The Realities of Working While Pregnant – Your Pregnancy Reality Check

When it comes to the third trimester, you are exhausted and uneasy. You can't wait for the baby to make his or her appearance. However, this final stretch of pregnancy represents much more than just fatigue followed by labor and delivery while you continue to work your 9-5.

Big feet, blotchy skin, constipation, incontinence, blurry vision, bleeding gums, lack of sleep, more sickness, and leaking breasts are all symptoms of pregnancy in the third trimester!

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Cheers to miracle-making – we can't wait, but this is a survival situation. Working during the third trimester can be challenging for mothers, but here's how to not only survive but thrive at work during your third trimester.

Physiology in the third trimester

The third trimester, which begins at 28 weeks, brings with it a slew of new physical changes. As your bundle of joy grows in size and weight, you will be kicked internally, experience lower back and/or pelvic pain due to a shift in your center of gravity, and have a tiny person using your bladder as a cushion.

You'll also notice swelling in your ankles, feet, and hands, as well as delightful sleep disruptions. Emotions are high, and stress levels can rise as you anticipate, somewhat anxiously, the inevitable upturn in your life.

You may believe that time is running out to get everything ready, that you are not performing well at work, and that you are constantly tired.

(((Instant Book Preview of Bumpin')))

All of this is compounded by the physiological changes mentioned above, and you're bound to be looking for ways to gain energy, vitality, and make the most of the rest of your time at work.

It's time to thrive at work rather than just get through the third trimester.

Workplace stumbling blocks in your third trimester

  • Clumsiness – The kind that results from a lack of sleep and leaves you feeling less than your best.
  • Difficulty concentrating and completing tasks – Part of it is hormonal, part of it is a lack of sleep, and part of it is stress. All of this adds up to your mind racing around while you're at work, and concentration suffers as a result.
  • Discomfort at your desk or standing all day – As the weight at the front of your body increases, the position of your pelvis changes. The front of the seat dips forward to accommodate your bundle of joy, putting pressure on your lumbar spine.
  • Frequent bathroom breaks – to pee and try to poop as a tiny person presses on your bladder and intestines, causing constipation.
  • High stress levels with emotional outbursts – As a result of hormones and (potentially self-imposed) expectations of what you have to finish and do.
  • Forgetfulness – There is such a thing as baby brain. When stress and a lack of sleep are combined, anyone can become forgetful.
  • Pressure to finish tasks before leaving for maternity leave – You want to leave feeling accomplished and useful to your company.

How to Survive and Prosper

This boils down to three components: food, movement, and mindfulness. There are several tools that I'll go over now.

Food

It's important to remember that you don't have to “eat for two” while you're growing a person. All that is required is an additional 300kCal per day.

The most important thing to remember is food quality, which means eating a whole foods, varied diet rich in green vegetables, fish, smart carbohydrates, and fiber.

I'm going to wash this down with a lot of water. Now that you've reached the third trimester, I'm sure you'll be mindful of what you're eating in order to provide the best for your unborn child.

(((Instant Book Preview of You Are a F*cking Awesome Mom)))

To get the most out of your nutrition during this time, make the following changes.

  • Eat small, frequent meals to compensate for your stomach's compressed size. This will alleviate heartburn and constipation symptoms.
  • ‘Drink your food while chewing your water.' Chew your food thoroughly so that it is completely mixed with saliva and the digestion process can begin. A good rule of thumb to follow is to chew each mouthful 30 times. Chewing your water in the same way combines the water with salvia, allowing it to be more easily absorbed by your body and reducing swelling.
  • Take some time away from your desk to eat, which I recommend to everyone. This practice helps to reduce stress, become more mindful of your meal, and provides a mental break from your day.
  • Drink plenty of water, even if it means going to the bathroom more frequently. This promotes lymphatic flow. The lymphatic system circulates fluid throughout the body, removes toxins, and causes swollen joints when blocked. By drinking more, you can transform your lymphatic system from a swamp to a flowing river. This means that your aching and swollen joints will get better.
  • Focus on nutrient-dense, high-volume foods to help with satiety, concentration, and fueling your baby's growth. Because when you fuel properly, you feel good on the inside and out.

Movement

Whether you're pregnant or not, sitting or standing all day is bad for your health.

Movement can help with the pain, clumsiness, foggy head, difficulty concentrating, and stress of the third trimester.

