pregnant

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Recently I received this request:

I run a business, I am an expert in a very niche area, my business is four years old and I am based in Scotland. It has really taken off in the past two years, with lots of hard work on my part, I work for companies around the globe. My business is my baby and to a large part it is probably my sense of self. I love my business, I love what I do, I love being an expert go to person for people. It is also the money source for providing for the two kids (7 and 8) I already have, my husband is also unemployed at present so I am the breadmother (43% of women in the UK are the breadmother).  I have a network of consultants who work for me on various projects, but I do not employ any directly. So I am pretty much freaking out about how I continue in this high growth phase of my business and have a little baby, without going slightly mad with the stress. Just knowing there are other women out there who have done this and coped is a massive help. Will your book, the Pregnant Entrepreneur, be useful to me as non-USA-based person? (emphasis added)

The Pregnant Entrepreneur blog and book does does reference once of the biggest problems US entrepreneurs have historically faced, of getting healthcare at any stage of life. I don’t devote any significant amount of space in the book to that, and the situation here in the USA is now changing, with the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The topics that the book and this site cover are universal:

  • When to disclose your pregnancy and to whom
  • How to prioritize and balance the demands of pregnancy with your business
  • Maintaining credibility with your peers, employees, and customers, even while you can’t see your feet
  • Wardrobe worries
  • How to manage the “fourth trimester”, maternity leave, and re-entry

My heart breaks when I read stats about other countries and their generous maternity leave policies and state-based support for new moms. 

I’m a mom, an entrepreneur, and an author. I may be an activist, in some sense. But I am US-based. I’d love to hear your experiences as a pregnant entrepreneur, whether US-based or in some other country. Let’s open the dialogue, and share in the comments below. 

What was or is your experience as a pregnant entrepreneur?

 

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Hey, have you heard the news?  Kids are expensive. 

OK, maybe that’s not news, but it makes the news every now and then.  Thinking about this, in an ideal world, should start before you add kids or another kid to the mix.

Marketplace Money is one of my favorite places to get my news, and you can hear their recent take on how to brace yourself for the costs of kids

Need some ideas on how to cut costs?  Read come of my strategies on what’s available at consigment sales, and check out my favorite go-to book on buying for baby, called Baby Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields.

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When you are a pregnant entrepreneur, you don’t have time to be sick.  You’re on a schedule, and if youskip a beat, how will you ever be ready for your baby?  That’s one deadline that you can’t possbily miss, and you might even need to put the breaks on ahead of schedule!

Before kids, I never thought about things like getting a flu shot.  But during pregnancy, my docs highly recommended I get the flu shot, especially since we were dealing with the dreaded Swine Flu (or H1N1) the year I was pregnant with my firstborn.  

“Flu is a terribly uncomfortable illness at best, and for many it can be life-threatening,” says Andrea Hanaway, M.D., board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and PriorityCare’s medical director. “Getting a flu shot truly is one of the easiest things people can do to stay healthy this winter.”

The flu is caused by various influenza viruses. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, aches, chills and fatigue. Most healthy people recover without problems, but people 65 and over, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious complications and even death.

If you are already a mom, you probably know that your kids are the shortest distance between you and an illness.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone at least 6 months old be vaccinated against seasonal flu. The CDC also says that children ages 6 months to 8 years who did not get at least one dose of the 2010-2011 flu vaccine should get two doses of the vaccine this season. According to the CDC, October is the best month to receive a flu vaccination.  

Healthy Pregnancy with a Flu Shot

For those who don’t have timely access to a physician’s office, PriorityCare is the perfect location for high-quality, expedient and cost-effective flu vaccination. Flu vaccinations
are available daily, without an appointment at PriorityCare locations at Wind Gap and Bethlehem from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Both offices are staffed by a physician, nurses and an X-ray technician.

