These days, a solid majority of first time moms work through their pregnancies. Women also tend to work deeper into their pregnancies than previous generations. They also tend to return to work faster once the baby is born.
Today’s woman often works well into her third trimester. She often returns to work within a month or two of baby’s arrival. Studies seem to indicate that the more educated a working mother is, the less likely she is to take much time off work for pregnancy.
With so many women working through their pregnancies, it’s important to be aware of how your pregnancy can affect you on the job. Especially during your first pregnancy.
The First Trimester
Some of the toughest pregnancy symptoms to deal with at work come early in your pregnancy. These include:
- Morning sickness. Morning sickness can actually strike at any time of day. Bring some saltines to work. You may need them. Make sure your coworkers are aware of your pregnancy and morning sickness. If you need someone to cover for you on your trip to the bathroom, you can’t afford to explain it then.
- Fatigue. The best thing you can do to combat fatigue is get plenty of rest when you’re not at work. You should also pace yourself as much as you can at work, and make full use of your break times to relax.
- Extra bathroom breaks. In many work environments, this isn’t a problem. If it is a problem where you work, about the only thing you can do is make best use of the breaks you have.
- Emotions. The first trimester can be a real roller coaster ride. Go into the work day realizing that your emotions may be extreme at times. Do your best not to take negative emotions out on coworkers.
The Second Trimester
Work is generally much easier the second trimester, as nausea subsides and your body becomes accustomed to the life growing inside. You may experience shortness of breath. This is especially true if you perform some kind of physical work. Be careful not to overexert yourself.
You will start to show during your second trimester. Anyone who didn’t know you were pregnant before will know now.
The Third Trimester
During the third trimester, be in regular communication with your doctor regarding whether you should continue working. Most women can work up until within a month or so of their due dates. Backaches and heartburn are common symptoms which can affect work performance.
What symptoms of your pregnancy cause the most problems at work? How do you handle them?