Ah, sweet summertime. Once upon a time, the season brought the scent of tanning oil and feel of the hot sand under your feet. Now it brings always-hungry kids and a line around the block to get an iced coffee. For some of us, it also brings summer babies. Precious little bundles wrapped in muslin who necessitate the wearing of massive, gauzy dresses all season and whose arrival provides an excuse to hang out in the AC until and long after it occurs.
I adored having a daughter in summer; there were still enough warm nights after her August birth to take long walks as a family and start gently burning off that baby weight. I loved relaxing with her on the back porch with a big glass of iced tea waiting for my husband to get home from work and take over while I took a cool shower. I also didn’t mind how fewer germs people seem to tote around in warmer months than cooler ones, another plus to having a summer baby!
Of course, one of the best parts of having any baby is picking out a baby name. I’m all about themes, so if you’re looking for a summery one for your bundle-to-be, this is the list to check. Spoiler Alert: my little girl did receive one of the monikers on this list of beautiful summer baby name ideas. Can you guess which one?
1. August (U)
Any baby born in the month of August would benefit from this strong-sounding name, which also lends to the precious boys’ nickname Auggie, or a more feminine version of the name — Augustina.
2. Azure (U)
A beautiful color name for a bright shade of blue, this moniker is perfect for a summer baby as it reflects the skies of summer and of course, ocean beach days.
3. Blu (U)
Another take on summer color names for baby, dropping the “e” from the color blue renders this is a chic option for your boy or girl.
4. Cal (B) Many people associate California with summertime, making this cute boys’ name a great option for your summer baby. If you want to feminize it, Calina or Calista are pretty options.
5. Coralie (G)
Also pretty in its English version, Coral, the French take on that most beautiful of sea growth makes for a super sweet summer baby girl name.
6. Cyrus (B)
Summer would be nothing without sunshine, so many names meaning “sun” appear on this list. This boys’ name has Persian roots and a biblical feel.
7. Dune (U) Your little beach baby will be giving off cool-kid vibes from the start with this unique name reminiscent of sandy summer days.
8. Dylan (U)
A more subtle homage to summer than some others on the list, Dylan is a popular choice for boys and girls. But it’s meaning, “son of the sea,” makes it an especially lovely pick for summer babies.
9. Eliane (G)
This beautiful Hebrew girls’ name meaning “sun” has a lyrical feel for your little one, and lends easily to sweet nicknames including Ellie and Lili.
10. Gem (G)
Getting creative with summer names, you can shorten Gemini, the Zodiac sign for babies born between May 21 and June 21, into this cute baby girl name.
11. Golden (U)
Like a ray of summer sunshine, this warm baby name will stand out in the kindergarten roster and beyond.
12. Helio (B)
Meaning “sun” in Spanish, this boys’ name is a perfect pick for your little man born this season.
13. June (U)
It has staying power for a reason: while more typically given to girls, June is a unisex baby name that has risen and fallen in popularity over the years and is now making a comeback. It also happens to be the month when summer starts!
14. Kalinda (G)
I did mention that “Sun” names would be showing up more than a little, right? This Hindi translation is just gorgeous for a summer baby girl.
15. Leo (B)
The boys’ answer to Gem mentioned above, Leo is a strong Zodiac name with multiple meanings and serves as the star sign for children born July 22 – Aug 23.
16. Marigold (G)
A summer-blooming flower with a bright, bold look that also lends to two precious nicknames, “Mari” and “Goldie.”
17. Marine (G)
Meaning “from the sea” in Latin, this beautiful baby girl name is a perfect pick for those born in summer.
18. Nerida (G)
Greek for “mermaid,” Nerida has a feel that’s just as mystical as its meaning and thusly precious for your summer girl.
19. Oceane (G)
From the French, this “sea” name is both ethereal and strong at once.
20. Reef (B)
Lest the coral-loving parents expecting baby boys should feel left out, this male option evokes a cool surfer dude and is sure to stand out in a crowd.
