Advocating for Yourself at Work

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 10-11-2009

As you may have already discovered, a multiples pregnancy is vastly different from having a singleton, and it is helpful to surround yourself with a network of support as soon as possible.

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll also need to begin the dialogue with your employer. Bosses who only have experience with singleton pregnancies tend to underestimate the nature and timelines of accommodations necessary for employees pregnant with multiples, so you may need to do some gentle but firm education, supported—if necessary – by a doctor’s note or some fact sheets from your national multiple birth’s support group.

Unlike many of your singleton counterparts, you will NOT be working up to your due date, so your employer will soon need to start considering a transition plan for your successor, if a temp is being hired. Modified work schedules and the opportunity to rest for 20-45 minutes daily are very real ways in which you can support your pregnancy and your employer can squeeze extra productivity out of you. (You’ll be of no use to him at home on bedrest or in the hospital with premature labour pains!) Heavy lifting is also a no-no, so be sure to establish clear guidelines with your employer asap. And get help, if you need to!

When I was pregnant with my twins Alex and Simon, I made sure to rest daily, often by going out to the car to have a nap! I also took to bringing an extra chair and snacks into meetings. Everyone laughed as my big belly and I appeared in the room, and I heaved my swollen feet unceremoniously up onto the extra chair. But I believe that these measures helped me to work up to 34 weeks before finally succumbing to the living room couch like a beached whale for the final few weeks before our boys arrived at 37.5 weeks gestation!

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