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Working while Pregnant: The Challenges faced at Work during Pregnancy

5 min read
Last Updated on 23 April, 2024

We get up every morning and somehow manage to get to work. Because let's face it, no one enjoys their job more than a good night's sleep. This is a fact of life. When a woman becomes pregnant while working full time, the situation becomes much more complicated. Working while pregnant presents several difficulties, as pregnancy itself feels like a 24-hour job.

Pregnancy is a time of joy and excitement, but it also has drawbacks, such as morning sickness, insomnia, and exhaustion. Trying to balance work and pregnancy simultaneously could be a trial run for the significant transition that comes after you become a working parent.

Pregnancy Complications in the Workplace

Many women nowadays work during their pregnancy and even till their due date before taking maternity leave. And I'm well aware that it isn't easy.

Let's take a look at the most grave issues women have working while pregnant, as well as how to manage common pregnancy discomforts so you can stay healthy and productive at work.

1. Keeping it a Secret

Now the "No-revealing" policy is understandable when you are in the first trimester. But the trimester period is hard to muster through with all the mood swings, stomach flu, and whatnot.

And when at work, these symptoms can affect your productivity. So, it is always wise to let your boss know about the pregnancy because then he can arrange some provisions for you in terms of work schedule, workspace and be a little lenient in the process.

2. Throwing up as a Routine

Puking and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. In the office, throwing up regularly can make you feel embarrassed. In such a situation, having an empty stomach is going to make nausea and vomiting worse.

All you got to do is store some snacks on your desk to keep munching on from time to time. Even a combination of vitamin B and antihistamines is considered safe and effective in preventing vomiting tendencies. Ginger is said to be a good remedy as well.

3. Getting fully Exhausted

How often have you dozed off in the office during pregnancy? A lot, I presume. Pregnancy does that to one. The feeling of exhaustion stays forever, especially during the first trimester.

To address this situation, changing the regular sleep schedule is a must.

The 8-hour sleep, which is a mandate for everyone, increases to 10-hour when pregnant. So keep the routine simple with work, food, and only rest. And cut out any other activities in those 9 months. Also, taking short naps will make you feel better.

4. Drawing Unwanted Attention

You are right when you say that pregnancy attracts a lot of attention. People are like shooting questions one after another to the would-be-mom. And nobody wants that.

All you need to remember is that it is fine to set boundaries. You do not have to give information if you do not want to. Yes, not everyone has wrong intentions, so in such cases, when someone is talking about you, you can start asking questions about them to divert the topic.

And trust me, everybody loves to talk about themselves.

5. Feeling Incompetent

Pregnancy takes you on a journey of additional stress. Pregnant women have so much going on their minds that many a time, work gets hampered. The distractions float overhead all the time.

A revision is something that ought to be done in times like these. When you know that your mind has all sorts of thoughts, mostly preparing yourself for motherhood, make sure you revise your work twice after finishing it.

Because if you have chosen to work while you are expecting, you may as well be sure you are doing it right.

6. Sitting All-day

When you are working, it's mostly a sitting job. Too much work sitting in one spot can cause foot swelling at the time of pregnancy. So, to not let that happen, reduce your salt intake and try lifting your feet every few minutes whenever possible.

Keep moving your legs as much as you can. Go for short walks or anything which keeps your blood flowing.

7. Visiting the Bathroom often

Bathroom breaks are the highlights during pregnancy days. It is not a surprise if you feel the urge to visit the washroom every 3 seconds during your pregnancy period. At the same time, you might feel a little ashamed of drawing attention to yourself due to frequent bathroom visits.

What you should do is multitask. Think of a work you have across the room so that you can finish it on your way back from the washroom. A meeting or getting some water - anything would do.

8. Developing a severe Backpain

Back pain is a common issue in everyone's body these days as we keep seated at the same posture for around 8 hours a day. It is bad enough for random people, let alone expecting women. Whether working from home or the office, a pregnant woman is more likely to develop backache during work hours.

The solution is pretty simple. While working, put one foot on a little stool and change the posture. Likewise, stand up sometimes and walk across the room for a few minutes to loosen stiff muscles.

Workplace Rights

Many of you might not know, but pregnancy comes with its set of workplace laws. And these legal laws always come in handy whether you are pregnant or not.

1. No Pregnancy Discrimination

In an organization with over 15 employees, a pregnant woman treated differently from others will be an illegal act. The employer cannot be biased or discriminate against employees on any grounds.
Pregnancy needs to be considered a medical condition, just like other health risks. Also, an expecting mother is protected by the state and local laws regarding pregnancy discrimination.

Besides, you will receive the same medical benefits which other employees with medical risks are offered.

2. No lay-offs

Working while pregnant does not make a woman earn benefits. However, an employer has no right to fire her or deny her promotion based on the issue of childbirth or pregnancy either.

So, as long you get your job done and deliver results like always, all is well, and no one can ask you to stop working.

3. No forcefully applied - leaves

Employers cannot force their pregnant workforce to take leaves if she is performing the assigned tasks efficiently.

4. Maternity Leave

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you are entitled to use your maternity leave if, because of any reason, you cannot work while pregnant. Your job will be protected for 12 weeks, comprising the time before and after childbirth.

5. Not limited to Married Employees

If you are pregnant and preparing yourself for a single motherhood, the benefits stay the same. There does not exist any rule that says only married employees are allowed to avail of pregnancy-related benefits.

Wrap it Up

Motherhood brings joy, but it also comes packed with a lot of responsibilities. And when you are working while expecting, things get dicey.

I hope the above article gave you exactly what you are looking for. So, follow the tips and see the changes for yourself.

This article is written by Dipshi Bhattacharjee. Besides working as a Content Writer at Vantage Circle, she is an animal lover with a huge fascination for Cinema, Television & Foreign languages. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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