21. Seaton (B)
Bold and almost preppy sounding, Seaton means “town by the sea” in English and Scottish, and carries with it a strong masculine feel.
22. Shell (G)
Searching the sand for sea glass and shells is so inherently summer, your little girl will love growing up with this themed name.
23. Salana (G)
From the Latin, meaning sun. It has an exotic quality to it, but is easy to spell and pronounce.
24. Soleil (G)
Another “sun” name for baby girls. This one from the French, and gorgeously bohemian in feel.
25. Sorley (M)
A unique moniker for baby boys, Sorley translates to “summer sailor” in Irish and would be equally cute in the first or middle name position.
26. Summer (G)
May as well go for it, right? Your little summer girl will love growing into this classic name that hangs steady on the popular lists, currently in the top 200 for US girls.
27. Sunny (U)
Speaking of summertime, how about a cheerful unisex sunshine name that will have everyone smiling when they meet your precious summer babe?
28. Suvi (G)
A more unique take on Summer, this version is from the Finnish and has a foreign, chic quality to it, lending it a cool-girl quality your little will love.
29. Zinnia (G)
It wouldn’t be a summer baby name list without one more sweet flower. Zinnia is a summer bloom that’s bright and colorful to look at, and as a name it offers an edgy quality many flower names do not.
During my first pregnancy, I was nervous about what would happen to my body and how painful labor would actually be. You could say that I had some first-time jitters about the whole experience and so my mother suggested that I hire a doula. I had no idea what a doula was at the time but after meeting Anna, the woman who held my knees while I birthed my first child, I was forever sold on the magical experience of having a doula.
Throughout my pregnancy, Anna was calming and kind and she made my anxiety about pregnancy melt away. Her care in tandem with my midwife and my medical doctor is exactly why my son’s birth went as smoothly as it could have gone. If you’ve ever wondered what a doula is and what they do, then pull up a seat, I”m about to lay down some facts for you.
The word doula has Greek roots, and it means “servant of women” and generally refers to the centuries-old practice of women coaching mothers who are in labor. In modern times, a doula is someone, usually a woman, who is not medically trained but who assists during pregnancy, labor and birthing, and postpartum by being physical and emotional support for the mother. Doulas have become increasingly popular over the last decade and where they were once typically only found in midwifery clinics they are now commonly found in hospitals.
The types of services that a doula provides can vary but generally speaking, they support in the following ways:
Educate mothers about pregnancy health
Educates mothers about what to expect during labor
Provides nonjudgmental support during labor
Holds the mother hands during labor and provides physical comfort
After childbirth, doulas assist mothers with nursing, postpartum health, and rest
Doulas make sure that mother and baby are healthy and do postpartum check-ups
Is a doula right for you?
The primary role of a doula during labor and birth is to advocate for the mother no matter what kind of birth she is having. Moms who want to feel empowered and supported through the process of labor will often elect to hire a doula. Many insurance companies now cover the cost of a doula but if you end up paying out-of-pocket, the standard fee for a labor doula can range from $300 to $1000 and many will accept payment plans.
Try not to wait until you’re in labor to finally hire a doula, it is best to find a doula who feels like a good match for you as early in your pregnancy as you can.
Doulas do an amazing job at chaperoning a woman through her pregnancy and labor experience. By guiding you through your fears, explaining what to expect, and giving you practical tips on everything from breathing through contractions to postpartum care, a doula can be an invaluable resource not to mention a wonderful mental and emotional support.
Every pregnancy is a special and important journey and having a doula can help make that journey smooth. For more information about doulas or how to hire one, check out this expansive doula database at DONA International.
The female comedian extraordinaire, Amy Schumer, known for keeping all things real and relatable, especially when it comes to being a woman — is making us laugh yet again with her take on postpartum care. Just five weeks after giving birth to her son, Gene, Schumer is sharing her wisdom and pics on Instagram of something she can’t quite part with.
