into the routine of work if you’ve completely cut yourself off from that part of your life.
4. Public transport
Be SURE to get a baby on board badge and do not be afraid to ask for a seat on public transport because believe me, Londoners will try to ignore your 9-month sized bump in their faces. I found older corporate looking men were the main culprits who avoided eye contact as soon as they saw me step into the carriage.
5. Work attire
Try to improvise with your outfits- personally, I wore loose blouses/dresses to cover up the fact I could no longer button up my trousers. However, these were cost-effective, comfortable and versatile enough for casual as well as work wear.
6. Returning to work
Start sorting out your return to work schedule in good time and find out about your employer’s flexible working policies (if they have any). A lot of organisations will try to accommodate your new lifestyle, but if this isn’t the case, give yourself enough time to explore all your options and look for alternatives.
These are just a couple of things I picked up on my pregnancy journey and I hope they’re of use to new working parents!
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