There are things you can do to make your working life
easier. Few ideas to make a perfect blend of career
and pregnancy include:
# 1 Don't be a superwoman'!
Get rest when you are not at work and reduce household
chores, especially when approaching the delivery date.
Studies show that one and a half hour of extra rest
makes a lot of difference; uterine blood flow increases,
and the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to your
# 2 Relax when possible
If at all possible, lie down on your left side for
ten minutes during your lunch break on a floor mat.
Else, just rest your head on the table or elevate
your feet. Relax your mind and body.
# 3 When exhaustion
overtakes you, leave work early
If you are commuting to work using public transportation,
don't be afraid to ask for assistance with regards
to a seat, if necessary, from the conductor or driver.
# 4 Negotiate a
flexible work schedule
Work out a schedule that suits your health. If you
suffer from morning sickness, ask about coming in
later and ending your workday later. On the other
hand if you are an early riser and get tired easily
in the afternoon, ask to come in early and end your
# 5 Telecommute
Try and work out such that you can group assignments
and attend office 2-3 times a week. The balance days
of the week when your presence at the office is not
necessary, you can work from home. Another alternative
is to work part of the day at the office and part
of the day from home but ascertain you are always
open for office contact.
# 6 Ask for help
If a project or assignment is causing your health
to suffer, speak up to your boss about getting the
help of a coworker or even a temp worker to fill in
for you. If need be, request the project be reassigned
to someone else and take a less stressful assignment.
# 7 Snack - time
To maintain energy levels and to avoid nausea &
heartburn (common ailments of pregnancy), stock up
a selection of snacks to work and eat something every
# 8 Pregnancy
Keep the kit in your desk drawer. It should contain
lemon hard candies to beat nausea, an extra pair
of undies or sanitary napkin for incontinence accidents,
an Evian face mister for instant cool-offs, and
a cache of crackers, pretzels, wafer cookies for
# 9 Write notes
Maintaining a notebook at all times can offset memory
loss in the first trimester. Note down important
work reminders. Jot down anything you consider important
for you to remember or act on.
# 10 Heroine you
If possible, start your maternity leave a week or
2 prior to your due date to give yourself ample
time to rest before the big day.
The Final Word
You will probably decide on discontinuing work either
on your doctor's advice or exhaustion. There are
certain guidelines you should follow to minimize
health complications that can worsen if you are
• If your job is more rigorous in nature entailing
heavy lifting, climbing or bending below the waist
you should stop work by week 20. But if you have
moderate load to tackle with rest periods in between,
you can continue working till about week 28. However
you should consider giving up your job after conception
if you are carrying more than one baby, had a previous
miscarriage, or premature birth. Cut back on your
work hours if you have been diagnosed with gestational
diabetes or high blood pressure. Bottom-line: listen
to your doctor's advice on when to quit your job,
how many hours you can afford to put in and the
nature of job you can continue with. Don't ignore
your doctor's recommendations, no matter what your
• If your job requires you to be on your feet
all day, you should consider switching to desk job
or stopping work beginning in your 24th week. If
your job requires you to spend more than 30 minutes
out of every hour on your feet, consider shifting
to something sedentary by week 32.
Returning to work after
Much of this depends on how you feel and the health
of your baby. If all is well then returning to work
is a personal choice. Whether you decide to take
3 whole months, less or more, some workday precautions
apply as when you were pregnant.
• Avoid fatigue by taking short naps.
• Try to arrange to work from home sometimes.
• Go back part time rather full time until
your body readjusts to your previous schedule.
• Push for a flexible work routine in order
to accommodate to your baby's needs.
Above all, don't be afraid to enlist your husband's
help with household and baby chores. Make certain
to visit your doctor for a complete checkup before
returning work. Take time out if despite your leave
you still feel you need a break.