By Latha Krishnan
If your eyes got riveted to this title then I am assuming that you are either planning to start a family or already expecting a baby or have just given birth to a beautiful new life in your family.
As I am a mom who has juggled her way mentally, physically and emotionally from a full time employee in a Software firm to a working mother, I thought I would share some tips with you to help you swiftly prepare or juggle through these roles.
Stage 1 - Planning to Start a Family
This is a big decision for a lady who is an ambitious workaholic like me because till now I am sure you have mastered the art of balancing between Family (mine is nuclear with visits from in-laws), Home and Work. But the real journey is about to start now, with your decision to bring into this world your own little bundle of joy!
How to plan things out:
- Career Growth Plan - If you are ambitious and live in a nuclear family without any elderly support (which is very common these days), then take time out and think whether you are ready to take it easy on the work front for a few years. If you are expecting a promotion soon, then grab that opportunity and then go ahead with your family plans. It will give you a mental happiness, financial boost and confidence. This is essential because as soon as your precious baby comes into this world your priorities in life will start changing. But do not worry, these little ones soon grow up and want to be independent and run around with friends. Till then you need to be there for them to teach them good values so that you won’t need to worry later. In no time you will be back in action and will be working hard towards your next venture.
- Close Friend/Confidant - It is always good to discuss and learn from your friends who have already passed through this journey. But do not set any idea on stone because every mother and child combination is unique and things that worked out for others might or might not work out for you. Just learn from them so that you are prepared to face different situations in your case. Be flexible!
- Gynaecologist with a good track record - Search well for a good gynaecologist either through online information or word of mouth. Shortlist the ones you think would work for you and do a general visit with your husband to finalise one. Ensure that you look for aspects like distance, experience, number of normal deliveries vs. C-section deliveries, which hospitals do they work for, reviews about them online etc. A gynaecologist must make you feel safe and confident throughout your pregnancy, this increases the chances of a smooth delivery process.
- Ultrasound Clinic - In case your Gyne’s clinic does not offer ultrasound facility, look out for a good one closest to your Gynaecologist. This will help later when you have to get an ultrasound and get it checked with the Gyne without too much hassle. Sometimes the Gyne recommend a specific clinic. If you are ok with their recommendation then go ahead with it.
Stage 2 - Things to keep in mind when you are Pregnant
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in life. Even if you are busy with work, travel and home, ensure that you and your hubby take time out to experience and enjoy the wonders of this entire cycle of gestation and birth.
How to plan things out:
- Healthy Diet - Keep in mind that a new life is growing within you and needs a lot of nutrition for its complete and healthy development at various stages. So ensure that you include a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fresh juices and dairy products in your daily diet and have well balanced meals. This will improve your immunity and keep common diseases at bay as you may not be able to take any usual antibiotic medication during pregnancy. This will naturally boost the health of both you and your baby.
- Walk - Even if you do not have ample time to do pregnancy related exercises, you would be pleased to know that a good waking regime is all you need. So even if you are at work, take frequent break to just walk to the water dispenser/washroom. Take a little walk around the office premises with a friend/colleague if possible. After dinner go out for a walk with your hubby. It is not only good for you, but it increases the quality time you have with your hubby.
- Travel/Hobbies/Sleep - The first and second trimesters are generally smooth sailing in case of normal pregnancies. So it is a good time to take some time out with your hubby or family to travel for rejuvenation or relaxation. Don’t overdo it with hiking or strenuous travel plans, it should be less travel and more relaxing and enjoying good food, views and company. If you have some hobbies, then indulge in them in your free time. Sleep whenever you wish to, it is also good for you at this stage. Because after delivery as a new mom you will have so many new things to cope up with and learn which will not leave you with much time or energy to indulge in these things until you get accustomed.
- Read/Watch/Listen to lots of Positive and Happy Things - Listen to good music, fill your room with lovely pictures, watch good videos with your hubby like happy movies, or about parenting or positivity. Read a variety of enchanting books. Register yourselves with a Pregnancy Application that keeps you up to date with information about your baby’s growth and development. You can do all this in your free time or when you are travelling to work.
- Practise Selective Hearing/Seeing - This is very crucial, because at this stage of motherhood ladies tend to become very emotional and as a result take everything to heart. So I practised selective hearing, which worked out really well for me. You just have to ignore people (or things) who are doing unnecessary gossip, asking you stupid questions or trying to ruin your happy mood in any way whatsoever. All you have to remember is, they are not worth it! Because if you get all emotional and worked up, it will only affect you and your baby and nobody else.
- Prepare for the D Day - Ensure that you always ask your Gyne any queries you have. Do not Google things to get an answer, Google is not a doctor. Elders will keep giving you free advice, but please note that they are not always right because times keep changing with new technology, learning and discoveries. Get information from your HR on how to avail the mediclaim facility for delivery. Visit the Hospital/Clinic where you are planning to have a delivery and get to know what all you will be needing once you get admitted for delivery e.g. Mediclaim card, Complete medical records related to pregnancy, Stem Cell Banking information (if needed), Extra set of clothes for you and your newborn till the time you will be in the hospital, type of room you wish to be allotted, charges etc.
- Search for Nanny or Child Support - If you are in a nuclear family and do not have family support but are planning to continue working, then it will be a good idea to invest in a good experienced full time nanny who would also help you with the initial stages with the baby like bathing, massage, helping with breastfeeding (as sometimes it takes time for baby to latch for feeding). If you could search for such a trustworthy person, then it will save you a lot of hassle in later stages when you are planning to join back to work. If your office supports ‘Work From Home’, then discuss it with your management in advance to ‘Work From Home' for a certain period of time after completion of maternity leave. This will give you more assurance that your baby is safe and you are confident with the nanny taking good care. Or look out for a baby care center close to you office.
The lady plays a vital role, especially in the initial stages from pregnancy till the time your child starts going to school because no matter how much support you have, your kids need you around for everything. I have provided you a comprehensive guide for a smooth transition between a Full Time Working Woman to a Working Mom. I hope it helps you with your planning and decision to start your family.
Wishing you all the best!