Becoming pregnant and experiencing some of the particularly unpleasant aspects of pregnancy while working in an office for 40+ hours a week can be a difficult situation to navigate. All of the sudden you are tired, nauseous, uncomfortable and forgetful yet still expected to carry out your regular duties. You might feel like you are working two full-time jobs, the first is growing a human inside of your body and the other is your regular day-to-day job. It can feel frustrating and wearisome.
Don’t get discouraged! Keep your eye on the prize and remember that this is just nine months of your life and at the end of it, you will have a beautiful baby in your arms. Here are some helpful tips for handling your pregnancy in the work place.
Morning sickness can be one of the most uncomfortable and difficult times to get through while working. The good news is, morning sickness typically only lasts through the first trimester. During the morning sickness period most women find it helpful to snack often. The American Pregnancy Association recommends snacking often to avoid becoming overly full or overly hungry. Keep plenty of snacks handy at your desk to eat throughout the day to combat morning sickness and suppress the chance of heartburn. Try to work close to a bathroom and sit closest to the door during meetings so you can escape to the bathroom quickly and without creating a scene. If your morning sickness is extreme, don’t be ashamed to take a few sick days to allow your body to rest. If your sickness is unrelenting, talk to your doctor about some solutions.
Professional AND Comfortable
As your belly starts to grow, invest in some comfortable yet professional maternity clothes. This will keep you looking and feeling good in the office. Invest in a new comfortable chair for your desk that will support you. If you don’t have the cash to spend on a new chair, bring a pillow to sit on to add extra comfort. There are also inserts that you can attach to your chair to add additional lower back support. During the first few months of your pregnancy when exhaustion and fatigue creep in, keep a pillow and blanket in your car and if you have an area accessible and in safe climate conditions, catch a quick cat nap during your lunch break.
Cramps and Back Pain
During pregnancy, there are many causes for aches, pains and cramps. Spending eight hours or so sitting at a desk or being up on your feet can play havoc on your already sore joints. To help ward off excess discomfort be sure to switch your position once every hour or so. If you’ve been sitting for a long stretch of time, take a moment to stand up and walk around a bit. If you’ve been on your feet for a while, be sure to give your feet a rest and have a seat to alleviate the extra pressure from your back and legs. This short time to switch positions can also allow you to clear your mind if you find that “pregnancy brain” seems to be making your train of thought wander from time to time.
Since you will be pregnant for nine months, make sure you have anything and everything stocked in your office that will make those months more enjoyable. Get a water bottle that will remind you to stay hydrated. Frame a picture of one of your ultrasounds to keep your eye on the prize. Keep your office stocked with all of your latest cravings and set a timer to remind yourself to get up and stretch your legs or walk around throughout the day.
Working while pregnant doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. Most professional workplaces are very understanding and gracious when it comes to pregnancy. Following these few tips will help make your pregnancy more bearable at work and even a non-issue.