{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Just found out that I am pregnant. I am 35 and very afraid of traveling and the three hour time difference / not being able to sleep for 23 hours on thursdays potentially putting my pregnancy at risk", "post_id": "5cfb3a3712f32f001bdbded4", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Just found out that I am pregnant. I am 35 and very afraid of traveling and the three hour time difference / not being able to sleep for 23 hours on thursdays potentially putting my pregnancy at risk

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By no means do I want to downplay what you’re asking. I just really think that your health and happiness should come first. It may not be the greatest time in your career and many other factors but work will always be here. Do you what you need to do to make your life the best it can be for you and your future little one… I’m sure you have a strong group of people to support you and many others in this group to cheer you on. It sounds like your future littlelittle one has a pretty bad ass mom to cheer her on. Kudos

likeuplifting

OP, first of all congratulations! Here are my suggestions, having been through this myself and watching many of the women I mentor go through this. First of all, don’t overreact. I literally have had this panicked conversation myself and with just about every single woman in our industry who found out she was pregnant. How am I going to do this job?! I can just not care and lower my performance standards. I want to be there for my kid. Do I leave? It is impossible to continue what I do now! Yes, it is impossible to do what you do now. And that’s the whole point. Things will have to adjust all the way around to accommodate this baby including your head and body and job. But give yourself and your firm and opportunity to adjust; the decision to leave will always be there. No reason to react on an assumption that you and your job will not accommodate you. So with that, as many others have suggested, I would recommend talking to your partner and sharing you’re in higher risk pregnancy and concerned about the impact of the coast to coast travel on your pregnancy and would like their support and help in resolving. Come prepared to discuss options: doing every other week remote or something like that, switching to a project with less travel, taking a non client service role temporarily. Be open to trial periods. Consult with your physician and pay attention to your body. When something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you need to go to bed early or not travel - it is what it is. Remember many of us have been through this and/or have seen our SOs go through this; no one is going to mess with a pregnant woman. Also be positive, my pregnancy was pretty darn smooth with an exception of the first three “throw up every 30 mins and eat white bread only” months. I actually had a tremendous amount of energy 4-8 months; I was unstoppable and crazy productive. Draw boundaries and ask for help. Honestly having this experience was the best preparation for partner (I made it 2 years after I had my daughter btw). Why? Because I had to learn more than ever before to rely on my team and to know when to stop myself. So don’t be afraid to do that. Guys, I need your help; this baby is killing my body and I won’t be able to finish this tonight. Be thankful and appreciative. Bring them coffee, treats and love on them in front of leadership. Also use this as an opportunity to reach out to your women senior leaders - I shamelessly did because I wanted to build those relationships and also to learn how they did it. Worked out great - they were supportive and helped manage through this. Same for men - my biggest supporters were male partners; they were relentless in making this work for me. On a final note, just so you know - almost all companies require for you to be employed with them for at least a year before qualifying for full parental leave. In addition, B4 have better parental benefits than just about anyone. Truly. On top of that, we don’t want to lose more women simply because they’re mothers; we will try to make it work, especially if youre a solid performer and have the brand. You’re in a better position than 99% of women worldwide. Use it. Good luck to you!

likeuplifting

Are there any senior female leaders who have been through this that might support you and help you get a local job? Is there any way to avoid not sleeping 23 hours? Have you spoken to your doc? I’m 36, at 17w and traveling every week. ~2 hour flight and my doc said it should not be a health risk. Still it’s hard physically and logistically.. Talk to your doctor if you haven’t already to discuss risks, and ask for support from the firm. They should problem solve with you on this, and understand that you now have additional responsibilities and have to apply some boundaries like a minimum amount of sleep. Good luck OP!

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Firms will typically accommodate high performers who have been dedicated in the past but need concessions for whatever reason. I’ve been pregnant twice in consulting and traveled up until my third trimester both times - though I was a bit younger at 30/32 for my pregnancies. If your doctor says you can’t travel, that should either be accommodated for within your current role, or the firm should help you find another role where you can work remotely. I do NOT recommend switching firms while pregnant. You’ll likely lose your paid leave and trade stress during your pregnancy for stress during your (likely shorter) leave with your newborn. See if you can work with someone in leadership you trust to find alternate accommodations. You’ll likely be surprised by how willing they are to help

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If I find a local job now and leave the firm, then I’ll be “that person” who joins a company and goes on maternity leave right away. If I stay at Deloitte, they will probably make me fly from California to New York all the time. Local staffing seems to be such a remote possibility and my client already complained that I am a senior manager who leaves my team alone and doesn’t get hands on enough. What to do?? My priority is being able to stay pregnant at this age and delivering a healthy baby. But I have bills to pay.....

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I would talk about it with your PPMD! I am 14 weeks and travel every week (2 hour flight) - but there are difficult weeks due to morning sickness - and I set the expectation that I would work from home during those weeks. I also changed my travel schedule to travel on Sunday evenings so I get a complete 9 hour sleep and go to client location on Monday mornings fresh and take early flights on Thursday as well (5 pm) . There are so many options to flex your travel - but I would start with having a conversation with your immediate lead to help them understand the challenges. Am sure they will understand. Baby and you are more important than client work.

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I informed my PPMD at week 6! And project was very supportive and asked me to work from Home during difficult weeks. First trimester is very tricky. Speak to your doctor, if it’s a high risk pregnancy, they will tell you to avoid travel. Otherwise I was advised that travel is absolutely safe upto 36 weeks. I landed up working from home alternate weeks. But made sure none of my deliverables were impacted. Most important - don’t let work stress get to you. The more relaxed you are the better

Perhaps you could ask for a remote project or work an internal role at Deloitte

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I think you need to figure out how you can work remotely if you want to stay on the current project. Health is priority but I don’t think you want to start at a new company because deloitte’s leave is so good. Or, roll off your current projects if they require cross country travel but talk to leadership and figure out a transition plan. You could probably stay traveling for a while but there’s no way I would have done cross country while I was pregnant. Stay firm and advocate for yourself as nobody else will!!

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Congratulations!!! This is so exciting! I’m currently on a travel heavy project and in my first trimester. I was able to fly on Monday afternoons/evenings which has really helped with my sleep. I told leadership at six weeks and have found male leaders (who are also fathers) to be extremely supportive. Good luck!

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