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Coping with Pregnancy at Work

April 27th, 2010 | By: Sydney Loney
From hiding morning sickness to breaking the news to your boss, here's how to survive pregnancy on the job.

In This Article

Coping with Pregnancy at Work

Being a working mom-to-be can be tough, especially when you’re fighting exhaustion and juggling prenatal appointments. Here’s how to keep things “business as usual” at the office throughout your pregnancy.

Hiding your pregnancy at work

When it comes to telling your boss about your pregnancy, should you play the waiting game, or ’fess up right away?

Although some people believe you should break the news as soon as you know so your boss has more time to plan for your absence, others recommend waiting as long as possible so you don’t risk getting treated differently (or having responsibilities suddenly delegated elsewhere) just because you’re pregnant, says Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book.

“Some women also prefer to wait until after the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage decreases,” she says. “And if you’re going for genetic testing, you may want to wait until you’re done with any tests that might have you choosing to terminate your pregnancy–it’s devastating enough without having to tell everyone about it.”

If you decide to keep your pregnancy a secret for a while, here are a few strategies to try:

• Move the buttons on your pants, or invest in a Bella Band, so that you can continue wearing your old clothes for longer.

• Sometimes your growing breast are a bigger giveaway than a tiny baby bump–good-fitting bras and blousy shirt styles can help camouflage both.

• Sit by the door when you’re in meetings so if you have to leave abruptly (due to nausea or first trimester bladder issues), it’s not so conspicuous.

• And every time you take a trip to the loo, have another reason for getting up from your desk, says Dr. Greenfield. “Drop something off on someone else’s desk, or use the photocopier so you’re not just beating a path back and forth to the bathroom.”