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Is my work stressing me and my baby out?
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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:23 AM
I recently read two Life & Style articles about pregnancy that got me thinking about my work choices. As I write this I am taking a break from my other work and there is only a week to go until my second baby is due.
The first was Work stress blamed for caesarean rise and the second, A pregnant pause before things get hectic.
Reading these articles made me feel that I should be putting my feet up and doing as little as possible in these last few days of pregnancy. While I have cut down my daily working hours to a maximum of four hours a day, I intend to keep working up until I have the baby.
Before anyone decides this is a bad idea, consider my working conditions: I work from home and have a relatively stress-free job writing and consulting for clients who need help with public relations. I can do this sitting down, with most of my client contact done over email, the phone or Skype and the occasional business meeting. I work four days a week while my son is at day care or his grandparents and, in the past few weeks, haven’t even been working all those days. I feel this is a good balance between taking it easy before my baby is born, being a mum, honouring my commitments to my clients and keeping my brain active without completely succumbing to ‘baby brain’.
Before Christmas I had a couple of episodes that had me being monitored in hospital, but turned into nothing much. The first was suspected pre-eclampsia as I had high blood pressure, puffy feet, a constant headache and protein in my urine. I was sent to the maternity day assessment unit for five hours of monitoring and left with no sign of pre-eclampsia and low blood pressure! I had been quite sick with bronchitis for several weeks and it seems that illness and the antibiotics I’d taken for it had affected my results. I was allowed to go home and had to come back the following week for another check.
The following week was Christmas Eve and I duly reported to the assessment unit for monitoring again. My blood pressure was still low and dropped to 90/60 by the time I left so I was warned about possible fainting. Admittedly I didn’t take it all too seriously until I went to do some last-minute Christmas shopping that afternoon and broke out in a cold sweat and felt dizzy. I was on my own and felt like I could vomit or pass out any second. That made me think I needed to slow a bit and so I decided to not work over the Christmas long weekend and take a complete break with my family.
By the following Monday I was refreshed and ready to get back into some work, but at the reduced hours I mentioned above. That was three weeks ago now and I have stuck to the working hours, taken advantage of no childcare during the break to spend extra time with my son and made some time to relax and plan for the new baby. This balance works for me and I feel fine, except for the puffy feet in these 30-something-degree days! Last time my blood pressure was checked it was back to normal for me – 110/75, so I must be doing something right.
How do you feel about working up until the baby is born? Do you prefer a month or so off beforehand, working reduced hours or making no changes until the baby comes?
Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:00 AM
Joh as I have said about my girls do what you feel comfortable with. Always remember if you want to come to Westfield ring me and I will organise the time to come with you so it is easier then again I will come down there for shopping too.
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