Congratulations, you’re expecting! There’s just the small matter of getting through the next eight months at work, and that long list of things to do and buy. Follow our guide to making the most of your time at work before your baby arrives.
As your pregnancy develops you’ll find there are increasing demands on your time. Your working day will soon feel like an unnecessary distraction in between maternity appointments and bargain-hunting for baby equipment!
But there are things you can do now to make life easier once your baby is born – you’ll thank yourself in nine months’ time!
Make the best use of internet access
Of course you’re not supposed to be surfing on work time, but there’s no harm in using your lunch hour to do some online shopping for baby gear.
Research is the key to making the best purchases and getting the best deal, and you’ll avoid having to give up precious weekend time with your partner trawling around baby stores.
You can also use this time to find out about local baby classes, drop-ins and other activities that you can join once you’ve had your little one. You may not have the energy to look into this with a newborn.
Research your childcare options
You haven’t even left yet, but like it or not, you’ll probably be back at work before you know it. Start searching for childcare providers in your area and working out how much you can afford.
Some nurseries and childminders have long waiting lists and you need to get in early if you want to bag a place.
You can use your lunch hour to visit potential providers or drop by after work at pick-up time – that way you can speak to other mums to find out what they think of the care.
Find out about your company’s policies
Does your company offer a childcare voucher scheme through payroll, to help you save money? Are you entitled to a return-to-work bonus?
Even if this is your second baby, you might find that policies have changed, so use your remaining time at work to check with your HR department and plan for your return. It’ll be easier now than over the phone with a baby on your knee.
Speak to other mums at work
Will you want to work full-time once you’ve had your baby? Find out from other mums in your office about how they found the return to work, how they negotiated their hours and if they have a flexible working pattern.
Their tips will help you decide what you want to do when you come back and give you an idea of any problems you might face on your return – so have these chats while you can.
Find new patterns of working
You don’t need to wait until you’ve had your baby to request flexible working – although your employer is not statutorily obliged to consider it.
Many pregnant workers find their employers are willing to let them work from home or travel after rush hour, though. And if you make these negotiations now, and prove you can still do your job with your new set-up, you’ll set yourself in good stead for a flexible working pattern on your return.
Double up on lunches
Still enjoying microwave ready meals or fresh soups for lunch? You probably won’t be able to when you’ve another mouth to feed – so, if you can, buy two and take one home for your freezer. You’ll save your future self some time and cash.