The third trimester is when your body starts preparing for the birthing process. Your pelvic joints will loosen and your baby will grow rapidly. With the exception of few special cases, most working women continue to work, right until the end of the third trimester without facing any health challenge.
Travelling during the third trimester will be extremely restricted as air travel is not allowed. While travelling to work by road, you may have to ensure that the speed of the vehicle is moderate and avoid bumpy rides.
As the months progress your speed will slacken and you will find it hard to exert yourself. Do not let that bog you down mentally. Mentors and senior colleagues are usually aware of the physical and emotional challenges a working woman goes through in the last trimester of pregnancy. They will take into account your limitations during this period while assigning new work to you.
The latter phase of this trimester will also be the time when you may have to participate in the process of handover of your job responsibilities to someone else who has been appointed or delegated the task of taking over from you while you proceed on maternity leave. For some women, this can be an emotionally challenging situation as the uncertainty of their future career prospects after becoming mother hits home for the first time. But let that not be a cause of concern or worry. The decision to have a baby is one of the most empowering decisions a woman takes and though having an identity outside the home is equally important, sometimes it is all about prioritising under the circumstances as they present themselves. The first few years are crucial in a baby’s life and it is during those years that the baby needs the presence of the mother more than later. For a professionally competent woman, taking a break from work to devote few years to her child should not result in the feeling of disempowerment. If you and your partner feel that the child will be taken better care of with you at home full time, go ahead with the decision happily. Seeing your child grow in front of your eyes will give you joys that you have never experienced before.
However, if you intend to return to work, this is probably a good time to ask your other colleagues who are already mothers about the various child care options available and the ones that they specifically recommend. You will need some time to assess your options before making your choice.
While all of the above is going on, continue your established practice of eating smaller meals at frequent intervals. During the last trimester, your hunger pangs will increase manifold and it will be better if you carry healthy snacks options like fruits, nuts, boiled corn, frozen yoghurt with you to work. You can also carry fruit juices to sip on while your colleagues enjoy their tea break.
A pregnant woman can go into labour suddenly, any time after the 37th week has been completed and sometimes even before that. You should make one of your colleagues aware of the protocol to be followed in case your water breaks while at work or you begin experiencing contractions. Share the contact details of your gynaecologist and your immediate relatives who need to be informed in case of an emergency situation.
Depending on your physical parameters, your gynaecologist will advice you on when to start your maternity leave. Some proceed on leave after completing the 38th week of gestation while others, specifically those who undergo planned birthing, proceed on leave as per the schedule of preparation and hospital admission. Before starting your maternity leave, ensure that all your pending work has either been delegated or completed so that you can enjoy the maternity leave period with your baby without having to worry about work.