By Heather Lopez
Being that I worked through both of my pregnancies and my main business focuses on new moms and mommies to be, I felt it would be appropriate for me offer up some tips for managing your pregnancy and your job.
Tip #1: Wear comfortable, flat shoes
Sometimes when us women go to work, we want to wear dress shoes with a heel. Even if you are used to heels, you will not be used to them when you are pregnant. Your feet will swell and can even get permanently bigger, so you might consider purchasing the wide version of a shoe or even one size larger. When your feet swell and you are carrying around all of that weight, you’ll appreciate having a comfy pair of flats for your tootsies. Additionally, when your pregnant body expands, you lose your equilibrium, causing you to lose your balance more easily. I remember once that I wore a low heel while pregnant & I slipped and fell on the ground. You should’ve seen me struggling to get up with my huge belly. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty.
Tip #2: Pack a Snack
Eating several small, healthy snacks throughout the day, helps you to maintain your blood glucose level. You will avoid an energy crash and you will not feel hunger pangs. It’s good to pack some crackers for nausea, carrot sticks & celery make a good treat, sometimes a fruit & nut mix are filling and delicious, and let’s not forget about water. You should drink several glasses of water a day when you’re pregnant. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages or at least limit them to 2 cups a day.
Tip #3: Get your work clothes ready the night before
Lay them out so that they are ready for you to get up in the morning. Many women suffer from “morning sickness” and in my case “all day sickness,” so it can be really helpful to have everything ready to go when you are feeling nauseous. Plus, having things ready, means that you can sleep a little later and take more time getting ready before you go.
Tip #4: Buy Wrap Dresses
These little numbers can look professional, they are very comfortable, and they adjust to your body’s ever-changing shape. Plus, a good wrap dress can be used post pregnancy before you get back to pre-baby weight
Tip #5: Write everything down
When you are pregnant, you might find that you become very forgetful. The trick is to write everything down, so you don’t forget. Carry around a little memo book in your purse to jot down appointments, phone numbers, dates, names, etc.
Tip #6: Try to schedule appointments around work
I know what you’re thinking, “She says it like it’s so easy.” I know it’s not, but you will maintain a better appearance at work and keep on task better if you make your appointments around work. Try finding an ob/gyn open late, extra early, or on the weekends. Trust me, when you are pregnant you will be attending a lot of appointments, especially toward the end, and you do not want to be perceived as slacking. In an ideal world, your boss would understand, but in the real world, you need to show your commitment to your job by trying to maintain your schedule as best as possible. Even if you work for yourself, you still have a boss- your customers and clients.
Tip #7: Do Some Extreme Advance Planning
Many jobs provide for unpaid family leave if you have worked at your job for a year and worked at least 1200 hours. But what if you don’t qualify? You need to discuss your impending birth with your boss to try to keep your job when you return to work. Can you afford to take unpaid maternity leave? If so, more power to you. But, if you are like me, you need some kind of income to survive. Your job might be willing to offer some work from home, so that you can still do some work until you have steady childcare. Many daycare’s require babies to be at least 6 weeks old. Another way to plan for the leave is to put aside a little from each of your checks, so that you have something saved up to draw from when you aren’t working. Trust me, those first few weeks can be extremely expensive with all of the diapers, clothes, baby equipment, etc. you go through. Who am I kidding, for the next 18 years, your baby will be expensive, but hopefully you can save enough for the weeks you will be away from work. Also, you need to plan for how your work will get done while you are away. You don’t want everything to fall apart without you. You need to plan to have another worker or workers cover you until you get back. Some jobs even hire temps, so you need to find out about their policies and what you need to leave for them, such as passwords. You should also have your work e-mails forwarded to someone who will be covering for you. They can kindly respond to all inquiries on your behalf.
Tip #8: Get Shoulder Massages
Work can already be stressful and can be amplified even more when you are going through so many changes. Many people store their tension in their shoulders, and getting a shoulder massage could be quick, easy, effective, & affordable. If you’ve got a good partner, maybe they can massage your shoulders. If you prefer a professional, a simple shoulder massage can be done at a mall kiosk. If you’d like to delve into other massage, like back, and feet, you should hire a licensed massage therapist that has specialization in prenatal massage. For instance, there are actually trigger points in your feet that could lead to contractions and a specialist should have a special table with a cut-out for your stomach.
I hope that these tips have been helpful!
Heather Lopez is a 30 y/o married mom to 2 in diapers. She runs an e-zine , social network, and pamper events for new moms and mommies to be. Check out her next event Happy and Healthy MOM DAY Miami on 2/22 and find out when the next one is your area is.