I work in Los Angeles for a Boston-based company, and I frequently travel as part of my job buying commercial real estate. My industry is predominantly male. As one of the few women, I was concerned about being treated differently because of my pregnancy. I didn’t tell my boss I was pregnant until the start of my second trimester but was pleasantly surprised by his support.
Success in my industry is based on your ability to travel and be active within the marketplace. During my second trimester, I made it a point to travel as much as possible. These trips often included touring multiple properties in one day, with hours spent walking or driving. During my third trimester, I found out that the baby was in the frank breech position (his legs were up by his head). Since I did not want to take any time off before the baby was born, the doctor suggested I find a place at work to lie down for 15-30 minutes twice a day. (I would rest in my office.) Toward the end of my pregnancy, it became difficult to sit at my desk for longer periods of time. I also stopped air travel. I would send a co-worker instead, and my boss was supportive of this. I went into labor at 38 weeks and had a C-section because the baby was still breech.
Being open and honest with your employer is important. If you feel the need to rest or change your schedule, do so. Don’t hesitate to put you and your baby first.
I’m a preschool teacher. Before I got pregnant, I didn’t think it would affect my job at all. We conceived very quickly, and the morning sickness kicked in at the start of the second month. I was throwing up, which meant I was running to the bathroom at work. I ended up telling my co-workers that I was expecting earlier than I wanted; I had to explain that I had morning sickness and not a stomach flu.
I couldn’t sit with the kids at lunch because a lot of the food smells made me nauseous. In addition, being on my feet all day was really hard. As I got larger, it was hard for me to get up, so I could no longer sit on the floor with my class. I was worried that my job might be on the line because I wasn’t able to be the effective teacher I was used to being. Luckily, my boss had just had children a few years before so she totally understood. My colleagues were also very supportive. They would tell me to sit down or bring me ginger ale.