                                      

ABOUT PRIORITYCARE

PriorityCare is a network of urgent care
centers providing quality, convenient, cost-effective medical care for
non-emergency illnesses and injuries, as well as occupational health,
preventive and wellness services including physicals, drug testing, and
vaccinations. For more information about PriorityCare, please visit www.prioritycare.net

 

Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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Does your guy respect your business? Whether you started your business from nothing, came from corporate, or dropped all of your life’s resources into a new venture, your guy is one of the most critical members of your fan club, and every business needs a fan club that isn’t just virtual and online.

When I started my business (remember that I left a really respectable income behind), he took to talking about my “little business.”  It took a while of gentle and not so gentle reminders, but he caught on and started introducing me as a business owner.  When your guy describes your business in at least the same terms as you do, or perhaps even better, then you know he’s on board.

My business reached a milestone last year of 5 continuous years in business.  Hubby dear was paying more attention than I was, and noticed how I was gushing over the (then) recently released iPad.  He totally surprised me with my very own iPad to celebrate the business milestone.  If your hubby presents you with productivity tools, even if you aren’t sure they’ll work for you, take it as his vote of confidence in your business acumen.

He did it once again this year.  Just after the book was released, my husband presented me with a professionally shadowboxed version of the book.  Wow!  Not quite as expensive as the iPad, but still not cheap, and definitely something I never would have thought to get for myself.  Guys who get a sentimental gift that represents your success are priceless.

The saying used to be that behind every good man was a good woman.  But, hey, running a business, especially while you are pregnant, is a team sport.  There’s got to be a good guy behind you if you are going to stay healthy, happy and at least somewhat balanced.  Let’s celebrate those guys who help us forward.

Leave a comment here to crow about how your guy treated you and your business well.

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The same week my book was published, Forbes.com posted an article entitled, “The Pregnant Entrepreneur and the Venture Capitalist  Who Wouldn’t Fund Her.”  Jessica Jackley, cofounder of two significant small businesses, shares her reactions to a blog post where one of her investors questions her ability to be a mom and a leader since she is expecting twins in the fall.

Helloooooo.  Moms are born leaders.  Or did this male VC never have a mother?

Jessica points out an attitude that any pregnant business owner deals with at some point, whether it is from an investor, a client, a family member, or (sadly) herself.  No one ever asks a man if he’ll be able to continue to do his job after he expands his family, and yet someone will ask that of a pregnant entrepreneur.

Like many other places in life, a woman may have to over-plan, proactively explain, and just plain out-perform her male counterparts to sail through these waters. It’s gonna happen, ladies, so be ready for at least one neanderthal to bring this up, or to make an unfavorable decision during your pregnancy. It’s not the end of the world.  In a few months, your motherhood will be more of a title than a fashion accessory.

If you get burned by discriminatory attitudes, remember that the good guys do outnumber the bad guys.  I have two favorite stories about client reactions during my pregnancies.  One client contacted me for a work session during my ninth month of pregnancy.  We chatted on the phone and arranged to meet for the appointment.  I prepared him for a very pregnant person arriving on his doorstep, but I also made it clear that if I didn’t arrive as planned, it was only due to an early arrival.  We did joke that, as a professional organizer, I intended to deliver on my due date, and that’s what happened.   He was great to work with.

The second story was a design client who put off a project we were planning, and at the last possible minute begged me to do a project before my maternity leave because his kids were visiting.  He appreciated the redesign job we completed (genius was the word he used), and then asked if I had moved the baby grand piano.  This guy had no concept that a pregnant woman would have any limitations and could be suspect of moving a baby grand. I had worked for him before, and so he knew to expect good things from my company.

I can’t imagine any circumstance as an entrepreneur where running into discriminatory attitudes would be cause for more than a little grousing and whining.  If you think otherwise, or have been in a situation that required action, I’d love to hear about it.  Mostly, I was able to chalk up subtle doubts and concerns from clients to experience and move on.  Remember, pregnancy is temporary.  Just about 50% of the workforce is female, and once you get through this stage, you won’t be special or a target to anyone, except your little ones.

 

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http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-47195/TS-489340.mp3

Hear more about why I wrote this book, what kinds of economic benefit having your own business as a mom can offer, and what I think about balance.  My interview takes place the last 10 minutes of this hour-long show.  Enjoy!

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