These movement modifications can help you thrive at work while you're in your third trimester:

  • Practicing breath work will aid in the release of the diaphragm, which contributes to postural imbalances and has the added benefit of lowering stress. 3 to 5 times per day, wrap your arms around your rib cage and breathe into your hands to expand your rib cage while keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. Inhale for a count of 2 to 3 and exhale for a count of 4 to 5.
  • Request an ergonomically designed chair to provide you with maximum support, relieving you of the burden of leaning into awkward positions to get closer to your computer screen in order to concentrate. This will not only make your workplace more productive, but it will also relieve stress.
  • Get up and move around frequently, either by using a smart watch to track your movement or by setting reminders on your phone at least once an hour. Instead of remaining seated, stand while on the phone. You will improve circulation, which will reduce swelling, as well as relieve pressure on your joints.
  • Stretch the hip flexors, which are the muscles in the front of your thighs. Your quads become tight as your posture changes as a result of the new weight distribution in your body, causing back pain. When it comes to relieving back pain and boosting postpartum recovery, this is a game changer.
  • Roll your calves, quads, hips, and chest with a foam roller at your desk. These are the areas that, as a result of postural changes, become extremely tight throughout pregnancy and beyond. Starting to foam roll these areas now will reduce tension in your neck, shoulders, and lower back while also assisting drainage in your feet and ankles.

Mindfulness

Whatever type of birth plan you're making, you'll have spent and will continue to spend time thinking about everything you'll need for the big day and the time after. This energy that you're exuding is critical for your mental health now and in the future.

As your date draws closer and closer, it's likely that your thoughts are turning to the future. Being mindful to stay in the present moment is critical to remaining calm, thriving, and surviving your final weeks of pregnancy.

(((Instant Book Preview of After the Baby For Him)))

Here are four strategies for remaining mindful and present:

  • Solicit assistance. If you go into labor early, assign projects to people. Reach out to your coworkers and delegate tasks that are causing you stress. While asking for help can be awkward and stressful at times, this habit will leave you feeling less stressed and more at ease in your role.
  • Don't overextend yourself; it's fine not to promise the world. Slow down to accomplish more. You will not exhaust yourself by attempting to meet unrealistic expectations in the run-up to your due date if you are realistic.
  • Take mental health days, especially if you have children at home. The need to get everything done and look after the kids on the weekend can mean that you don't have any downtime. Taking time throughout the week will allow you to truly rest and take care of yourself while you still have the opportunity.
  • All of the dresses, supportive shoes, and layers should be worn comfortably. Because nothing is more vexing than seams digging into you, tired feet, and being too hot or cold. When you're at ease, you're less stressed and more relaxed. Everything is fine for bump and YOU.
  • Don't set a specific date for maternity leave. Have a ballpark figure in mind, but you may find that you become more fatigued sooner than you anticipated, or that you become too restless if you start too soon. Play by ear and listen to your body while communicating openly with your boss. This can significantly reduce your stress and expectations, allowing you to more easily go with the flow.

Final Thoughts

Because this is your final opportunity to spend time with yourself. Moving forward, you'll have a tiny person to occupy your time. Using these three tips for each area can help you be your best self in all aspects of your life and work during your third trimester. It is truly a time to thrive rather than just survive.

Examine each area and begin by focusing on one tip for a week or two to see how it affects your life. Choosing to ‘drink your food, chew your water,' ‘practice breath work,' and ‘ask for help,' for example, are small steps that will make a big difference.

And the best part is that they don't add time to your day; instead, they take time and energy away from it. You have to eat anyway, so eat more mindfully. You have to breathe anyway, so do it mindfully. You already have work to do, so ask for assistance with what you have.

The third trimester is a time of great anticipation and excitement for the arrival of the baby. Fear and worry about childbirth and caring for the baby after birth are common, but they do not have to interfere with your work. All of these techniques are excellent ways to prepare for childbirth and reduce anxiety.

Because some women may feel less attractive as their bodies change, partner support and reassurance is critical during this time. Fathers may also be concerned about their role in childbirth and their ability to parent and provide for a larger family.

Everyone may become impatient for the baby's arrival. Remember to enjoy your baby's kicks inside you for the next few weeks, and make special time with your partner and other children- your life is about to change!

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