My husband and I are thinking of starting a family next year. We both work full time; he is in the restaurant industry and I work as a landscape foreman (forewoman!) at a family-owned landscape design company, March thru early December. Its basically a husband and wife team, plus me and one or two college guys we hire for the season. I am 27 and have been there 5 years.
My employers are amazing and treat me like family...I know they would be willing to work with me on maternity leave, flexible time off, etc, they are very progressive employers. I'm sure they would be willing to hire more help while I was pregnant, and I could probably even take a year or more off and come back to the company. I am curious if anyone has experience working a physical job while pregnant. I have always worked outdoors doing fairly hard work, since high school. But I have no idea what to expect for a first pregnancy.
I have been playing around with the timing...I would like to work as much as possible thru the pregnancy but do not know what is realistic. Since it is such a small company everyone counts--and since they are in their early 60's---I would hate to have to totally jump ship just a few years before they retire, and make them train someone totally new. But-- will I be puking sick and exhausted for the first trimester, or feel totally awesome up until the third trimester? I have no idea.
Has anyone else worked a similar, physically-demanding job through part of their pregnancy? Any insight would be appreciated!
My situation was a little different, but demanding nonetheless. When I was pregnant with ds, I worked as a PE teacher and the head athletic trainer for a high school. Basically what this meant was that I taught 2 yoga classes a day, & 1 classroom-based class. Then I spent 4-6 hours a day providing medical coverage for the school's sports teams. This included being on my feet for hours, lifting 10 gallon coolers filled with water, and running across football field to assess injuries. Yes, I had downtime and a lot of options to tweek the demands, but it was still a lot. I had backup for the bad days -- calling in a sub for classes or having my assistant cover games, but some days I just had to suck it up and go. I timed things great, in that I found out I was pregnant the week before classes started and delivered a few weeks before the end of the year. I worked up until my due date -- I actually "ran" across a football field the day before my due date (with secret hope that I would go into labor because of it, of course ds decided to wait for another week). Anyway, it can be done. The key is communicating with the others that you are working with. I told my supervisor early on (around 3 months) that I was pregnant so that they could start preparing for my leave. Also, my coworkers were super supportive & helpful. Lastly, I was pretty vocal about what I could and could not do. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you can't do things (unless there is a medical issue), but you do need to be mindful of how your work is affecting your body. I had a good pregnancy. In the end I was leading less yoga classes and letting the videos do more of the work. And I was asking my students to help me more with some of the physical demands. But, I by no means sat on the sidelines as a helpless pregnant woman. Honestly I think the physical activity prepared me more for birth than if I had played the "pregnant card". That being said, I've known coworkers who have been put on bedrest for half of their pregnancy, and everything turned out OK -- they still had jobs to come back to, and nothing fell apart due to their absence.
In the end, you need to do what's best for your family. Don't worry too much about the "what if's" while trying to get pregnant (although I know it's hard not to). If the people you work with are in their 60's, then they have dealt with pregnancy in the workplace before and will adapt.
Good luck on TTC. Enjoy the process and the pregnancy!
Beth - blissfully married to Doug. DS - Liam (5/10) & Darcy (2/13). . New SAHM & Labor Doula.
Welcome baby girl! Born at home, in the water, in the caul, and caught by daddy. February 24, 2013!
Wow thanks so much for sharing your story, MayDayMom. Sounds like you were able to handle everything really well--makes me feel more confident about all this. On top of all the physical work, being a teacher and "on" all the time for the kids takes alot of energy too! Thats awesome that you were able to work up to your due date--I hope to do the same, or close to it.
I do feel good knowing I have strong muscles to help with birth, strong back for carrying around extra tummy weight, etc. I have a 90-mile round trip commute though....adds alot to the day.
The company started in 1992, and since then, because it is so small, there really haven't been any pregnant employees there, even though most of the crew leaders have been women. So we will be starting from scratch with a maternity policy. And, most seasons I am the only female out of a crew of up to six. All the guys are really helpful.
Thanks for all your advice and insight!
That said, I would check with your caregiver to make sure that everything is a-ok with our pregnancy, and discuss any limitations you should make for yourself. Good luck!
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