Her hospital mesh undies. Can you blame her, ladies? Sure, they aren’t stylish. But who the heck cares?! I think anyone who has ever given birth can totally relate to this. Those suckers are comfortable and they do their thang. Schumer says in her caption, “5 weeks. Hospital underwear for life!” And I couldn’t agree more!
This isn’t the first time Schumer has documented the realities of new mom life and postpartum recovery in her own special way. She recently shared a photo of herself pumping breast milk with the caption, “Guys what are we doing tonight?” alongside the hashtag #ootd.
I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to watching her well documented journey into motherhood!
You and your partner finally settled on a baby name after months of negotiating. But have you chosen a middle name yet? Sometimes choosing the right middle name for a baby is even harder than deciding on a first name. It has to blend nicely with the first name, plus your want it to meaningful, cool and unique. Whether you want a trendy and daring middle name or a classic and old school middle name, there are plenty of options out there for you. Here is a list of 40 to consider.
This heavenly word name works just as beautifully for boys and girls.
Don’t let the “a” at the end fool you—Asa, which means healer, is actually more popular for boys.
Bay is a short and sweet name with a seaside vibe.
Share your joy about your baby by literally giving him a name that means happiness.
Queen Bey may have picked this for her older daughter, but this bright color name can work for babies of either sex.
Trending right now for both boys and girls, thanks to actress Cameron Diaz and Modern Family character Cameron Tucker, this middle name has Scottish flair and a funny meaning—crooked nose.
The English word for valley has been linked with legendary race drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Sr., and singing cowgirl Dale Evans, most famous for a string of western musicals and her marriage and show with her partner, Roy Rogers.
This shortened variation on Andrew shares its meaning, strong.
Ever names (like Everly and Everest) have become a popular name choice, but thins one suits both boys and girls equally well.
A charming name of Scottish and Irish origin, Finley means fair-haired hero.
Garland is an old-fashioned name with a tie to movie legend Judy Garland.
An off-the-radar color name pick, Gray is often the nickname of the uberpopular boys’ name, Grayson.
Jessica Alba helped launch this word name, which means safe harbor, into popularity.
A Shakespearean character name favorite, Hero works beautifully for both boys and girls.
A top 10 boys’ name for centuries, James has been a popular pick for baby girls in recent years, thanks to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Whether you’re a fan of the Beatles’ classic or the saint, Jude makes the perfect unisex middle name.
Kai comes to us from several different languages, with several different glorious meanings—“sea” in Hawaiian, “earth” in Scandinavia, and “willow tree” to the Navajo nation.
It may have an odd meaning—misshapen head—but Kennedy also has a long Irish heritage (and a Presidential connection, too).
A perennial unisex middle name favorite, Lee means “meadow.”
Consider this shortened version of Louis/Louisa, which means “warrior.”
Share a little serendipity with your baby with this fortuitous middle name.
This melodious middle name is perfect for a family who’s passionate about music.
A stylish and slightly offbeat word name, Pace works beautifully in lieu of Paige for girls, and Jace for boys.
Angelina Jolie picked this name, from the Latin word for “peace,” for her son.
The king of classic horror lends his short-and sweet middle name option.
A quince is a cousin to the apple—making this a charming baby name pick.
This Irish name has become slightly more popular for girls, thanks to its use on Glee. But it’s still in the top 400 baby names for boys.
You can have a little more fun with the middle name—and this riotous word name pick is the perfect example.
Most famously associated with the late actor River Phoenix, this word name makes a lovely choice for either sex.
Rue is a lovely evergreen plant with bright yellow flowers_
This word name can be considered a nature name, after the herb, or a virtue name, meaning “wise.”
Several celebs have picked this religious-themed name for their sons and daughters.
The protagonist’s nickname in the classic To Kill a Mockingbird makes for an adventurous unisex middle name.
This Irish surname that means “stately” was featured in Game of Thrones with a slightly different spelling: Shae.
