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Pregnancy

Pregnant at work

Nowadays, most moms-to-be are balancing a busy work life with prenatal appointments and arranging mat leave. Here are a few tips for the transition.

By Holly Bennett
Pregnant at work

Pregnant at work

When to tell your boss

Kelly Cardwell, director of human resources for Best Buy Canada in Vancouver, says that many women prefer to wait until about three months, when the pregnancy is more secure. Sometimes, however, earlier is better. If morning sickness is severe, suggests Cardwell, you might want to let your manager know. “Trying to hide your pregnancy when you’re sick every day just adds to your stress,” she explains. Employers are required to allow you time off work for prenatal care appointments if you are not able to book them in off-hours. Discuss your appointment schedule with your supervisor when you meet to share your news.

A version of this article appeared in our Spring/Summer 2013 Pregnancy special edition with the headline "Pregnant on the job," p. 16.

Pregnant at workPhoto: Alvarez/iStockphoto

Managing your symptoms

Even an uncomplicated pregnancy can pose challenges – just ask anyone who’s had to fight that crushing early-pregnancy exhaustion through a long shift. The Mayo Clinic offers tips for managing common pregnancy symptoms: snack regularly and drink plenty of fluids; take short, frequent breaks – either getting up to move around or raising your feet and closing your eyes; and use a low stool or box to put one foot up if you’re standing for long periods of time.

Pregnant at workPhoto: PhotoTalk/iStockphoto

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Preparing for time off

You want to make sure you are leaving everything in good shape. Cardwell suggests scheduling a series of meetings with your supervisor or replacement, starting well in advance of your due date, to create a checklist of responsibilities and figure out who will take them on.

Pregnant at workPhoto: Web Photographeer/iStockphoto

The paperwork

Then there’s the paperwork: You’ll need to let your employer know when you plan to leave work, and clarify whether you have vacation time owing to add to your leave. If the company offers a salary top-up, there will be paperwork for that as well.

Maternity and parental benefits are different from maternity and parental leave – the leave is arranged with the employer, but the benefits are administered through Service Canada.

Once you’re finished work and have received a Record of Employment from your employer, you can apply for benefits.

Making decisions

There is no one-size-fits-all guideline for how long to work, how much to work, or even whether to work while pregnant; the jobs women hold are too varied, and so is their pregnancy experience. The best mom-to-mom advice? Do what feels right for you, for your baby’s health, and for your career.

Pregnant at workPhoto: Izusek/iStockphoto

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Pregnant at work
This article was originally published on Apr 23, 2013

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