How To Survive Freelancing While Pregnant

by | Apr 25, 2016 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

I first realized pregnancy was weird when my older, pregnant sister informed me that the freshly rained-on dirt smelled good … to eat. From odd pica symptoms to debilitating physical pains, women have a lot of obstacles to overcome throughout pregnancy. For those who decide to continue freelancing while pregnant, the difficulties can be even greater – but not insurmountable. Here are some of the challenges and questions I faced while freelancing during my pregnancy, as well as a few pointers for surviving those grueling nine months.

Should You Tell Your Boss You Are Pregnant?

Deciding whether or not to tell your boss about your pregnancy is a completely personal choice. However, if your symptoms are affecting your writing output, you may want to give your manager a heads up. I decided to inform my managers of my pregnancy when morning sickness made it impossible for me to keep up with my usual workload. Thankfully, they were extremely understanding and gave me permission to turn out a lower volume of SEO articles until I started feeling better.

Be Realistic About Limitations

At some point during your time as a human incubator, your ability to work will almost certainly be affected to some degree. Of course, there are a few lucky women who actually feel better when pregnant (if you are one of them, congratulations … and I am totally jealous of you).

My sister is one of those lucky ladies who feels like a million bucks whenever she’s expecting. She spends nine months of bliss waltzing around whistling happy tunes to her unborn child and cleaning her immaculate house. Meanwhile, I spend my nine months of hard time alternating between stuffing my face and running to the nearest toilet before saltine crackers end up all over my maternity shirt.

Whether pregnancy makes you happy and energetic or weepy and “hangry,” keeping up with your professional responsibilities during those long nine months can be tricky. If necessary, work with your boss to temporarily reduce your workload while you are expecting. Cut yourself a little slack if you find that you are unable to handle as much as usual. If you push yourself too hard, you will end up overly stressed and grumpy (which isn’t fun for anyone, trust me).

Working Around Pregnancy Symptoms

As if carrying a growing human being inside of you isn’t already difficult enough, it is not uncommon to experience joint pain and even tendonitis symptoms during pregnancy. Here are a few tips for working around your various pregnancy symptoms:

  • Take frequent breaks. Over-taxing your body is a great way to end up on bed rest or unable to write for a few days. I found that taking a break every half hour to walk and stretch my muscles helped me avoid excessive muscle tension. It also cleared my mind so that I could write more efficiently when I returned to my desk.
  • Avoid writing about food if you have a queasy stomach. I made the mistake of picking up a couple of food branded blogs during my first trimester. One gave me such intense cravings that I spent the next 20 minutes rummaging through my cupboards for snacks. The other made me so nauseous I had to quit writing for several hours. Go figure.
  • Switch your writing schedule around if necessary. If you tend to feel tired and sick in the morning, try to rearrange your schedule and do most of your writing in the evening or whenever you feel most energetic.
  • Pamper yourself. I scheduled regular monthly massages to relieve the extra pressure on my achy muscles. The difference it made on my mood and comfort level while writing was drastic.
  • Make your writing space more ergonomically friendly. Purchasing an ergonomic keyboard and a mouse that was a better fit for my hand made writing a lot less painful.

What worked well for me may not work for everyone, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what makes you most comfortable while writing. If you have any additional tips for freelancing while pregnant, I want to hear them! Feel free to share your ideas and experiences in the comments section below.

Shelly Peterson

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