Your baby doesn’t have to be born in winter to sport this sweet nature-themed middle name. (And if you’re a big Game of Thrones fan, this could be a subtle nod to the series.
A bit more popular for boys than girls, Tate is a Nordic name that means “cheerful.”
It’s true—this is a short and sweet word name that works beautifully for boys or girls.
Summer and Autumn have been the more traditional season names given to kids, but more and more parents are coming on board for this cool middle name.
A charming little songbird, wrens offer a nature-themed unisex name.
Lend your child a little serenity with this sweet baby name pick.
I was in another country when I gave birth 11 years ago to my first child. To be honest, we were unprepared for my delivery. I was overconfident and I really thought that I would have no trouble giving birth. It turned out to be anything but easy. After hours of complications I was told I had to have an emergency C-section. Everything turned out fine and I gave birth to a healthy boy, but I wish I had been more prepared for the surgery. Here’s what you should know if you are having a scheduled (or unscheduled) C-section:
What is a C-section?
A C-section (cesarean section), is the surgical delivery of a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. It’s typically only recommended in medically necessary cases, including in some high-risk pregnancies and when the baby is in the breech position and can’t be flipped around before labor begins. However, some women do elect to have C-sections instead of vaginal births for various reasons.
There are many possibilities for pain control following surgery. Options immediately following surgery include medications delivered through an epidural catheter or spinal, and IV medications delivered as scheduled doses or continuously through a pump. If you’re in labor and have already had an epidural, the surgeon will check and make sure it’s working properly. In an emergency, a surgeon might recommend general anesthesia, but most of the time local anesthesia (where you’re awake and have the use of your upper body) is enough. Note: If you have a spinal block, you may spend some time involuntarily vibrating all over (though some find it’s just their legs that spasm). It subsides quickly, as the spinal usually wears off after a few hours.
Prepping for surgery in the hospital
To prepare you for a c-section, a nurse will first give you an IV to provide fluid and medication, and possibly shave the area where the surgeon will make either a vertical or transverse incision, right above your pubic hair line. A catheter will likely be placed in your bladder to collect urine. You will then be given anesthesia, most commonly in the form of an epidural or a spinal block.
Prepping your body
A C-section is major surgery so preparing your body is important. You may not be able to feel the pain of a normal childbirth but the stress level on your body may be more than what you expect it to be. Regular exercise, staying within a healthy weight and eating nutritious meals boost the odds of a smooth operation and fast recovery from a C-section. Being fit for this birthing method helps your body get back easily to its normal functioning capacity.
Your scar from the incision
The incision is usually made two finger-widths above the pubic bone. It runs upward toward your bellybutton and is typically about 10 centimeters long. Sometimes a larger incision is necessary in cases where delivery may be difficult, such as in the case of twins or large babies. Want to help it fade faster? Eskridge suggests trying scar-fading ointments—but only after you’ve let it heal for six weeks (applying anything sooner may cause an infection).
In the first 24 hours, it is common to feel pain at the site of the incision. Many women also feel post-birth cramps as the uterus shrinks. These sensations feel similar to menstrual cramps, but may be more intense. Also, after pain medication is administered, many women experience an almost immediate wave of nausea. Patients are allowed to request anti-nausea medication, and doing so prior to the epidural will prevent the uncomfortable feeling. It’s important to drink plenty of water and eat lots of fiber afterward, so you’ll have an easier time after birth with that first (sometimes uncomfortable) bowel movement. Consider adding a fiber supplement or taking a stool softener to keep things moving. If you’re constipated before surgery, you’ll be even more constipated afterward. And don’t pick up anything that weighs more than your baby, at least for the first four weeks, Stitches are usually secure, but activities that engage your core could release a stitch under your skin, in the dense tissue of your abdomen,
If you picked a long first name for your baby or you have a long surname, a short middle name works best to break up the cadence. But if you want to look beyond the more traditional middle names like Ann, Lynn, Lee and James, you’ll find that there are plenty of more unique options. (And since middle names are rarely used, you can have a little more fun with them, too!)
