By Brittany Caito
It was a scary experience starting a job with a new company while being six months pregnant, but I lucked out with Comcast Business. The company not only embraced me and my pregnancy but supported me with excellent benefits and leave. Even with their support, going through pregnancy while working can be overwhelming.
I found out I was pregnant a few days before a big industry holiday event. If you’re in the channel too, you know about the epic holiday parties with great food and great people. This one featured raw oysters, ahi tuna and a seafood platter – a pregnant woman’s nightmare. The good news is, I made it out alive to share these thoughts with you.
For the record, I’m pregnant for the first time, so I am in no way an expert in the field. And, I’m not speaking on behalf of Comcast; I’m simply sharing some tips with friends and colleagues who are pregnant and planning to take maternity leave or thinking of starting a family soon.
Here are 10 things you should consider before you go on maternity leave.
- Learn the difference between the benefits your company offers for parental leave vs. Family Medical Leave Act short-term disability. These options can be confusing. Read up on the legal jargon that accompanies each one. You typically can find this in an employee handbook from HR.
- Have the conversation about your plans with your boss early.You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you have a plan laid out for leaving and resuming work. And we take wins wherever we can, right?
- Know that traveling gets tough. Traveling became difficult for me at about six months. Walking through a large airport was like running a marathon. Plane seats became even more uncomfortable. If you travel for work, try to schedule the majority of it in the early stages of your pregnancy.
- Buy maternity clothes for work. It isn’t super fun to shop for maternity clothes that are suitable for the office, but they’re necessary for meetings and events throughout pregnancy. Don’t feel pressure to spend a fortune on work maternity clothes; get the basic staples and change them up with accessories and blazers that you already own.
- Planning to breast feed? Before buying a breast pump, ask your insurance company what they cover.
- Take breaks when you need them. Remember what I said in tip No. 2? If you need a PTO day to “get it together”, to nap all day, to put your swollen feet up, take the time to do it. It will make you a better employee. That advice also goes for those who aren’t pregnant!
- Watch “Working Moms” on Netflix.Enough said.
- Follow Pregnant Chicken Blog While there are lots of blogs for expectant mothers out there, this one is hilarious and may cheer you up from potential pregnancy blues.
- Ask for a designated pumping area at work. Ask HR if there’s a private room for mothers to pump breast milk. Plenty of moms before us have pumped in their cars or bathrooms, but it never hurts to ask. If they don’t have one, maybe they will create one for you and future moms!
- “Time goes by fast, so enjoy it.” People who tell you to enjoy your pregnancy usually are not currently pregnant. You’re allowed to feel like it’s taking forever for this kid to pop out. Instead, go ahead and enjoy that doughnut, milkshake, pickles, etc., that you’re craving.
About the Author
Brittany Caito is a senior manager of field engagement in the Comcast Business Indirect Channel program, where she is she is focused on driving marketing activities and field engagement to help create net new sales opportunities and accelerate existing sales opportunities. Caito is an industry veteran with more than 10 years of channel and telecom experience in various roles at Time Warner Cable, BroadView Networks and Windstream. She employs a unique, out-of-the-box perspective to develop bold, new strategies. Caito graduated from North Carolina State University and is a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan. She has made Raleigh’s thriving technology hub her home. She considers dogs like children and is an animal welfare advocate.