Managing Personal and Professional Life During Pregnancy

There's no doubt about it: pregnancy changes your life. Throughout the nine months that you grow a new human from scratch, your body undergoes significant biological, psychological and physiological changes. Hormonal changes may cause fatigue, nausea, mood swings, and more. If you have a family to look after, these challenges can be even harder to manage. For women who are also employed full- or part-time, your responsibilities may seem overwhelming. 
 
How can you manage both your personal and professional workload while dealing with pregnancy-induced mood swings and body aches? We understand that it’s easier said than done, but encourage you to try. Here are seven tips on how to manage your life during pregnancy. 
 
1. Establish a healthy and nutritious diet
Your appetite will increase and you'll experience cravings, which makes binge-eating a huge temptation for most pregnant women. Keep yourself (and maybe your over-indulgent partner) in line by establishing a healthy diet plan early in your pregnancy. Fueling your body with nutritious food will keep you going strong for the next nine months.
 
Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and salads as snacks. Skip high-calorie junk foods like chips and french fries. Fueling your body with nutritious snacks and meals will diminish the effects of fatigue. It will also help to limit excessive weight gain (while some weight gain is good and normal during pregnancy, it is possible to gain too much). 
 
2. Exercise every day
Get into the habit of exercising for 20-30 minutes every day. Being active raises your spirits and keeps your blood pumping, which feeds nutrients to your growing baby. 
 
If you can find one, join a prenatal exercise class, where you’ll get to socialize with other moms-to-be. Exercising in a group helps keep up your motivation, and you'll find a group of peers who can sympathize with your struggles. 
 
3. Share your news at work
Many women hesitate to tell their boss and coworkers about their pregnancy and wait to do so until they begin to show. However, there are benefits to sharing the news of your pregnancy earlier. 
 
For one thing, an early announcement lets you control the information rather than becoming an object of gossip and speculation. Coworkers may be more considerate of symptoms like tiredness and mood swings if they know you're the victim of pregnancy hormones. Also, looping in your boss and coworkers means you can start to prepare a plan for your maternity leave. 
 
4. Work from home
If you have the option to work from home even a few days a week, take advantage of it. Demonstrate to your employer that you'll be more effective working from the comfort of your home. You'll get the benefits of a workplace better suited to your needs during pregnancy, and your boss will benefit from your improved morale. 
 
Of course, cutting out the commute will keep your energy levels up as well. 
 
5. Have a post-pregnancy work plan
It is always wise to think about your post-pregnancy options well ahead of time. Do you intend to return to work as a full-time employee, or would you rather work part-time for a while? 
 
If you plan to return to work, start looking at childcare options during your third trimester. Daycare centers and nannies aren't easy to find. You'll want to have plenty of time to research and interview your options before the baby comes. 
 
6. Don't sweat the small stuff
It's impossible to control every aspect of your home and work life, so don't even try. Relax and let go every once in awhile. Staying stress-free and happy during pregnancy is an important element of physical and emotional health. It’s okay if dust bunnies collect in the corner for a few weeks. This is great practice for life with children.
 
Look for opportunities to cut down your stress at work, too. Step back from gossip and office politics, and see what happens. 
 
7. Take time for yourself
Aches, pains, lack of sleep, and mood swings will wear on you over time. Prevent yourself from getting too run-down by focusing on activities you enjoy. Spend an afternoon shopping for maternity clothes or decorations for the nursery. 
 
Alternatively, you may need a break from all the baby stuff. Revisit a hobby you enjoy, like crafting, hiking, or baking. Remember to cherish yourself as a woman and an individual as well as a miraculous baby incubator.