Having a better work-life balance during pregnancy

Striking a better work-life balance may be challenging in life, especially during pregnancy.

But with proper planning and time management, it is certainly possible to continue work and having a happy family life.

Having a pregnancy does not mean you have to give up your career and aspirations in life.

The following tips might help you juggle work and family life:

1. Plan ahead: especially your appointments and leaves. You may consider using a wall calendar or planner in your phone to record the activities.

2. Make a list of daily activities and prioritise your work.

3. Leave work at the workplace

4. Speak to your manager/ supervisor and colleagues:

a) Keep them posted about the progress in pregnancy or any complication/ need for frequent hospital appointments or if you are planning early maternity leave.

b) You may need to change the type of your job during pregnancy (such as dealing with hazardous chemicals) temporarily.

c) Delegate work as appropriate.

d) Be assertive and learn to say no, if you feel being asked to carry out unexpected extra work (without reasonable excuse) or for longer hours than contracted for.

e) Explore if you can work from home.

f) Plan post-childbirth return to work (such as going part-time) whenever possible and have an initial discussion with your employer.

g) Avoid over-commitment at work. It is important to listen to your body and act accordingly.

h) Avoid working overtime/ extra hours.

5. Take a step back if life seems too overwhelming.

It is ok not to be ‘perfect’ both at work and at home. Due to normal changes during pregnancy (such as tiredness/ fatigue, sickness, discomfort, aches and pain, pregnancy amnesia), things might be challenging at times.

Take breaks at work so that you do not get exhausted and have regular snacks and meals.

6. Discuss with your partner and other members of the family. They might be able to assist you with household chores.

Most importantly, do not feel guilty if things are not going according to plan or unable to strike a better work-life balance. Stay positive and things will improve over time.