While expecting a baby can be an exciting time as you prepare to welcome a new little one into your home, it can also be a stressful time in regards to your career.
You may be worried about how this transition into motherhood will affect your career and what can you can expect.
With that in mind, what should be your top priorities moving forward?
Dealing with Health Issues
Work can be challenging enough on any day, but it can be even worse when you also have to deal with the changes in your body.
There may be days when you don't feel well or aren't up to your best performance. From morning sickness to swollen ankles, you have to learn how to work around various health situations.
Prepare by wearing comfortable clothing that is work-appropriate. Take breaks as necessary and pack foods that are easy on the stomach.
You may also have to tell your boss earlier than expected about your pregnancy if you are having a tough time. This will also help you deal with the added concern of everyone's reaction.
Dealing with Social Issues
One of the biggest concerns when you're not ready to be a mom is how others will view your pregnancy and its impact on your position.
You may worry that they are looking for an excuse to say you can't handle your job. It's best to get these concerns out in the open. Assure your boss that you will be able to keep up with your job and brainstorm ways to accomplish this in different scenarios.
For instance, you can ask if working from home is an option.
You may be able to work shorter days and come in over the weekend to get caught up. A supportive boss will work with you during this time to help you manage work and your pregnancy. A boss that doesn't do this is one you may not want to work for in the long term.
After the Baby is Born
Laws are in place to protect your job and allow you time to recover after the birth of your baby. If you have been employed with your current employer for at least one year, you are entitled by federal law to up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
What this law doesn't protect is people's perception that they can do without you or that you won't perform as well once you return.
Even though they are not allowed to fire you to prevent your return, you may worry that it won't be the same once you go back to your position. The best way to allay your fears is to talk to your boss and assure him or her that you can handle the responsibilities of the job and being a new mother.
Your career may have once been the most important thing in your life and now it must share that role with your baby.
However, it is possible to be a good mother and a good employee at the same time.
While the challenge isn't always easy, it is worth the effort as you set an example for your baby that will serve him or her in the future.
Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and online business degrees.
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