Bethan Brennan’s Tips for Working Through Pregnancy

Working through pregnancy can be tricky, especially when your job requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, and it isn’t a straightforward 9 to 5.

Whilst there is a lot of information available for business owners who want to support their staff during this time with regards to maternity and paternity leave and pay, sometimes expectant parents can feel at a loss as to how to monitor their own wellbeing. We spoke to Bethan Brennan, barber at Cresswell Barber Co about her experiences of working through pregnancy and her top tips for expectant parents.

“What your friends experience will be different to you and you will be different to anyone else,” says Bethan, adding that this even comes down to her maternity and paternity leave which is different for those who are self-employed, “Self-employed maternity is difficult in many ways because obviously you want to know what’s happening, how long you’re having off, are you off before the baby is here and for how long. Your boss and colleagues also want to know what’s happening and your clients are eager to know what’s happening too. If I can give anyone advice, do what is best for you, your baby and your family. If you have the financial stability to be off for a little bit before your baby is here, do it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury and I’m going to be working a week before my due date.”

“No one prepares you for how exhausting growing a human is. Especially when you have a physically demanding job and are on your feet facing the public everyday. I learned quickly how to divert the conversation when someone would say “god you look awful Bethan are you alright?” I don’t hold it against anyone because I did look and feel rough in that first trimester!”

Bethan’s Top Tips

  • Crocs! Since I got mine in September my feet have been on cloud nine
  • Breaks. I work nine hour days. At about 20 weeks I started having my normal one hour for lunch and an extra 30 mins in the late afternoon/evening. Having that extra break makes the last part of my day so much easier
  • Posture matts are also life savers. We have them on every section, every barber should have one of these I think
  • A yoga ball in the staff room is a must! The yoga ball helps my pelvis and keeps my core strong which I’m going to need in a few weeks – the rest of the team also have a laugh bouncing around on it or kicking it at each other
  • Bump belt/pregnancy support belt. A bump belt helps take the weight off your pelvis and lower back, similar to if someone lifts your bump for you
  • An apprentice! Luke, our apprentice is now a professional when it comes to making ice cold drinks, bringing me heartburn tablets, getting food from the shop, picking up anything I drop!
  • Take the time off you that you need or want. The days go fast and you’ll never get that time back. Do what is right for you, your baby and your family. Don’t listen to anyone else’s opinions because that isn’t going to pay your bills and keep your baby fed and clothed. When the time comes for you to return to work, do what you can and be flexible. Work out what the minimum is you have to make and go from there
“The best thing you can do is be vocal with your workplace about everything. I’m lucky that I have probably the best relationship with my boss, Natalie Cresswell. I know I can talk to her about anything and everything and she will support and try her hardest to understand.” Bethan adds that the shared excitement from both colleagues and customers makes all the difference, “The support, the understanding, the advice, the hand-me-downs, the handmade blankets, the gifts, the offers of babysitting. It’s all so unexpected but greatly appreciated.” She adds that it is important to do what feels right for you and listen to your body, “It is your pregnancy, no one else’s. If you don’t feel like you can do something then don’t, if you feel fine and capable just make minor adjustments and carry on. If you are a physical person and on your feet all day, you’ll more than likely be fine while working after making a few changes.”