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Pregnancy is not an illness, but it can be a vulnerable time for many women. Remember these tips when interacting with any pregnant woman at work.
From personal experience, I can say that a woman’s physical health, emotional state of being, mental stress, financial standing and social support system go a long way in helping her sail through her pregnancy.
And yet, as I look back at my life – I also recognize that the role of my workplace environment played a significant role in how I felt during my pregnancies. Simply because if you are in a corporate job, then work (including travel time) can take anywhere between 9-11 hours a day, i.e, 50% of your day and 70% of the time you are awake! So how your manager, colleagues/co-workers connect, converse and interact with you make all the difference.
In this regards too, both my pregnancies were very different. During one, my team was supportive and made an effort to help me tide through – with a joke or genuine concern or just listening and acknowledging my point of view. And in the other, my team was indifferent.
As I look back and analyze the differences, I recognize that both were very different in terms of team composition – specifically on the phase of life the individuals were in (single, married, parent). So, in cases where people were single, they just couldn’t understand/look at things from my point-of-view. Before you assume I am pointing fingers at anyone, let me say – NO. That is not the intention with which why I am writing this post!
I am writing it because after my own journey to motherhood, I have interacted with several hundreds of working women, and a vast majority have been through some form of ‘unavoidable’ stress or pressure at the workplace during their pregnancy tenure. And almost everyone of them said that a lot of the stress is completely ‘avoidable’ if only people are a little sensitive and kind to her needs.
So I thought of compiling an Open Letter to anyone working with pregnant women based on the collective observations, insights and experiences of women who’ve been there and done that.
Do read through and keep in mind when you are interacting with any pregnant woman at work:
During pregnancy, she is dealing with more than you can ever know or imagine. (If you’ve been pregnant before, you’d know!)
That somewhere deep down, she is vulnerable and goes though moments when she is unsure about everything! All she needs to know at that moment is, “This too shall pass”. So say it like you mean it!
This is an important phase of her life. Her thoughts, emotions and choices will impact her life in ways she can never really know fully/imagine.
That she is not terminally ill; so she does not need to be treated that way
That she is not mentally ill ; and again she need not be treated that way
And just to lay it out on the table clearly, here are things you can do to help
a. Respect and Accept her choice: So she is on the way to ‘motherhood’ and whether it is by choice/not, she is on that journey.
b. Don’t comment on her appearance; a lot is beyond her (personal) control
c. Don’t judge her eating habits; a lot is beyond her (personal) control
d. Don’t make it physically more taxing for her; she is already going through a lot physically
e. Don’t stress her out mentally and emotionally – be sensitive and kind. If you can’t do or say anything to help – keep shut! Better to do no harm even if you can’t do good!
f. Don’t comment on her ‘yet-to-be-born’ baby. And yes, don’t call her baby “That thing”. It is not a thing. It is a baby with life. You were a baby once!
g. Understand that there may be hormonal changes which could affect productivity, focus, concentration and effectiveness; so if you can bear it or live it temporarily, do it. If not, let her know that it is not working out and why? Whether or not she appreciates your honesty at that moment, she will be grateful for your honesty in the long run!
h. Don’t compel her to make any commitments on her long term career plans. Honestly, she might just change her plans once she sets eyes on her baby!
i. Don’t penalize her for her work related choices or decisions (such as inability to travel) for medical reasons
j. And yes, when she has her delivery, it would be nice if you can wish her. You may be busy with the most important task in the world, but all you need to do is to squeeze in some time to say “Congrats!” As a new mother, it means a lot to any woman that her workplace shares her joy as she embarks on a new phase of her life
Most importantly, don’t screw with her career – in terms of negative work performance comments or remarks just because her negotiation power is weak. Trust me – The law of karma almost always works, and it will come back to you. Sometime. Somehow.
The competitive corporate rat-race is real and makes sense if the game is between you and her, but when you bring in her unborn child into the equation, ask yourself if it is right?
I can’t help but end with a few words my maternal grandmother told me, “No matter what you do, don’t ever wrong a pregnant woman. Your deeds will come back to haunt you”.
First published at the author’s blog
Working Mom • Marketologist - Digital Artisan - Brand Storyteller • Ideapreneur • Writer - Blogger - Columnist • IIMB Alumni • Mentor • Horizon Gazer • Alchemist • Creator - Connector - Catalyst - Collaborator - Community Builder • Chief Happiness Officer of my Life read more...
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Tripti Dimri had completely won everyone over with her performance in Bulbbul. so there is a great deal riding on her new Netflix film Qala.
Netflix’ latest release, Qala (2022) is Tripti Dimri’s second collaboration with Anvita Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz after Bulbbul (2020). Her performance was applauded in 2020 with Bulbbul’s character becoming well known in most Indian households.
Thus, the audiences certainly had high expectations from Qala, a film that portrays a protagonist who suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, in terms of what Dimri, Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz would together deliver.
Does Qala match up to Bulbbul?
A few Bangalore schools recently did a search of students' bags for mobile phones that are banned inside, and were shocked to find condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, etc.
When schools in Bangalore conducted surprise checks of the bags of students to see if they were bringing cell phones to school, they were in for a nasty surprise.
As this report in the Deccan Herald says, “In addition to cell phones, they found condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, lighters and whiteners in the bags of students of grades 8, 9 and 10. To their credit, the school authorities handled the situation with maturity- instead of suspending the students, they informed the parents and/ or guardians and advised them to seek counselling for their wards.”
People are, understandably shocked to find out that adolescents in the age group 12 to 15 years are potentially indulging in sexual intercourse. People largely fall into four camps–
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