I never thought the time would come that I would be writing a blog about being pregnant and managing a full time job. Yet here I am, nearly 25 weeks pregnant, sitting at my desk eating a chocolate chip cookie while pondering how I’ve managed the last 25 weeks...
This is my first baby so I am by no means an expert, but adjusting to work when “expecting” has been quite the experience so far. The blogs and articles I found online about the topic were really useful, granted I found it hard to follow the advice completely, but it’s nice to know it is a well-trodden path you are walking down.
I thought I would share my own tips on my experiences so far, for the countless women who have gone before me I know the ‘worst’ is yet to come. I’ll write about the 3rd trimester when I’ve survived it, depending on the levels of trauma experienced!
Keeping the pregnancy a secret for the first 13 weeks was tough going. I am someone who liked the occasional glass (or 4) of wine on a Friday accompanied with a cigarette (for the record, neither have been touched since I found out). Rather than making a song and dance about not partaking in either, I claimed to have quit and would casually say I was driving later or had other plans. No one questioned it! When you draw attention to the fact you’re not partaking it gets obvious...
In relation to keeping it a secret for the first 13 weeks, I found it good to let at least one or two people in my office know (if you’re comfortable telling someone in HR that’s great). I think it’s better that someone you work with knows you’re pregnant in case of emergencies
The big one is telling your line manager. I would advise you to check your maternity policies prior to doing, just so you’re in the know. By law you only have to give your employer 4 weeks’ notice that you are going to take maternity leave – left this long it may be slightly obvious! I let Morgan McKinley know when I was between 13-14 weeks; it’s good to give your manager time to plan for your maternity cover, and the support from my manager and HR so far has been fantastic
Handling the ‘all day’ sickness and the never experienced before exhaustion. A lot of articles that I read spoke about eating healthily and taking 15 minute naps during the day (napping was not an option for me!). My advice: eat whatever you can to get you through the first 13 weeks! Have the cookie if you can’t stomach the apple, you can eat better in your second trimester. Food was the only thing that got me through the exhaustion. Keep a supply of snacks (that you can stomach) in your desk
I hope your employer will be as welcoming about your pregnancy as Morgan McKinley has been about mine. Since letting the relevant people know I have had excellent support in terms of what I am entitled too and planning my maternity leave. This should be the same in all companies. Equally, in Morgan McKinley we have a ‘Return to Work’ scheme which supports you coming back into the business post maternity leave. From what I hear it can be a tough time returning to work and it’s nice to know there will be support in place for me.
So, to those of you navigating through your first few weeks, or waddling your way through the latter, the very best of luck – it will all be worth it in the end! (Or so I’m told repeatedly but I’m pretty sure it will!). Here’s to the next 15 weeks ☺