This post originally appeared on our blog a couple of years ago as “Working During Your Third Trimester? 6 Tips on How to Survive,” and we’ve refreshed it for 2017.
During the last trimester of your pregnancy, you probably get tired so easily that it feels like a big accomplishment to do anything (like tying your shoes!) Even though it seems like every day brings a new and obnoxious side effect, you still have to arrive at your job on time and put in work.
Here are 6 quick tips on how to survive work when you’re very pregnant:
1. Dress for comfort
Choose stretchy and loose clothing with flat-heeled shoes, which will feel more comfy! To put together a professional, comfy outfit, try wearing a maxi skirt or maxi dress and dress it up with a scarf, necklace, or bracelets. Lots of women love leggings during pregnancy, and you can make them look more work-appropriate by wearing a long tunic (or dress) with them.
2. Don’t forget the snacks!
Make sure to have snacks handy at work. They can help give you a quick energy boost and combat the tiredness you might be facing right now. Snacking not only gives you and your baby the nutrients and extra calories you need, but it also satisfies your intense hunger!
3. Speak up
If there are any changes you need to make during your third trimester, talk to your supervisor or boss. Examples of adjustments might be less time standing or taking breaks more often.
Create a comfortable work area. If you sit at a desk all day, try putting a small box under your feet to prop them up. And make sure to stand up often for a quick stretch and to move around. Also, we suggest that you place a little pillow behind your lower back for comfort. If you stand all day at your job, make sure to rest often and take breaks.
4. Locate the closest bathroom
Drinking water during your pregnancy will help prevent constipation, UTIs, hemorrhoids, fatigue, headaches, overheating, and can combat some of the oh-so-fun swelling you might be facing. But with drinking so much water comes more trips to the bathroom. So, it’s important to locate the closest bathroom and have a back-up one too in case that bathroom is being used.
5. Give yourself a break
If your schedule and paid time off allows, try and give yourself a day off now and then. You can use this day just to relax and nap! If your job is super-stressful and a two-day weekend just isn’t cutting it, consider asking a Friday or Monday off.
Some pregnant women find that a typical five-day, 40-hour work week is just too much during their third trimester, and end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If this sounds like you, talk to your supervisor to see if you can change your schedule a bit. Maybe you can come work half days and catch a much-needed nap afterward.
6. Making time for check-ups
You might feel like you’re going to a million doctors’ appointments during your third trimester. But, going to them doesn’t make you any less valuable at your job. A couple of OB-GYN appointments a week will take you away from your job, but because of them, you’ll feel more confident in your baby’s health. And don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins!
Women who worked through their third trimester while they created an adoption plan for their baby have told us they were glad to keep earning money while at the same time staying busy. “If I didn’t work through that time I would have sat at home feeling mixed-up about my situation. I wanted to know I was making the most of this time to get me, and my baby, out of the situation I was in,” one birth mother, Anna, told us.