Consider one of these sweet and short baby middle names before you commit to a longer one:
Ace has that rock star vibe thanks to KISS guitarist Ace Frehley—and a popular name now for several celebrity babies.
Bee could be considered short for the classic Beatrice—or a buzzworthy name in its own right.
Cam is short for Cameron or Camilla—and the perfect short middle if you want something that works for either sex.
Actor Dax Shepard (hubby of actress Kristen Bell) is the claim to fame for this baby name, which comes from a legendary spa in France. (Ooh la la!)
This classic Hebrew name means “ascended.”
The forest animal or the FBI agent who sought supernatural truths on The X-Files could be your baby name inspiration for this pick.
A short form of Augustus, which means magnificent, Gus has become a popular name in its own right lately.
This is usually considered a short form of Harold or Henry, and shares their meaning—ruler. For sci-fi fans, it’s also the name of the computer that goes a little mad in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A cooler and fresher nature-themed name, Ivy is an evergreen plant, so it’s often associated with eternity and fidelity.
Three letters can pack a lot of sentiment, as in this cheerful word name pick.
Thank Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington for putting this nickname for Christopher back on the radar.
This grand name means “lion,” and is considered a variation of Leonardo.
This could be considered an alternative spelling of the spring month—or a variation on the name Mary.
Without the H at the end, Noa is usually given to girls, and means “in motion.”
The stately and strong tree type makes for a stately and strong middle name.
Star Wars fans will recognize this as the first name of roguish pilot Dameron from the latest trilogy, while everyone else will remember master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe.
The Spanish word for river could be a stylish unisex middle name.
Looking for a nature name that isn’t too frilly or floral? Sky might just be what you’re seeking.
You can’t get much shorter than this middle name, a pared down version of Tyler. Baseball legend Ty Cobb was the most famous wearer.
Actress Uma Thurman is the claim to fame for this girls’ name, which means nation in Sanskrit.
Usually part of a Dutch surname (think Vincent Van Gogh), several actors have used Van as a cool first.
Short for names like Winifred and Winston, Win also has that wonderful, victorious word meaning.
A unisex option with a cool “X” initial, Xen is a variation on zen, and shares its meaning.
Yul means “beyond the horizon,” and is most famously linked with The King and I star Yul Brynner.
This stylish girls’ name means “life,” and it’s been a top 50 favorite for girls for the past decade.
If you’re like me, then you’ve been straight up glued to the internet this week as the world waited like an old school, sweaty-palmed, nervous, new dad in a waiting room, to hear the news of the royal birth.
Moms and dads everywhere swooned when a pink-cheeked and obviously giddy Prince Harry gushed to the world that he is a proud papa to a son but also that women are fierce as hell. Prince Harry, who is known for speaking up on issues of equality did every mom a huge favor when he spoke eloquently and candidly about how amazed he was to witness Megan laboring and giving birth.
But then, like waiting for those annoying ads on YouTube to go away, we had to sit tight and wait some more before we heard the name.
Spoiler: it’s Archie!!! SO CUTE!
Americans may know and love the name Archie from pop culture (looking at you, Archie comics!) but the name is actually steeped in a rather lovely history that involves the culture crossover between English, Scottish, and even Germanic pasts.
Archie actually comes from Archibald, which is a modern English and Scottish blend of the Old High German name, ‘Ercanbald’. If we pull the Germanic name apart, we can see the historical meaning of the name; “ercan” translates to “genuine” and “bald” translates to “bold” and when combined, it is easy to see why the lovely royal couple has chosen such a powerful name for their infant son.
If we all recall, Megan wore an absolutely stunning gorgeous yet super simple design for her wedding dress because we were to focus on the event and not the attire. The wedding event itself was a wonderful mix of love, inclusivity, and political statements on racial equality. We’ve also seen Prince Harry and Megan speak publically about women’s issues, racial equality issues, and climate change to name a few. They really do appear to be socially progressive and heartfelt people who are clearly thinking about how they want to raise their son as evidenced by the name they carefully chose.
