Running a business during pregnancy

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Being an entrepreneur means navigating through challenges galore. But running a business, when you’re pregnant comes with a unique set of challenges.

Imagine this: you have your business running, and you get pregnant. Ideally, you should have a stable business before deciding to have a baby – this can be crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Suppose you have a mature business with good clients, then you can take maternity leave and not feel tense; you will be sure that you can kick-start the business again, when you are ready.

Plan and manage your pregnancy

Treat your pregnancy like a special project. The process is in fact, part of the plan. Take a critical look at your business team, then have a Plan B in place. Identify and delegate someone who can take on your role. This may be someone who will be able to take on tasks that you may not be able or willing to perform, as the going gets tough and you advance in your pregnancy.

Be flexible

Pregnancy brings in health issues that you had not imagined. And with it emerges problems that you may not be able to predict. It may be a little morning sickness, or you may be sick with nausea and exhaustion – all of which means you may have to adjust the workload and expectations of your team, clients, suppliers and so on. Then create a schedule that can work around your pregnancy.

Decide whether your business can survive your maternity leave

Is your business in its infancy and how many employees do you have? Or can you schedule clients’ works in advance. Decide how much of maternity leave you may have to take. It may be  three months leave, or it stretch a bit longer. But one thing is clear – you will have to come back and handle the full schedule upon your return from maternity leave. Of course, you will have to do the critical balancing act – and manage your personal and professional life.

Plan the fourth trimester

Getting through the pregnancy is the easy part compared to a new baby’s early months. The pregnancy goes through three trimesters; then plan a “fourth trimester.” Interestingly, one of the best things about being an entrepreneur is the ability to schedule your own working hours. You can work in between baby waking up and sleeping – like during the afternoon nap or after bedtime. Decide beforehand, how your working hours will change. Then start making the switch before the baby arrives so you and your clients, venders and employees have an opportunity to adjust. Your eco-system will be used to it, before D-day arrives.

Lastly,
it is advisable for entrepreneurial moms-to-be to announce the pregnancy with positivity and enthusiasm; and then, plan for what the new pattern in your life will mean for the business, both before and after the birth of the baby. That will not only help you to be on top of the game, but will also wave away any concerns about your ability to run the business effectively.

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