Monday, 15 October 2012

Working and Pregnancy: Ways to Cope with Mental and Physical Strains

Whether you are a first time mum, or a veteran mother working towards her maternity pay, working and pregnancy can sometimes feel both physically and emotionally tiring. During those early weeks morning sickness often hits without warning (and rarely restricts itself to the morning), and in the later weeks you may find that exhaustion hits you like a train. While not all women will experience physical and emotional strains while working during their pregnancy, some will, and as such it is good to be prepared with some strategies for making it through your working maternity weeks.

Meeting the demands of getting to work

Very few of us are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of the work place. Whether you are looking at a long drive or a commute on the tube, it is a good idea to fortify yourself with a nutritious breakfast that will help you get past physical side-effects like motion sickness. Try adding plenty of slow burning energy foods to your diet, and try a breakfast like weetabix with bananas. If you find that your morning sickness is particularly severe, try adding some ginger to your morning routine to combat it.

Maximising workplace comfort

Work is only going to be that much more challenging if it is not comfortable. Try to maximise your comfort in whatever ways you can. Wear supportive bump bands and invest in a cushion for your back if necessary. Make sure you pack energy rich snacks to eat between your three main meals, and if possible, move your office closer to a toilet. Try to keep your work area clutter free and well lit in order to maintain the positive vibe needed to beat those hormone induced mood dips.

Know your rights

In Britain, we are entitled to certain maternity workplace rights that will make working while pregnant easier. These range from getting time off for antenatal appointments, to a set amount of maternity leave. This great link from Direct.Gov details what your rights are. It will also help to know if you are a union member, and keep relevant parties informed if you feel you are being discriminated against.

Maintaining physical health and comfort

The working day can soon drag on when you are feeling uncomfortable. There are small steps you can take to ease any uncomfortable sensations you have, as well as keeping them at bay. While pregnant, your circulation will naturally be more sluggish than usual. With that in mind, make sure you get up and have a little walk around every so often to move it along. Maintain eating those snacks every so often, and stay well hydrated.

A little effort can go a long way when it comes to coping with the mental and physical strains of being pregnant in the workplace. By taking the above steps, you should be able to make your working life a little more comfortable.