Owning your own business, or being self-employed, is often fulfilling, fun, and exciting. It also comes with a lot more planning and responsibility than being employed usually does and if you own a small family business, being pregnant may bring complications. What do you do when you are expecting a baby and you are a business owner?
Perhaps the biggest problem small business owners who are pregnant face is not being able to take time off. Your role in your business is so essential that taking annual leave, or even delegating certain tasks to other employees (if you have them at all, in which case you're lucky!) may prove to be Mission Impossible.
Our best tip for small business owners is to plan their pregnancy in advance, and not to have a surprise pregnancy that requires a lot of improvisation and flexibility. But, that is not something that will help you much if you are already pregnant! Dealing with unexpected things like severe morning sickness, or expected parts of pregnancy like regular prenatal appointments, can be tough. I was a self-employed writer and translator during both my pregnancies, and my income was quite important to the family.
During my second pregnancy, I worked from home and had to take care of a toddler as well. It was fun and hard too at times, but I had straight forward, easy pregnancies and felt good. If you don't, or you are suddenly facing a situation in which you have to go on bed rest, your business can suffer. Self-employed pregnant women have the problem that nobody else can step in to do their work, while those running small businesses may wonder whom they can trust with the day-to-day running of the business if you really can't make it to work because, for instance, you are giving birth!
If you are trying to conceive, or thinking about it, make an action plan for your business now. If you are already expecting, you may like to plan for the new situation once your baby arrives.