A Pregnant Mom’s Guide to Productivity
Staying productive in the office while juggling morning sickness, a growing belly, and more is a challenge many pregnant mothers are all too familiar with. Here are a few tips to help you succeed professionally during the newest chapter of your life!
LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH
One of the keys to staying productive is maintaining a healthy body. Try to keep a filled water bottle within arm’s reach at all times, since even seeing the bottle next to you can be an effective reminder to stay hydrated. Wean yourself off of that coffee or soda addiction as soon as you know you’re going to be pregnant; your baby can’t fully metabolize caffeine yet, and it increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which you should be careful of during pregnancy (and anyways, a caffeine or sugar crash is the last thing you need in the middle of the afternoon).
Daytime fatigue is no joke, so make sure to get the rest your body needs. Aim for an early bedtime, adjust the temperature to your liking, use as many pillows as you need to get comfortable, and cut down on screen time before going to sleep. It’s also very important to stay active! Even if it’s something as small as taking a quick walk outside during your break, fresh air or physical activity, it can give a huge boost to your mood and energy. Talk to your doctor and find what kind of exercises are best for you.
MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE
Make sure you have a pair of comfortable shoes available in case of swollen feet, and keep a sturdy pillow or two on hand for lower back support, since a sore back can easily put an end to your productive energy. Also, power naps could be your new best friend at work, and that means you might even want to bring in a blanket to make your office comfortable enough to recharge in.
Nausea is one of the worst symptoms to deal with when you’re trying to keep up that laser focus, so bring some snacks to munch on throughout the day. Pick plain, easy-to-digest foods including crackers, nuts, bananas, and dried fruit to ease your stomach while also keeping it full, and avoid snacks that are high in fat. Ginger can be especially effective at relieving nausea, so try out some ginger chews or ginger tea.
STRUCTURE YOUR TIME
With all the distractions of the modern workplace, it’s easy to get off task even when you’re not dealing with the additional stress of pregnancy. To help keep yourself on track, plan out your time in advance; at the end of each day, make a to-do list for tomorrow in order of priority, and write down how much time you’ll need to spend on each activity. Break bigger tasks down into step-by-step actions to make them less intimidating.
Of course, it’s also important to be flexible with yourself. Get to know your body’s new internal schedule, since it might be different than what you’re used to while not pregnant. Maybe your most productive hours used to be in the early afternoon, but now 2pm rolls around and you can’t bear to stare at a computer anymore. Work with your body to find the optimal times to focus, instead of forcing yourself to grind away when a break would be more useful in the long run.
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Being pregnant is more than a full-time job; it’s a 24/7 responsibility that can seem like it’s completely taken over your life. It’s important to remember that, as hard as you might feel you need to push yourself, you’re still human, and your physical and mental health are top priorities. Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibility, or to ask your boss for a schedule that suits you better. Take the breaks that you need and deserve.
Remember that you don’t have to go through all the ups and downs of having a baby alone. Talking about your situation to people you trust is a great way to get the stress out of your system, so communicate with your friends and family and let them know how you’re feeling. Rely on your loved ones to help you cope with the emotional toll of everything from sleepless nights to morning sickness, so that you can approach the newest chapter in your life with the mental energy you need for success.