Pregnancy and your job

Being pregnant can have a variety of effects on your working life – most noticeably forcing your hand to make career versus mothering decisions that will impact both you and your baby.

For some women, having a baby is the impetus they need to leave a job where they weren’t happy. The time away from the workforce while caring for a baby can often inspire a refocus of career goals. If you really don’t want to go back, and can afford it, don’t. Enjoy being a mum, explore other job offers when you are ready, take a shot at that business idea, or look into university courses that could see you take an entirely new direction.

Love your job? During your pregnancy, make sure you discuss your feelings about work with your boss openly and honestly. Perhaps you want to take a year off but want to come back to work and pick up where you left off – just as motivated and ambitious as ever. Perhaps your financial situation or professional passions mean that you are planning on returning to work not long after your baby is born. Make sure that your boss understands your plans and is happy to accommodate them.

If you are not ready to go back full time, look into the idea of job-sharing, Many companies embrace this concept as a way to hang on to trusted, reliable employees whose personal commitments (family, extra study, etc) need to take them away from the full time work force. It might just work for you.


Make sure you have good childcare arrangements in place. This could mean putting your baby on a childcare waiting list during your pregnancy or as soon as it is born. Alternatively, you might have friends or family happy to help out regularly. Make sure they understand that, if they are offering, their care needs to be reliable and regular in order for you to return to work without worry.

What to wear to work while you pregnant

The days of frumpy florals are long gone and today’s maternity wear caters for corporate looks with style. Choose comfy fabrics that will grow with you and not leave you feeling too restricted during long working days.

If you have a job that has you on your feet all day, make sure you swap the heels for some more practical and forgiving flats. Good for your swollen feet, your aching back and your balance!

Look after yourself at work

It’s natural to feel tired, or have occasional aches and pains during pregnancy. Try these tips to help you through your working day:

  • Take regular breaks. If you’ve been sitting for a long time, stand up and stretch. If you have been on your feet, try sitting down with your feet up for a few minutes every couple of hours.
  • Don’t forget to drink a lot (water is best). Keep a glass of water at your desk, and refill it often.
  • Being close to a computer all day won’t harm your developing baby, but be aware that pregnant women are more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome (aching, numb fingers). Take a few minutes to evaluate your working space and make sure that your desk, chair and computer keyboard are at a comfortable height.
  • Take it easy. Avoid any heavy physical work or long hours of overtime. Your body is going through incredible changes and it is very important – for your own health and the health of your developing baby – to rest.
  • Don’t forget to eat. Spending a busy day on the job can mean that meals are skipped. During pregnancy, it is important that you have a healthy diet. Bring your own lunch to minimise the chance of giving in to salty, fatty foods or sugary café treats. Try vegetable sticks, fresh fruit, wholegrain sandwiches and cheese. Avoid tea and coffee.

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This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot NZ.

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