Also, OMG, you guys, Archie is such a cute name.
Right now, according to Nameberry, as the world learns of this sweet child’s name, ‘Archie’ is listed as #108 on the most popular baby boy names, curiously (gee, can’t imagine why) the name has seen a 6% uptick in popularity today. Americans and Brits, however, have very different ideas of cool baby names (Kale versus Alfie, for example) so it is worth noting that in the UK, the name Archie is actually quite popular and comes in at #18.
Congrats to the new parents! Make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps.
As if pregnancy wasn’t difficult enough, along with the baby you can be carrying a host of dental issues. That’s because pregnancy hormones and morning sickness can result in unique challenges to maintaining proper dental hygiene. Dr. Tsolair Hovsepian, a dentist based in the Los Angeles area and a mom herself, says that despite the difficulties that pregnancy can bring to dental care, keeping a mouth full of clean pearly whites and gums while baby on board is important.”Pregnant women should absolutely visit the dentist,” Hovsepian says. “It is very important to keep up with dental recall appointments to ensure that oral health is maintained.” And according to March of Dimes, good dental care during pregnancy can even help the baby be healthy.
Dr. Hovsepian explains that the nausea of morning sickness can contribute to plaque and tartar buildup, along with decay. If the morning sickness is severe enough to cause vomiting, acid exposure in the mouth can also cause decay. In addition, the hormones of pregnancy can contribute to a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis”, which is redness and swelling of the gums that is sometimes aggravated by plaque buildup. The hormones can contribute to “pregnancy tumors” on the gums. These “tumors” aren’t cancer, but rather bumps on the gums between the teeth. These bumps go away after pregnancy. “The best way that pregnant women can prevent these problems is to maintain proper hygiene on a daily basis–brushing twice a day and flossing daily,” Hovsepian says.”Pregnant and nursing women should avoid whitening products and stick to regular brushing and flossing”, she adds.
Beyond the daily brush and floss routine, pregnant women should continue visiting the dentist, according to Hovsepian, and let their dentist know that they’re pregnant. The dentist should also know how far along the pregnancy is, any complications or high-risk status, and what medications the pregnant patient is taking. Although morning sickness can make the thought of opening wide for a check-up nauseating, Hovsepian says quicker and gentler check-ups can ease the process.
On a more personal level, Hovsepian believes the more natural products a pregnant woman can use, the better. “Oral health is linked to overall health, so all products matter”, she notes. “As a dentist and mom myself, I found myself paying more attention to ingredients in everything that I use on my body and that I ingest, because my body was essentially connected to my baby’s body,” she says. “I did a lot of research on ingredients that I was unsure about and thereby found myself turning to more natural and organically driven products. It is never too early or late to start taking good care of yourself, because taking care of yourself means taking the best care of your baby.”
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, then chances are you have heard about the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf is exactly what it sounds like – the leaf from the red raspberry bush. (Not to be confused with red raspberry tea which is black tea with raspberry flavoring.)
Red raspberry leaf tea is often recommended by doulas, midwives and certain medical professions to pregnant mothers for it’s uterine stimulating qualities. Red raspberry leaf tea is believed to help tone and strengthen the uterine muscle, allowing for a more efficient labor. Plus, it can ease morning sickness and leg swelling. But it does more than just aid pregnant women. Raspberry leaf tea can regulate irregular menstrual cycles, reduce heavy periods, and ease cramps. And in toning the uterus and fortifying the walls of the uterus, it also naturally promotes fertility.
Because there is some controversy around using red raspberry leaf throughout pregnancy, healthcare providers often suggest you avoid it during the first trimester, just to be safe. To make the most of the benefits of this herbal tea, you could begin drinking it in the second or even in the third trimester.
