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Pregnant Employee Support

Basic rights and risk assessments for pregnant employees are much more of a given in today’s workplace, but what about other support?

We are working with one manager who is keen to better support a pregnant employee but doesn’t know the best way to do it….

Common concerns for pregnant women include:

  • Balancing work and time off for appointments and for pregnancy-related sickness
  • Keeping up performance levels with colleagues when feeling exhausted etc
  • Being seen as ‘emotional’ or ‘irrational’
  • Being seen as less capable when pregnant and less committed and able when back in work
  • Managing the transition between being a work-focussed woman to a mum-to-be with new priorities – a confusing time especially when pregnant for the first time

How can you help beyond the normal policies and H&S provisions?

  • Ensure that people know their rights beyond the obvious maternity ones e.g. that they can carry over untaken holiday where maternity spans 2 leave years. Clarity helps with feeling in control and planning.
  • Have open conversations regularly, asking the woman what she needs and how to best deliver it. Business as usual? Flexibility? Space? Or anything else?
  • Pay attention to the level of support given – too little is obviously no good, too much and it can feel like they aren’t up to the job impacting on self-esteem
  • Is the line manager or her HR colleagues all men? Some women prefer to talk to another woman about their feelings, concerns or fears. Check if this is the case.
  • Discuss how you will support them and cover their work during maternity leave – some like to do this and do it early.
  • In the later stages, discuss keeping in touch during maternity leave – how to do it and how often is a critical way of feeling included and valued.

Need help with any of this?

Have a look at our new factsheet or get in contact to discuss a practical and supportive pregnancy and maternity support system.

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