Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

5 Tips for Enduring Pregnancy in the Tech World

Me trying to take in the smell of success…or as far as I could manage with the baby belly.

Growing up, I wasn’t around many pregnant women. All I knew of pregnant life was from the media, and the media had me convinced that I had glowing skin, prime parking and fashionable maternity clothes to look forward to. The reality wasn’t so glamorous.

I’ll admit, I felt like a total mess at the start of it all. Like there was some secret pregnancy sauce that other women had figured out and the only way I could get it was on all the pasta I was eating (I went through an intense Zoodles phase).

I’m a Product Designer for a large EdTech company and the core of my role is problem solving. It’s why I thrive and why I love my job. So I channeled this skill and started to solve my pregnancy woes. Ive concocted my own special sauce but I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want to share it with you. And hey, it’s calorie free!

Here’s my top 5 tips:

S & M (saltines & mouthwash)

For some odd reason, my morning sickness would sneak up on me around 930 in the morning, just as my work day was getting into full swing. There is nothing worse than being sick and then having to sit in closed quarter’s for a team meeting. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but feeling self conscious about your pregnancy breath and trying to settle your stomach aren’t great. I found stocking up on mouthwash and saltines to be really helpful. Having these on hand will allow you to freshen up before a meeting and ward off any ongoing nausea.

Talk the Talk AND Walk the Walk

I carried very low which made sitting through long meetings near the end really difficult. It was like I had ants in my pants — I just could not sit still. Finally I got sick of apologizing for my fidgeting and asked to do a walking meeting instead. It was a game changer. I could actually be comfortable and engage in good conversations. If you’re able to walk I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it so much that I’m going to keep it up once I’m back to work.

ParTEAcipate

During my first trimester I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee and my doctor had told me to reduce my caffeine intake for the extent of my pregnancy. Alas, my coffee mug sat lonely on the corner of my desk. But my mug wasn’t the only one missing out, I too had stepped away from the casual conversations with my coworkers I used to engage in. I found the best compromise was to bring my own raspberry leaf tea (which is great for pregnancy) when people would go for coffee. This way I could remain engaged while doing my body and baby good.

Stand-up in Spirit

Where I work I’m embedded in the development team for the projects I’m on and we run Agile. This means I’m part of a few stand-ups every day that in theory are supposed to be short but that isn’t always the reality. Walking I could do, standing for long periods of time was a no go. Enter virtual stand-ups. Lucky for me, my one team already had this implemented using Talky.io for some of the remote team members. It allowed me to partake in the stand-ups at the end of my third trimester and on days when I had to work from home. (Plus there is a really fun spaceship game you get to play when you’re waiting for the meeting to start.)

Exercise Ball

I have to say that there were two things I hated the most about being pregnant that took me by surprise: not being able to cross my legs and how sweaty my thighs would get from being crushed by my belly. They both happened when I would sit in my office chair and we’re finally solved when I started using a big exercise ball. Freedom! I know they look ridiculous but you will sing their praise when you no longer dread your work chair. If you sit a lot for your job I highly recommend it.

Remember ladies, being successful and being pregnant are not mutually exclusive. I hope these tips lead you to a joyous and productive journey.