Here’s what else you should know about the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea:
For expectant moms:
Studies have shown red raspberry leaf may play a role in decreasing the incidence of artificial rupture of membranes, unplanned cesarean sections and use of forceps during delivery. Even so, you should discuss the pros and cons of this herbal remedy with your health care provider before drinking it.
Red raspberry leaf is often included in “pregnancy teas” to help tone the muscles in the uterus, which can help shorten labor and ease labor pains. Do not use red raspberries during pregnancy if you are having complications.
The high level of B vitamins in particular makes it useful for relieving nausea, soothing leg cramps, and improving sleep. (Symptoms that definitely increase during pregnancy!)
Postpartum, raspberry’s astringency is used to help with bleeding and swelling as well as to restore tone to the uterus. The high nutrient content may help to enrich breast milk, though over-consumption can cause supply issues due to raspberry’s astringency.
For new mothers:
Trying to conceive? The relaxation effect of red raspberry leaves on the uterine muscles may work to help prevent early miscarriage and to assist early embryos in attaching to the uterine wall. The tea’s phyto-progesterone quality can increase progesterone levels as well.
The APA states red raspberry leaf can help increase breast milk supply, help the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size and help reduce postpartum depression. Most evidence of red raspberry leaf increasing breast milk is anecdotal, but it is considered safe to consume while breastfeeding.
Worried about losing weight after giving birth? Known widely as a low-calorie tea with a metabolism-stimulating characteristic, raspberry leaf tea is popular with people who are trying to lose weight. This tea can help make you feel full while delivering key nutrients and boosting your energy levels.
The use of herbal teas particularly raspberry tea is not very comprehensive. Keep in mind: as there are no official recommendations regarding the dose or the ideal trimester to drink it, discussing red raspberry leaf tea side effects with your OB or midwife is a smart move.
The first trimester of pregnancy can be marked by several unpleasant physical changes: nausea, vomiting, and fatigue to name a few. Sure, some women experience little to no symptoms during this time, but many others struggle. Navigating the first trimester at work can be a challenge. When you feel perpetually ill and exhausted, it can be hard to focus and stay on task. You may worry that your performance may suffer. You may worry your employer will notice. The struggle is real. Here are three tips for surviving the first trimester at work.
Manage First Trimester Symptoms
First and foremost, find ways to manage your symptoms. Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting varies from woman-to-woman and from pregnancy-to-pregnancy. Some women can manage their symptoms with ginger and crackers, while others suffer extreme nausea and vomiting with even the strongest prescription medication.
If you find yourself unable to perform your normal tasks because of your symptoms, work with your physician and employer to see if you can arrange a reasonable accommodation (more on that below).
Even if your symptoms are less severe, you should stock up on the things that help you. Keep a stash of crackers, lemonade, and sour candy on hand. Sip hot tea throughout the day. Schedule times to rest as needed. Remember that your health is a priority.
The UC Hastings Center for WorkLife Law provides helpful guidance through its Pregnant at Work initiative. In addition to offering tips on when to share the news of your pregnancy with your employer, it gives advice, by state, on how to obtain assistance from your healthcare provider. The site also provides a list of workplace accommodation ideas plus guidance for your doctor if you need a note for your employer.
During this time, you should also learn your employer’s parental leave policies and your workplace pregnancy rights. If at any point you believe your employer is treating you disparately on the basis of your pregnancy, contact an attorney, the EEOC, or your state’s civil rights commission. You should also contact your employer’s Human Resources Department (or equivalent) with questions or concerns you have related to your pregnancy and your employer’s policies.
Find an Ally at Work
Choosing when to disclose your pregnancy at work is a personal decision. Many women aren’t ready to do so during the first trimester. Still, if you have a close friend or colleague at work, you may wish to share your news with them. Having a trusted individual who can help you navigate this time may be helpful and put your mind at ease.
Be aware that you will also need to disclose your pregnancy should you seek a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy-related medical condition. However, even without doing so, you may choose to discreetly share the news with your boss or someone else on your team if you feel it would be helpful and you are comfortable doing so.