Should you work right up until your due date or take time off before delivery?
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Take time off before having a baby? I can see how this would have gone for me. Day one: bag packed, check; baby’s room all in order and ready for its occupant, check; house cleaned, check; dishes and laundry done, check. Now for that rest and relaxation they talked about. Butt on couch, remote in hand. And reality sets in: daytime TV is awful!!! Seriously! How much can one person take of old sitcom reruns? And don’t even get me started on soap operas! Off goes the TV. How about one of my hobbies that I never have time for? This works for a while, until my thoughts migrate. Wonder what’s going on at work? 9:00 on Monday? Time for our weekly meeting. Wonder what the husband wants for dinner? I’ll call him. Bad idea. He’s busy. I saw an ad for a sale at the baby boutique. I’ll just go check it out. And $150 later, I’ve got 3 sets of going home outfits. Time for lunch. More of the same through the afternoon and end of Day one.
As you can see, checking out of work early to prepare for baby was not for me. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my time off. But, there is something strange to me about being at home while everyone else is at work. Makes me sort of feel like staying home sick from school. Of course, it’s a world of difference once baby was actually here and at home. Suddenly, my days were totally and happily occupied.
I envy the people that can enjoy their time and do the relaxing they’re supposed to be doing. However, it’s just not for me. To each his own, right? I opted to work right up until the day before my baby was born. And I’m glad I did. Once my little bundle was here, I wanted to soak up as many days with him as I could before returning to a job I love. I truly enjoyed every ounce of being off with my baby.
So, if you’re like me and planning to work right up until your water breaks, here are a few tips to help you’ll want to consider:
- Create a Plan with Your Employer – Any good employer will want to balance the needs of the employee and the needs of the company. Perhaps there are things you won’t be able to do, like lifting heavy objects, mixing certain chemicals, or traveling to the regional sales meeting during your final month. Your employer will want to make sure the work gets done, so they may want to redistribute some duties to have everything covered. You’ll also want to know what the employer expects of you when you have to be gone for appointments, etc. Once a plan is in place, stick to it as much as you’re able to. It will show your employer that you’re committed to being a good employee and a good parent.
- Create a Plan with Your Doctor – Let your doctor know what your working plans are. Make sure the doc knows what you do from day to day, so they can weigh in on things that may cause a danger that you haven’t thought of
- Have a Good Backup Plan – Even the best laid plans can be disrupted. Many women can work right up until their water breaks, but some are not so lucky. Health considerations may sideline you earlier than you expect, so make sure you’re prepared for all possibilities.
- Know What to Do if You Go Into Labor at Work – What happens if your water really does break at work? Yikes! If that happens is your co-worker driving you to the hospital? Your boss? Or, is someone calling your husband? Are you going home first or is your bag already in the car? What is the best route to the hospital from work? All things to consider when putting together your “Going Into Labor At Work” plan – just like you do for your home plan.
- Know Your Limits – You may have the best intentions, but understand that pregnancy changes many things. We all know about the fatigue, morning sickness, trips to the bathroom, etc. All the things that go along with pregnancy can affect your ability to do your job at your normal levels. Don’t overdo it. You may need to take more frequent breaks or sit down and put your feet up if you stand a lot during your job. Try a pair of Preggers Maternity legwear. Compression tights, leggings, pantyhose and socks will help reduce and prevent swelling and energize your tired and achy legs.
Remembering these tips will help you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy at home and at work. Today’s working mama can have it all!