A woman’s career is one of the most important things to her which the negative impact of pregnancy and childbirth affects the most.
For many women, their desires surround having a successful career, looking good, living healthy, and having a good life— married, and with kids.
Due to this, there’s a lot of hats that women have to wear, and sometimes one aspect of life— like pregnancy and childbirth, tends to affect the career projection.
Despite wanting a good career, living for themselves, and building the dream family. Women have a lot of bargains to make, sometimes where they have to prioritise one for the other. That is, struggling to find a balance to provide fulfillment for each dream and aspirations, and building a home with beautiful kids.
How does pregnancy and childbirth impact a Woman’s Career.
Although the pregnancy and childbirth stage is different for many women. Some have it easy, while it’s a daunting time for others.
Here are a few ways they have negative impact on a woman’s career:
- The pregnancy stage comes with a lot of complications for many women from fatigue, to vomiting, major body changes, and psychological effects that may hinder focus on other tasks, thereby causing a stop in other activities at that point in time.
- Childbirth can be accompanied with postpartum depression, anxiety, and feeling undesirable due to body changes.
- It causes the woman to battle with the desire of attaining management position or getting the masters done, dealing with how her physical body has changed as a result, and worry on what to do.
- It may cause self-loathing for some women because they want to enjoy the feeling of having a baby but are unable to do so because of how other aspects of it have overpowered their thoughts.
Anonymous account on impact of pregnancy and childbirth on a woman’s career trajectory.
An interview with Mrs. A, a graduate and finance personnel, who started her career during her NYSC (National Youth Service Commission) service year, up until her marriage. The rollercoaster began when she got pregnant and became terribly ill. She had to visit the doctor’s place weekly.
As someone who was working for a private company, she had lots of deliverables that she couldn’t meet up with. This led to her working from home and having to receive half her remuneration and working on specific days. Before childbirth, her condition intensified and she had to stop working, and no work means no pay.
“I felt so inadequate even though I was excited about having a child,” she said. It was a rollercoaster of emotions that she had to deal with as a woman who wanted a good career but had to stop over to do better for herself and the health of her baby. Of course, she mentioned that after childbirth, she left to find a way to go back to work after stopping for about a year. This involved putting the child in a crèche to afford her freedom to work. She mentioned that her husband was helpful during the process and that helped in managing her tasks and seeing things from a better perspective.
She further said that she thinks having a supportive partner is the way it can be easy and bearable because she could not have imagined going through that without him.
While pregnancy and childbirth may be hassle free for some women, the above account shows that pregnancy and childbirth can put a halt to lots of life changing decisions for some women, causing them to not only feel inadequate but also want to do more.. This also does not remove the rewarding and beautiful nature of how women feel about being pregnant.
Managing the Impact
Although the way pregnancy and childbirth will impact the woman’s career cannot be predicted. Here are a few ways it can be managed to afford a work-life balance.
- Accept support from your partner: Having a supportive partner poses a lot of benefit to women from how it helps you manage your time, and take turns in taking care of the kids. Accept that you cannot do it alone, and ask that your partner take certain roles to reduce the stress on you.
- Get help: There are times where getting help is absolutely necessary. Let someone offer their support to you or employ someone who can help you with some of the work you have to do.
- Plan your pregnancies: Having a plan to start having kids is necessary to help you plan ahead— to shift work leave or take on simpler tasks than usual. This puts you in control of the situation.
- Think remote/hybrid work mode: Having the mindset that you can opt for this kind of work mode helps you apply for offers that are related to such work, as they offer you some time to also manage yourself better and take care of your kids.
Having a child and building a career is a dream for many women, while this is so, the effect this pregnancy and childbirth may have on women cannot be predicted and as such, women try to find a balance between career and family hoping that the effects are not overly disruptive. Many women do not want to marry early because they’re not ready to have a child and build that commitment.