Doing 9 to 5 with a bump? Here’s how to make your workplace a more pregnancy-friendly place
Don’t you hate it when you think the morning sickness has gone, only to get another wave? Eating little and often helps keep it at bay, and having snacks handy means you won’t panic. Nuts and cereal bars will keep for a long time, and fresh and dried fruit are another great energy booster. “Many mums-to-be prefer dry food like ginger biscuits, Ryvita and plain toast when suffering from morning sickness,” says Mandy Garner from Working Mums (www.workingmums.co.uk), if you're suffering have these to hand.
A mini dental toolkit will keep bad breath from morning sickness at bay, giving you confidence in any last-minute meetings, even if you’re still feeling under par. Treat yourself to a toiletry bag and fill it with essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, a mini bottle of mouthwash, dental floss and mints. Add in some Gaviscon to combat at-your-desk heartburn.
Raising your legs will keep your blood circulating even if you're sitting at a desk all day, ask your HR department for a footstool.
During the later stages of pregnancy you may become more tired because you're carrying the baby's weight as well as your own, "so get up and take a break when you need a rest,” advises Mandy.
“Risk assessments on your work area aren’t usually done before your second trimester, but if you do have health and safety concerns beforehand, it’s best to raise them immediately with your employer.”
Don’t wear your work heels all day long – flats may not be as fashionable but your back and feet will thank you, and it’ll stop you getting grumpy with your workmates.
Your feet tend to swell, or even go up a size during pregnancy, so invest in comfy everyday shoes with good arch support. “If you’re used to wearing skyscrapers, perhaps try a small heel for work, but have a spare pair of flat shoes to commute home in,” says Mandy.
It's also worth knowing that your balance can be affected as your bump grows and the baby's weight moves forward. Wearing heels during the later stages of pregnancy puts you at greater risk of falling over.
Sitting at a desk all day can make even the sturdiest of backs sore, so when you’ve got a baby putting extra pressure on your bones, you need added support.
Employers are required by the Workplace Regulations and Approved Code of Practice to have suitable facilities for pregnant women to rest and, if possible, an area for you to lie down, so speak to your HR department about this.
Ask your HR department for a copy of your job description, this will help with your day-to-day routine. With this to hand, if you have a sudden mind blank or are uncertain about something you’ve been asked to do, you have something to refer to.
“I have a long commute to work, so I always make sure I’m wearing comfy shoes and have a bottle of water for the train. Once I’m at work, I try to make sure I take a screen break when I feel myself getting too tired.
I always have plenty of healthy snacks too, like bananas, for when hunger strikes. At the end of the day I try to leave on time so I can be well rested for the next working day, which really helps too.”
Siân Lyde, 36, from Epsom, mum to Cerys, 2, and 25 weeks pregnant
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