Being a working mother has become the norm for many women. However, it's not easy trying to juggle your work and personal lives when you're pregnant. The law helps to protect you, but navigating issues with work can still be complicated. There are several problems at work that women come up against when they're pregnant and after having a baby that they find hard to deal with. Understanding your rights is one of the most important things you can do. However, it doesn't necessarily help you to handle an issue when you have one. Here are some common problems you might have to overcome.
Understanding Your Maternity Rights
When you find out that you're pregnant, one of the first things you should do is find out your rights. Even if you think you know everything, it's important to double check. Changes in legislation or common misconceptions can mean you get some things wrong. Some people find it a little complicated to understand everything. However, it's easy to find a simple maternity leave guide for employers and employees that helps to explain your rights. It's useful to have a guide for employers to hand so that you can cite it to your boss if you ever need to.
Looking for a Job When Pregnant
Sometimes you end up needing to look for work while pregnant. It's not an ideal situation, but if you need a job, you probably don't want to put it off until after you have your baby. Early in your pregnancy, you can get away with not mentioning it. But when you're visibly pregnant, you might find it harder to get work. While employers can't discriminate, and can't ask if you're pregnant, they can easily give another reason for not selecting you for a role. It can help to be upfront about your commitment to the role and your plans for maternity leave.
Breastfeeding While Working
Many women choose to breastfeed after having their baby. When it's time to go back to work, you will likely still be breastfeeding your baby. You can choose to do one of several things when the time comes. You might be able to work with your employer to create flexible working hours that fit around breastfeeding your baby. You can arrange for childcare close to your work so you can breastfeed when you need to. You can also express milk while at work or combine bottle feeding and breastfeeding. You need to notify your employer in writing that you're breastfeeding so they can carry out a risk assessment.
Juggling Parenting and Working
Being a working parent is hard, especially when you have a baby. If you have a sympathetic employer, they can help to make it easier with flexible working hours. However, sometimes it's not so easy to balance parenting and working. The most important thing to do is make sure you're aware of the law and your employer's policies.
Working and parenting at the same time might be difficult but many people do it. Make sure you educate yourself on how to solve common problems to make things easier.
Written in collaboration.