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The woman’s guide: How to balance work and health during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is like a dichotomy – a gourd that is healthy for you but extremely bitter to taste. Being pregnant is one-of-a-kind experience, inspiring a roller coaster of emotions and life changes. If you’re already pregnant, you must have started feeling several physiological, biological and psychological changes within yourself.

Hormonal changes like nausea, fatigue and mood swings are quite common and can be exacerbating if you have a family to look after. Responsibilities skyrocket even further if you’re a single adoptive parent managing work entirely on her own.

It is not easy to undertake both home and work responsibilities while dealing with depression, mood swings and pregnancy induced body pain. The good news, however, is in. There are sure-shot ways of balancing work-life during pregnancy as well as keeping your mental and physical health in check.

Telling the boss

Transitioning to maternity can truly be a challenge since you can’t keep your pregnancy a secret forever. First things first, do not delay telling your boss about your pregnancy. It will be bad if she/he finds out through the casual grapevine.

Most experts suggest telling your boss the news after the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage decreases significantly. The only time to tell your boss sooner would be if you’re experiencing morning sickness and need to take an early off from work.

Keeping the higher-ups updated is not only a sign of respect but being aware of your fragile, emotional state, your co-workers can speak with you in a different way that doesn’t add to your depressive mood swings.

Work in comfort

You shouldn’t have to deal with physical discomfort whilst carrying a life inside your womb. Ask your supervisor or human resource manager for a new, better-support chair accommodation when pregnant.

A lumbar cushion or pillow can do wonders like relieving pressure in your back. If you have a work-desk job, sitting for long hours can hinder proper blood circulation. Make sure to get up and stretch your legs.

In case standing becomes too hard, elevate your feet occasionally using a foot rest or anything sturdy such as a box or wastebasket. Wearing comfortable shoes everyday would be an added perk.

Work from home – if you have the option of working from home, take full advantage of it by keeping the employer informed about the situation. This way you can take occasional breaks from the office and relieve some work-place pressures by working from the comforts of your own home.

Post pregnancy options

Think thoroughly about your post-pregnancy options in advance and submit a detailed proposal to the higher-ups. Be clear and explain to them whether you want to return to the same full time job after the maternity leave or if you would want to consider a lighter, part-time job instead.

Inquire about a convenient work-from-home option as well, if it appeals to you. Planning beforehand is a must recommendation for pregnant women as it helps you to be aware of your job options in advance; alleviating later stress. Don’t forget to keep your boss updated and family in the loop during the process and decision making.

Stop micromanaging

You should realise the importance of staying calm and happy especially during the gestation period. The possibility of inner tranquillity can arise only when you stop worrying and micromanaging both at work and on the home front.

It’s okay if every corner of your house is not tidy. Don’t unnecessarily stress yourself over the issues at the office either. Stay miles away from petty work-place politics and gossip; especially if you think it’s indirectly or directly related to your work or personal problems. Learn to say no whenever needed and take active steps to manage stress as it comes up.

Make a point to exercise

Even if it’s only for half an hour, make a point of exercising every day during pregnancy. Keeping active will not only result in proper blood circulation but will also raise your spirits; nourishing the growing baby immensely.

In order to motivate yourself to work out, consider joining a prenatal exercise class so that you can get a chance to socialise by meeting several moms-to-be.

The pelvic floor exercise specificity – your body’s pelvic area consists of a hammock of muscles. These muscles support the bladder, vagina and the back passage respectively. During pregnancy, the pelvic area tends to get weaker because of the added pressure put on it.

Hormonal changes can also cause the pelvic floor to moderately loosen. You can strengthen your downward muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises thrice a day regularly throughout your 9 months. Having a tight, toned pelvic floor will help in your baby’s smooth growth and delivery.

Fit in a healthy diet

The key to alleviating health problems during the complex pregnancy period is in maintaining a healthful diet plan. Unusual food cravings, sudden increase in appetite and bingeing sessions become a part of your life for the next nine months.

Instead of allowing yourself to gain extra pounds, which make you awfully lethargic, try indulging your taste buds in fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks. Junk items like chips or French fries will only contribute to an unaffordable, sedentary life-style post pregnancy.

Keep yourself happy

Perpetual insomnia, leg swelling, piercing back aches and frequent mood swings will often be out of your control but the amount of stress you face is mostly in your own hands. It is important to remember that the best way to mitigate unwanted stress when pregnant is to focus on cheerful activities that also keep you active.

For example, shopping for maternity clothes, as well as gifts and toys for your new born. Decorating the nursery with your spouse is a precious experience in itself and shouldn’t be missed out on.

Pregnancy is undoubtedly a beautiful feeling for every woman.

Try to enjoy every bit of it by balancing out responsibilities towards your home, work and self. While you must to cater to familial needs, you have all the right to be pampered throughout the nine blissful months.

About the author

Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from University of Birmingham. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management. Currently, she is associate with Brain Test Team.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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