So you’re expecting! Congratulations! There is a lot of planning and preparation that takes place before a baby arrives. In addition to getting things ready at home for your new arrival, you’ll need to prepare for your teacher maternity leave.
Read the ten terrific tips below for how to make your life a little easier when teaching while pregnant before your long-awaited maternity arrives. The days leading up to maternity leave for teachers can be stressful so try to plan and prep early. It will be a very busy and exciting yet tiring time.
1. Share the News When You are Ready
It is completely up to you when you would like to share your exciting news. Many people wait until the end of their first trimester (12 weeks). Be sure to talk to the head teacher before sharing your news with anyone at work and bear in mind that they will need time to find someone to fill your place in time for your maternity leave
2. Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
Clothes are an issue, especially finding nice, suitable pregnancy clothes for work. No matter what you’ve been used to wearing, now that you are pregnant comfort is key! Invest in a few staple maternity pieces that are neutral colors. The neutral colors will help you mix and match pieces because of their versatile nature. Also, be sure to invest in a comfortable pair of shoes. Certainly avoid heels or slippery soles and find a good shoe that supports your foot well to avoid any unwanted accidents.
3. Bring a Large Water Bottle to School
It’s important to stay hydrated now more than ever so bringing a large water bottle to school will ensure you always have access to water. Keep it by your desk so you can remember to keep drinking throughout the day.
4. Find a Teacher friend to Cover Your Room for Bathroom Breaks
This tip is really important as you progress through your pregnancy. Find a teacher buddy to cover your room for when you need to use the bathroom. You will frequently need to use the bathroom, so make sure you have a plan in place for when you need to go with a colleague or your teaching assistant.
5. Keep Healthy Snacks on your Desk
You will need to eat every couple of hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Keep a healthy snack by your desk so you can reach it easily. You may feel very hungry during a lesson or even faint. In that case ask a colleague or your teaching assistant to look after the class for a few minutes whilst you go out to feed both you and the baby.
6. Go to Bed Early
Teaching while pregnant takes a lot out of you, it really does. Your body is working extra hard right now creating a new human so it’s important to get your rest. I found that I could not stay awake past 21:00 so move your bedtime earlier to make sure that you get enough rest. Bedtime will no longer be what you were used to because of the frequent toilet visits and trying to get comfortable as your pregnancy moves along.
7. Share Your Experience with your pupils
I waited for my pupils to notice it themselves and I was already 7 months along when they eventually asked. I found it hilarious that they had not noticed until I was really bulging, they thought that I had just been eating a lot! You can share it with your class when you most feel comfortable as you know them best.
9. Meet your substitute and prepare your pupils
It’s a lot of work preparing for your maternity leave. Instead, do a little bit each day and start early. Meet your sub at least a week before you leave so that you have enough time to prepare them and for them to start getting to know the students. Openly talk to your students about how you will be going on maternity leave and explain they are super lucky to have a wonderful new teacher.
10. Emergency Substitute Plans
You will have many doctor’s appointments, especially towards the end of your pregnancy. In order to prepare for these days off ahead of time, be sure to inform people and have your sub plans ready to share.
Try to take everything in your stride even if your strides are much slower and go easy on yourself.
Wishing you a safe and quick delivery!
Till next time…