Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to read Part 1 of the series for Karina’s insights into the first trimester!
Welcome to the Honeymoon!
So, you’re in your second trimester and you may be starting to feel a lot better already. Reduced nausea and increased energy are a major perk along with getting closer to finding out your baby’s gender. (Unless you’re keeping it a surprise, of course!) Amidst all the fun, there’s a lot of prep you can do around your workplace to get ready for your leave and keep loving your pregnancy.
The Big News
Every woman is unique in when she spills the beans on her big news. If you haven’t already told your office, your bump may not be helping you keep secrets much longer. This is a great time to figure out if and how you want to tell your colleagues.
Keep it Simple: A quick email to your direct team or closest coworkers is a nice way to softly announce you’re expecting. Be sure to specifically say if you’d like them to stay mum on the topic. Social media is another great way to let the news spread organically. If you’re connected with colleagues on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and plan on doing an announcement there, you can be sure you have all your bases covered.
Get Creative: Test your coworker’s attention by casually reading a parenting magazine or putting your scan photo up as screensaver and see who notices. Another fun idea—make them guess. Bring in your scan photo with a sign that says “Who’s My Mom?” Let them write their guesses and give the winner a treat.
Questions and Commentary: Telling your coworkers the news may open the door for unlimited and unrequested advice and questions. You may feel comfortable answering those questions, but if you’re not, this is a great time to practice setting boundaries. Although most people are well intentioned in their excitement, don’t hesitate to shut someone down who is making you uncomfortable. I've found that saying, “Thanks for the tip, but we’re just taking it one day at a time and trying to enjoy it,” was a great way to get overzealous people to back off.
Maternity Leave is your new BFF
We all know having a baby is no vacation, but who isn’t a little excited about leave? Yet maternity and paternity leave can be more confusing than you originally imagined. No matter what you think you know about your company’s leave policy, I guarantee there’s information you’ll encounter that will surprise you. Sit down with your HR or benefits person now and get a clear idea of your policy—make sure to discuss what your state disability will cover, what your company will cover, and what other coverage you may be eligible for in your state.
Also, be nice to your benefits person. Leave policies are not always straightforward and you may need to have a couple meetings with them before you get all your info in order. One thing I can promise you, the earlier you do this, the more prepared and confident you’ll be once you’re on leave.
Un-Cramp Your Style
As you get farther along in your second trimester, you and baby will go through your first big growth spurt. That means your clothes may start to get a lil’ bit tighter and less comfortable. Here are some top items to help you get comfortable as your body changes:
Get a pair of maternity jeans. I know what you’re thinking, I thought the same thing. But let me spell this out for you: Elastic waistband—YES! No zipper or button—OH HELL YES! You will not regret putting these dream pants on.
Get comfortable shoes. Your back, hips and legs will thank you for tossing those impractical flats with no arch support and getting a real shoe. There are so many cute options now, you won’t be forced to don your great aunt Jene’s orthotics just to stay comfy.
Don’t invest too much in maternity clothes. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you can make other everyday pieces work for you throughout pregnancy. Maternity clothes don’t fit the same once baby is out, so make sure you have some clothes ready as your body transitions during all these stages.
The second trimester is a great time to plan and prepare for the big adventure you have ahead of you, but remember, the tips from Part 1 of this article aren’t out the window! Staying healthy, active and focused on your well-being is a key part to enjoying every aspect of this journey. These tips and tricks are like puzzle pieces that all work together to keep you sane and your job manageable. This trimester, enjoy the fun of announcing your news, start to think ahead for your leave and get those maternity jeans—you won’t regret it!
The countdown continues—stay tuned for info on how to navigate your way through your last trimester. We’ll talk about getting ready to hand over your duties, finding ways to stay comfortable in the office and how to set healthy work boundaries when on leave!
What was your second trimester like? What did you wish you knew then that you know now? Share your advice with fellow office ninjas below!