Making the AnnoucementIt’s going to be difficult not to spill your secret right away, you will have the butterflies to share it with your colleagues, but the conventional wisdom says it’s good to keep the news to yourself, until the first trimester is over.
Make sure your boss is the first one to know, you want him / her to hear it directly from you and not from any office grapevine. While announcing it to your boss, keep your tone upbeat and positive, and spare any overly personal details. Do be prepared with a general idea of the company’s maternity leave-policy, but don’t talk about specific time length of the leave. Just provide an assurance to your boss that the productivity won’t be hampered. Once you have clued your boss about the situation, go ahead to tell your colleagues and friends.
Managing Morning SicknessMany mothers in the first trimester experience nausea, vomiting and other discomforts. If you have morning sickness (up to 85% of pregnant women do- though not necessarily only in the morning), the best advice is to eat, eat, eat. Small healthy snacks throughout the day can keep your blood sugar steady and curd nausea. Just in case, try and grab a seat near by the door during meetings, so you can do the disappearing act when time calls. You may also put a few plastic bags/packets, to prepare for vomiting emergency.
Fighting FatigueYour biggest challenge will probably be fighting fatigue. A brisk walk at lunchtime can do wonders and something as chewing mint-flavoured gum is instantly refreshing. Be careful not to work for long hours in the office, take time to walk outdoors every single day, have more of supplemental oxygen, thus keeping off sleepiness, which also benefits the unborn baby.
Stretching OutIf you are into a sitting job, stand up every 20 minutes and walk around the office. Go see a co-worker instead of sending her an e-mail, go to the drinking fountain to have water or simply walk around. It’s important to improve blood circulation in your legs now that your blood volume has increased considerably. After a period of time at work, it is important for mothers to make appropriate stretching exercises, put a habit of leg lifting exercise etc., these can reduce swelling of legs and ankles, and reduce leg edema.
Safety while CommutingMothers should also pay special attention to safety while travelling. In the early and mid-pregnancy stages, take precaution such that you do not need to ride for a very long time. Try to avoid peak hours as travelling in a crowded environment may result in poorer air quality, thus leaving a pregnant woman more nauseated and breathless.
Work ConditionsThere are professions which may involve more health risks than others but, as a rule, you must work in a well-ventilated place if you are handling chemical products or have adequate protective equipment to avoid direct contact. Working in places where you may be exposed to biological elements is another situation you must take into account. You must be careful not only if you work in the medical profession, but also if you are in contact with a sector of the population that may be more prone to contracting certain illnesses, such as young children in daycare and school, who usually suffer from more illnesses because their immune system is still developing. Also, if you work with animals, you must take the necessary precautions to avoid contact with viruses or bacteria that could affect you.
Stay HydratedStay well hydrated while at work. Drink a lot of water even if you have to go to the bathroom often (those walks will do you good). And don’t forget to follow a well-balanced diet and rest as much as you can at home.
Squeezing in AppointmentsTry to schedule doctor’s appointments wisely – plan doctor’s appointment before you report for work. Always try to be the first patient in a morning or on an afternoon session. You may consider doing some light work in case you are stuck in a traffic jam and get frustrated. It’s also important to schedule your appointments according to your work calendar – completely avoid days when you know you have your weekly meetings or monthly presentations. Occasionally, your doctor may need you to stay for additional tests or treatments, and you don’t want to have the added stress of missing an important work function.
Making the Grand ExitBefore you can say goodbye to work, you need to hammer out all details of your leave. Notify your boss the precise day that you expect to leave and the tentative date of joining – this just helps your boss to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Before you make the grand exit to motherhood, do the necessary handover to your colleagues who will be handling your responsibilities while you are away. Do let your boss know about some specific problems which might require special attention while you are away, just make sure that you don’t stretch yourself by promising too much too soon. And always remember your priority in the next few weeks will be you and your new baby.