It’s pregnancy season at the office again. No, not me this time around, but the next wave of pregnancies has reminded me of some of the things I did to make myself more comfortable at work during my pregnancy.
Here is a list of 7 things that will help you weather hours on the clock while pregnant:
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1. Comfortable Seating
When I began suffering from SI joint pain, I purchased a Coccyx Cushion for my seat. While it did not completely relieve the pain, it offered some added support during the eight-hour workday.
A fellow coworker swore by her yoga ball chair, and I might look into that option in the future.
Pregnant women who are on their feet all day should talk to their doctor about when and how often to take sitting breaks, and obtain a medical note if necessary.
During the later stages of my pregnancy, I needed to prop my feet to relieve swelling. On some days, I was lucky enough to be able to work from home and prop my feet on the couch. Other times, I had to get creative and find an extra chair or small cushion to gain some elevation.
I recommend looking into flexible working arrangements for the last trimester. Otherwise, an inexpensive storage ottoman (my coworker had something similar to this) might be a welcome addition to your workspace. Bonus: You can store extra snacks or supplies in the ottoman!
The hunger is real. In addition to making sure I packed a sustaining, nutritious lunch every day (when I wasn’t ordering a pizza), I stopped at the grocery store weekly to pick up snacks to stash in my desk drawer. Everything from fruit, to granola bars, to nuts, to cereal and pop tarts helped tide me over when baby got hungry.
4. Desk Fan
I was pregnant in the middle of summer in Florida. Even though the A/C in our building worked, the amount of sunlight filtering through our windows made our workspace much warmer in the afternoons. With my elevated body temperature, it felt sweltering.
A simple desk fan helped cool the temperature in my space back down, helping me to avoid overheating and becoming extremely uncomfortable.
5. Walking Buddy
Movement breaks are always important – even more so when you’re pregnant. Taking a daily walking break around the building helped me keep my weight in check, my circulation flowing, and my head clear of mental clutter. As an added bonus, my walking buddy happened to also be expecting, so we were able to compare notes and commiserate during our daily walks as well.
6. Emergency Plan
This one isn’t meant to sound alarmist, honest. It doesn’t even need to be anything fancy. I knew there was a small chance I could go into labor or need medical attention while at work, so I made a mental list of who I would go to and ask for help from if I needed it.
As my due date drew closer, I also prepared a letter I left on my desk that explained what projects I was working on, and where others could find the information to take them over, when necessary. I made sure to keep careful notes so anyone who was asked to step in for me could understand what was needed.
7. A Snarky Sign
Hang a snarky sign on your office door with all those common questions you find yourself answering over and over and over again. I didn’t do this, but we’ve joked about it quite a few times lately after I heard a coworker having the same conversation for about the tenth time in the kitchen near my office – and she’s only just announced her news!
If you have any tips, share them below. Let’s spread the word and help make life at the office as comfortable as possible for pregnant working mommies.
And don’t forget to download your own printable stop sign for your workspace! Select the image below to download.