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Dealing with Professional Responsibilities during Pregnancy

Updated on August 14, 2014

Pregnancy is not an ailment but it sometimes causes physical health problems, although, pregnancy requires much more rest and care as compared to your normal situation. To work during pregnancy or not to work can be only decided by taking your health and your baby's health in mind. In most countries pregnant employees have similar rights of job as of other employees but job nature can be different and the pregnant woman has to see whether she can be fit for the job or not. Strenuous jobs which require heavy lifting, pushing, movement and exposure to toxic chemicals can be dangerous for the mother as well as for the baby.

Strenuous work can be dangerous in pregnancy
Strenuous work can be dangerous in pregnancy | Source

Learn to say "NO" Its true that to sustain job security you have to say that boss is always right but you can not always mange to do every task and assignment your boss entitles you. Sometimes you have to say No when you can not manage to take an assignment or project. Women especially are more inclined to say yes on every request or command, as a result, they not only fulfill boss's commands but sometimes co-workers and friends too take advantage.

There are many reasons why women can not say no: first, they are politer as compared to men and they do not want to hurt other people; secondly, they do not want to take any grudges; and thirdly, they do not want to take any conflict with the boss or co-workers.

In pregnancy saying yes always is impossible, you do not feel well all the time and every mom has different physiology and problems due to which workload can not be taken like it was done before. Saying no does not mean that you have to be rude or take grudges. There are ways in which you can say no politely especially in pregnancy. Tell your boss or co-workers that you would have loved to do it but as you are not feeling well at the moment it will be a risk to accept such responsibility. Rather than being rude and starting the reply with a big NO, you used politeness which can make them understand that it is not in your favor as well as in their favor to do so. Sometimes if some of your co-worker is willing to take that responsibility you can politely let your boss know that you can not do this at the moment but you can give this task to your co-worker "X". This will be an easy way to get out of the trouble. There are many other methods and it depends on the situation how you need to react to it.

Rest between working hours During pregnancy you need to take some rest between the working hours and it is your right. Sitting stiff for various hours can be dangerous for you and your baby so if your job is such that requires constant sitting for long time ask for a relaxing chair on which you can feel comfortable or a chair on which you can stretch your legs. Other jobs might require strenuous physical work, in the first instance you should not do such tasks in pregnancy but if it is obligatory on you to do it take some rest after every hour or two to compensate your fatigue.

Let your boss know that if you will stretch legs for some time or change your position or walk for few minutes your productivity will increase because after that you will feel refreshed and energetic.

Know your rights at work Know about your rights in job during pregnancy and do not accept such responsibilities which you should not take in pregnancy by law. There are laws for dealing with pregnancy in business thoroughly read them and do not let anyone cheat you. If you can not manage to take any responsibility let your company know and bring your doctors written proof that you can not manage to do these tasks due to your health issues. If you need to have certain resources to feel comfortable on job let your company know so that they can provide them to you. As far as maternity leave is considered every company is bound by law to provide maternity leave to the pregnant employee, the duration of which depends on company rule and the number of employees it have for substitution.

Know your body and its capacity Some women feel comfortable to do any task or to work the way they were working before pregnancy, reason being that they do not face any physical hurdle in performing these tasks. Other may feel low in morning or get fatigued soon and feel lethargic all the time. Those fortunate women who have very sound pregnancies can manage projects and assignments better at work than those who are always going through physical problems.

You are the better judge of your physical health so you can decide for yourself that what you can do and what you can not do. Its good to be active in pregnancy so if your body allows you be as normal as possible.

Know about the precautions you need to take Talk to your doctor every on and off and let her know about your physical health. If there is any change in your health or if you are going through any ailment let her know as soon as possible. Your doctor should also know that you are a working lady so that she can inform you about the precautions you need to take. Be very strict in following those precautions as not following these precautions can lead to serious troubles.

Share your responsibilities with your coworkers Some of your co-workers will be good friends too, you can ask help from them in sharing some of your responsibilities. A minor support can be even great when you are really in need of help from your co-workers. Co-workers and work-mates are often invaluable support when you are not feeling well. They should also know about your physical health and precautions you have to take so in case of any emergency they can help you. In response be thankful for them for their support and let them know that in case of any problem you will stand for them. This will ensure future help and support from them too.

Do not become a superwoman Even if you are feeling quite well through out pregnancy you can not take risk of carrying heavy load or working for long continuous hours. You should understand that your body needs rest and for that you have to treat your body as naturally as possible. Do not over-engage in work.

Avoid hard physical tasks Some tasks are too strenuous and they are strictly not allowed to be done by pregnant employees so if you have right to say no for these tasks why not avoid them.

Take care of your diet while at work Do not forget to take break from your work so that you can take some food. Even during work you can keep some nuts and other dry ingredients which can provide energy.

Moderation is the key Be moderate in taking any assignment or rejecting to do it. Sometimes rejection can become offensive especially if the task is not that big, rather than saying no you can let your boss know that you will do it tomorrow or after few hours when you will be free or feeling well.

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