Welcome to 2019. Unless you’re living under a rock, you might have noticed an uptick in a certain demographic in the workplace… Moms! In an industry traditionally dominated by women, catering to the unique needs of moms and moms-to-be is nothing new in the PR world. Regardless, some workplaces do it better than others.
I might be biased. I think I work at the best lifestyle PR agency in the biz. Especially after my experience at Konnect through my first pregnancy. The team at Konnect has set incredibly high standards when it comes to creating the very best workplace for moms-to-be. With their example in mind, here are some of the best practices that have made working through my pregnancy a breeze.
Come From Both Sides With No Expectations – Every Pregnancy is Different
The first trimester of pregnancy can be rough. For some expecting moms, it never gets better.
I was so sick the first few months of my pregnancy that I had to tell my manager I was expecting well before I was comfortable looping in my friends and family. As the weeks ticked by, I realized that my morning sickness, which I was told was usually limited to the first trimester, was not going away. As my pregnancy symptoms became less and less traditional, I was constantly worried about when my support would run out. There had to be a certain point when I’d receive that dreaded email –‘Really? You’re still sick? You were supposed to be better by X week!’
Because Konnect is an outstanding workplace surrounded by women who have lived through multiples pregnancies, our management team knows that each mom-to-be struggles with unique setbacks through each phase of pregnancy – something I wasn’t fully aware of when I started my own prenatal journey. I was beyond lucky to never receive that dreaded email, but instead increased support – which was exactly what I need as my 24/7 nausea stretched well past week 20.
Flexibility and understanding – You often won’t find it anywhere else
Regardless of how cute your bump is, or how absolutely awful you feel, dishes still need to be done. Laundry needs to be folded. Dinner needs to be made (or ordered, I do live in New York in the 2010s). Hospitals and OB/GYN offices have schedules to follow and other patients to see. In short, even as a pitied pregnant lady, don’t expect to catch a break in day-to-day life. I can’t tell you how shocked I was to be yelled at on the phone by a hospital scheduling assistant after explaining how desperate I was for a new appointment time, or how few times a seat was given to me on the Subway regardless of my swollen belly.
Work becoming a haven for me was something I never expected. Unlike almost every other consistent in my life, I knew I could expect flexibility from Konnect every single day. Not feeling well? Work from home and head in when you can. Doctor running late? Totally understand, let us know when you’re on your way back to the office. Need to take an extra break to grab a muffin to quell your nausea? Grab a few for us, too!
Make it Fun – Being Excited Makes Mom Feel Comfortable!
Becoming a working mom is a decision laced with massive amounts of internal conflict. I firmly believe even the most excited, born-to-be-mom kind of women face many sleepless nights wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into once they find out they’re expecting.
Feeling excitement from my seniors, including my CEO, made me feel more comfortable about the decision to become a working mom. Sure it was a little embarrassing, but having co-workers insist on seeing my belly during video calls, giving me the token belly rub after not seeing me for a while, and just checking in from time to time helped me stay positive and think to myself, ‘I can do this.’ Hormones and self-doubt are at an all-time high for women during pregnancy. Having a workplace that can balance out these negative forces is priceless.