Free Trial Mini-Class Preparing Your Employer

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll soon 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.  (N.B.  Our full course, available here, offers many useful links to MB support groups in your area.)

Research Rights and Responsibilities Sooner Rather Than Later…

Pregnant with TwinsIt might be a good idea to research your employment rights and responsibilities before you go in to speak with your boss.  Employers tend to be supportive, but in case yours isn’t, you’ll know what your legal expectations should be before getting into a heated debate that will only cause stress to everyone!

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!

Modify Work, Rest Often

When I was pregnant with 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 put my 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 for the final few weeks before our boys arrived at 37.5 weeks gestation!

Here are some tips from other Parents of Multiples, for navigating the workplace before your babies arrive:

 
Tell your boss as soon as you find out you are having multiples, so that s/he can help ease the transition from full-time worker to full-time parent. Communicating with your workplace early on in your pregnancy gives everyone time to get used to the idea, and to get on board with needed support.  My employer and I made arrangements for me to work at home 2-3 days a week during most of my second and all of my third trimester!

–Jelna, triplets, 8 months

 

If you have short term disability because you are technically at high risk, then get a note from your doctor and go home as early as possible. 20 weeks is a good time to go home. (I was considered extreme high risk and went home at 13 weeks… and then delivered at 29 weeks).

 Also, a few challenges` with work and EI as a mother of preemies: “Things are not equal…”

If your babies are born prematurely, make sure you claim compassionate care with your employer and Employment Insurance  (check your local regulations), otherwise you will start your mat leave the day you delivered, not on your due date…  I lost 11 weeks of mat leave at the NICU-  I found out 6 months later I could have claimed compassionate care and not have lost 3 months of mat leave at the hospital!

–Isabelle, B/G twins, 15 months

 

Communicating frankly and early on with your employer benefits everyone, as you are more likely to be able to work longer with accommodations.  And if you do have complications during your pregnancy, your employer will have had some preparation for that possibility.

 

Who’s Staying Home?

stay-at-home twins dad

Now is also the time to consider who is staying home.  Most countries now offer parental leave to either parent, and many fathers are taking advantage of the opportunity to stay home for all or part of the year following the arrival of their twins, triplets or more.  Although we had planned for me to stay home with Alex and Simon, in the end, I took the first few months, and then my husband Trevor stayed home for the remainder of the year.  You can read his story in our full course, available by registering below:

 

Once you have talked more about how you will handle child care those early weeks/months, and have made a plan for communicating with your employer, please continue on to the third and final lesson in our free trial: “Organizing Your Friends and Family”.

 


Design by: Joel Rendall | Content by: Vera C. Teschow
© All Rights Reserved. Babies in Belly