A Guide to Managing Work during Pregnancy & After Childbirth
“When juggling as much as you are, remember that some balls are glass and some are rubber. You cannot drop the glass balls”
Need a quick cheat sheet to manage work when you are expecting or caring for your baby? Look no further, as we teach you to juggle like a circus pro.
1. Get your Boss (and your HR) on your team
If your boss is hovering like a helicopter (who isn’t ;) he should be the first one at work who gets to know of your pregnancy. Talk to him or her and inform them of your due date.
You should also read up on your company HR policy (that you skimmed through at the time of joining) and if needed talk to your HR about how many days of maternity leave you are eligible for and if some of it can be availed during your late pregnancy if advised by the doctor.
2. Plan your Day, your Week and even your 9th Month
As you go through pregnancy, there will be periods of tiredness, morning sickness, interrupted sleep and fatigue. Plan your most important tasks during hours your comfortable hours when you feel the most active and have no nausea. If you have a long commute, adjust your office timing to avoid peak hour travel.
And as you approach D Day, plan your handover towards the early days of your ninth month. Make notes of your current and upcoming tasks and explain them to the person who will take over from you
3. Eat, Walk, Sleep, Repeat
Managing your energy levels will help you remain productive through the day. Keep biscuits and snacks handy for when you are feeling nibblish to ward away the cravings. Make sure you take the iron supplements to keep anaemia away and also increase your overall energy levels.
Get a brisk walk after lunchtime to give you much-needed blood circulation and help you resist the temptation of taking a nap. And finally get a good night’s sleep to recharge your batteries for the next day.
4. Dress for Success
As your belly grows, avoid the temptation of just buying a larger size. Get the right maternity clothes that showcase your style, make you feel good and at the same time are designed for pregnancy and also for nursing after the baby is born.
After the Baby is Born
1. It Takes a Village
Get all the help that you can in the early days from family and domestic help for managing the baby and the home. Talk to your close friends who have children to get first-hand tips for everything from feeding & burping to dealing with dirty diapers and managing sleep.
2. Routine is Beautiful
Simplify and establish a fixed eat and sleep routine for the baby (and yourself). Plan your baby’s milk requirements and express and store milk in the fridge for the time when you will be working. Switch your outings to the morning hours when you and the baby are more active and well-rested.
3. Flexibility is Golden
Once you resume working, you will need to understand the policies around flexibility on working hours and days – when your baby is not well or needs to get vaccinated. You should also clearly communicate your needs with your boss so that there are no last minute surprises for him or her.
4. Sling & Swing it Baby!
The sling is great to keep your baby close to you during those work calls or while you do the chores around the house and being close to you also helps the baby sleep longer. The cradle swing is a great way to rock your baby to sleep when you are too tired to carry him in your arms on in your lap.
Remember both pregnancy & caring for a baby, are like one big roller coaster ride. There are sharp turns, brakes and many lurches and work just adds another complex dimension to this crazy ride. But once you are strapped in, sit tight, because at the end of it the buzz of satisfaction will make you feel like a winner.