When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought to myself “this is so amazing, this is exactly what we wanted!”
My next thought was, “Oh shoot! What about my business? How will I be able to keep up and continue to grow my business? Will I be able to sustain myself?”
It was at this point that I got on Google looking for “Tips for Pregnant Entrepreneurs” and “How to Manage Pregnancy and Entrepreneurship.”
Honestly, I didn’t find much…
The truth is that balancing pregnancy and entrepreneurship is tough.
You’re emotional, tired, and have a lot on your plate so how do you balance it all?
Today I’m going to share a few tips for pregnant entrepreneurs to help you manage but honestly, I firmly believe you have to go through it and roll with the punches because each pregnancy and business is different.
Here’s the tips on how to manage pregnancy and entrepreneurship:
Pregnancy is the best time to practice letting go and delegating tasks that you don’t HAVE to do, to other people. Maybe you can’t afford to hire someone full time (I definitely couldn’t) but you can afford a contractor or two to get things done.
Stop wasting time creating Canva graphics and hire someone on Fiverr for $7 to do it in less than an hour.
As a pregnant mama, time is your biggest asset.
Also, plan out the content and deliverables you need for maternity leave and delegate those things to get things off your plate.
Did I mention that, pregnancy is tough? Because it is!
You may think you’re going to be able to work and be super productive, but in reality you may need more breaks than normal while you’re pregnant.
Start scaling back where you can, prioritize your workload, and be flexible with when and how things get done. You don’t have to do it all, and if you need a break (or a nap) take one!
Decide when to disclose
It’s just as hectic letting clients know you’re pregnant as it would be to let an employer know.
Make sure you have a very frank conversation with your clients about being pregnant and maternity leave.
One thing I struggled with is people feeling like I’m too fragile to work (as a photographer) so that can be a bit nerve wracking but most people are really supportive and willing to work with you.
Personally, I’m really careful about is not using pregnancy as an excuse.
Effective communication is key during this time because you want your clients to still be able to trust you to do the work they have hired you for.
Speak with your clients ahead of time about adjusting timelines and duties instead of waiting until the last minute.
Update your website to reflect new timelines you have created for your business.
For example, my timeline for returning photos used to be one week but I updated my website to say “three weeks” for returning photos – to give me more time if I’m having too many sick days in a row to get any work done.
Create a plan to survive maternity leave
I’m still trying to figure out my maternity leave situation but some really important questions we should ask ourselves is:
- What can you schedule? (social media posts, client work, blog posts, etc)
- Can you hire help? (assistant, VA)
- Can you schedule clients for AFTER maternity leave? (meetings, deadlines, new clients, etc)
- How many weeks can you realistically take off?
- What needs to be in place while you are off? (What are your day to day tasks that need to be addressed while you are out?)
Once you know the answer to these questions, then you can create a plan to help you navigate maternity leave. It won’t be easy, but having a plan will set you up for success in the long run.
Practice your new schedule
When the baby arrives your office and work hours will look drastically different.
Start transitioning your clients to a new schedule and practice your new schedule so it’s not a sudden shock when your little one arrives.
The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you set your schedule (well now the baby does), so it’s important to change your schedule and inform your clients and customers of any changes.
For example, maybe your office hours will be shorter or instead of expecting an email response within 12 hours, you ask for 48 hours.
Scale back your business
With a new addition consider making your business as lean as possible especially if you’re a solopreneur.
Think about, what are the BASIC or FUNDAMENTAL things you need to do to sustain your business.
Pregnancy lasts 9 months and then you take maternity leave. Start making transitions early: bulk create content, finish projects early (or push deadlines), reduce the amount of content you’re creating, minimize the number of new projects you start, etc…
Focus on the priorities in your business and work from there.
I struggle with this but as a pregnant mama you have to take care of yourself. Someone is literally depending on you.
Some of the things you used to do like: staying up all night and eating like fast food daily, have to stop with your new addition.
Take a hot bath, go for a walk with your partner, take an extra nap, or sleep in late. Do things that make you feel good so you can show up as the best version of yourself.
Be kind to yourself while you’re pregnant and seek help when you need it!
Map out a plan to save money
Pregnancy and birth are so unpredictable. As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, figure out a way to aggressively save money to prepare for the time after birth!
I recommend saving 3-4 months of income to prepare for a little one.
This can be tricky during pregnancy when you’re always exhausted but saving as much as you can will eliminate a lot of stress once the little one arrives.
Say “no” more often
When you find out you’re pregnant start saying “no” to things people ask you to do.
You have a finite amount of time and if maternity leave is important to you, you need to be focused on the things that actually move the needle forward in your business.
Now is not the time to accept every project, event, and speaking opportunity that comes across your lap. Think critically about what you spend your time and energy on.
Proper planning will help you manage pregnancy and entrepreneurship. This isn’t an easy journey at all but there’s so many of us out here trying to make it work mama! You’ve got this!
Take it easy on yourself.
Create a plan.
Hold on for the ride.