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Advice for coping at work - 8 weeks?

(13 Posts)
soontobeamum1982 Mon 26-Dec-16 21:14:06

I'm just looking for practical advice from more experienced mums on her. I'm expecting my first, about 8.5/9 weeks along. I've just had a week and a half off work (early xmas hol) and I feel so much better for it - my nausea has lessened and although exhausted have been able to nap. I'm coping OK.

But I go back to work on Wednesday and I'm dreading it - especially as I go back to a six week run of 12 hour shifts (plus a 1.5 hour commute each way). I work in a really busy, stressful job at a national newspaper. Normally I thrive on the deadlines, but since I found out about this pregnancy (it's my first child) my focus has totally switched, especially as I had an early miscarriage earlier this year which my GP said stress could have been a factor in. (Let's be honest, 2016 wasn't the easiest year to be working in the news!)

The only people who know at work are my direct team and they are off next week. I don't want to tell my boss until after the 12 week scan but worried i'll be exposed as totally under par next week.

Has anyone got any practical tips about coping with the nausea and exhaustion and long hours while working in a stressful job before your boss knows the big secret? Later in Jan I could probably take sick days if I really needed it but that's just not an option next week when so many people are out of the office.

(Thinking I might need a major career change after the baby comes .... which is depressingly exactly why there are still so few women in senior media positions).

Any advice gratefully received!!!

Jemimachristmaspuddingduck Mon 26-Dec-16 21:32:50

Honestly the best advice I can give is to tell your boss, I told my boss and immediate team so when I needed to quickly leave a meeting or take a short break I could just go and no one said anything as they knew why. Useful when you suddenly have an overwhelming urge to vom in the middle of a team meeting!

Other than that bananas, nuts and 7up got me through the work day and lots of rest, naps and early nights when you are off

Congratulations!

soontobeamum1982 Mon 26-Dec-16 21:42:52

Thanks Jemima, I think you're probably right. No doubt he won't be there next week, but I think I'll have to front it up in early January.
To make matters more complicated, my DP also works at the same place (we didn't meet at this workplace, but he ended up getting a job there after being made redundant last year - not an ideal situation, but better than him being out of work). He doesn't want me to tell the boss yet, and he's worried - probably quite rightly - that i'll be written off immediately even if I do then go on to miscarry.
Sigh. Just can't wait to get into the second trimester.

beansbananas Mon 26-Dec-16 22:23:12

I have struggled with sickness and tiredness throughout my pregnancy (I'm 5 months now), and have a highly stressful and demanding job. I did not want to jeopardise a promotion so kept it a secret for 4 months, and only had one sick day in that time. My advice is to sleep as much as possible at home. I experienced terrible insomnia in the first trimester, waking up at 2am every night. I realised the more I slept the better I felt, so nothing could be more important than an early night. I also ate. A lot! It was the only thing that got me through the day, and I ate carbs because nothing else worked. Not ideal from a weight perspective, but my weight gain is much less in the second trimester, so I guess it balances out. Other than that, I really think it's mind over matter. You just have to focus at work, and work through the sickness. I would be throwing up one minute and presenting the next! If I can do that, anyone can. And then be kind to yourself at home and just do what feels right for your body. I will tell you it eases off after around 14 weeks, but I'm still sick most days so am still forcing myself to get on with it. It's the only way to maintain your position of respect in a male biased working environment. Good luck with it though, pregnancy is tough and I think it's amazing what we women are capable of coping with!

soontobeamum1982 Mon 26-Dec-16 23:15:38

Thanks beans, some good tips. I am also eating a lot and putting on a bit of weight but tbh I don't care at this stage - i conceived at a healthy weight, so i'm just giving my body whatever it tells me it needs (chips!) to to get me through these tough weeks.

cockermum85 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:39:35

I'm 31w now and have suffered with nausea and sickness throughout. My job is pretty full on (marketing) with an hour commute either way so I really feel for you. I had to tell my boss in the end, I couldn't hide it. Get to the Drs to see if there is anything you can have for sickness and get as much sleep as you can at weekends. I need to spend the weekends at rest and evenings are all about bed for me. sorry this is happening and I hope it passes soon for you.

PeachBellini123 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:42:32

Agree. I told my boss early on as was struggling. I'm so glad I did!

Pratically - could you change your working hours to avoid rush hour? That helped me. Also small snacks every hour to give you an energy boost.

libm127 Tue 27-Dec-16 10:16:25

I felt so much better when I told my boss. They cannot discriminate against you because of pregnancy-related sickness, so telling somebody feels 'protective' (at least it did to me!).

I also found that trying to eat little and often was useful, even though I didn't feel like eating anything.

soontobeamum1982 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:51:24

Thanks everyone - it's really helpful to know I'm not alone. A lot of my friends who have children already work in much more flexible workplaces so couldn't really empathise. It's nice to just chat to people who understand and get some advice.

soontobeamum1982 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:53:53

Thanks peach - i'm sort of lucky in that I miss rush hour because i usually work 8am - 7pm. But obviously those kind of shifts are ridiculously knackering under normal circumstances, so it's just that bit harder to get through the weeks at the moment.

MochaChocaChino Tue 27-Dec-16 17:09:10

I feel for you soontobe it's so hard I'm at a similar stage - with much smaller commute though but have a 2yo so little downtime.

Is there any way you could book a hotel room (travelodge style) to break up the week and spend an evening there without having to commute? Or is there a friend who lives nearer to work you could ask to stay with? Not brilliant in terms of cost but if you don't want to reveal just yet it might help with the tiredness midweek?

Also could you also organise a couple of afternoon apts in January meaning you need to leave early or come in late? Dentist, docs for gynae issue (men never ask for detail on those!)...

I found last time cream crackers and ginger nuts stashed in my handbag helped. Also I kept taking walks around the block at work for fresh air - my own equivalent of a smoking break smile

Hope this week back at work goes ok - as PP said hopefully it will be quiet and your boss won't be in much.

Aliveinwanderland Tue 27-Dec-16 17:13:34

My work place wasn't really flexible as I teach so was unable to just pop to the loo or get some air whenever I needed.

Lots of ginger biscuits, sucking polo mints and sipping water helped me with the nausea.

I used to slip out of the classroom into the cupboard next door, be sick in a bag and then head back in pretending I had gone to look for something! Weeks 8-13 were awful but I felt better by week 14. I didn't tell work till around week 15.

Nottalotta Tue 27-Dec-16 20:57:06

Travel sickness bands made a huge difference to my nausea in early pregnancy. It was a struggle to keep them hidden as it was mid summer, but easier for you at this time of year.

Also, eat little and often to stave off the sickness, drink water, and sleep as much as you can!

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