The Pregnant Professional offers creative solutions, coaching and encouragement to pregnant women and working mothers so they don’t feel forced to choose between two things they love: their children, and their own identity outside of their family.


Pregnancy journey

One of the thing professionals have to really pay attention to is

We have deadlines to meet. We have service level agreements, we have filing dates. We have response times, we have expectations.

Time is a non-renewable resource. Thank you for investing your time in reading this blogpost!

It’s a joke to say, after a tedious meeting “That’s an hour of my life I won’t get back!”

And it’s true.

Some hours are also more precious than others. Like the day I got married is a very precious experience and memory.

And your pregnancy, while often tedious, can be a precious time. It’s something you want to cherish.

The first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat is a big deal.

I want that to be free from external stresses and worries.

That’s why THe PRegnant Professional lays out the whole picture of what you need to expect for your career while pregnant, and what you will need from your job, so that you don’t have to worry about what you are missing.

I’ve got you covered.

Because I want you to be able to enjoy these first times. You can’t get them back

All the generations

** first ever Q&A conference call this friday 3/17 at 1 PM pacific**
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I got to go to a birthday party this weekend. My daughter’s best friend’s younger sister was turning three.

I love this family’s parties. They invite so many people! There were newborns and great grandmothers.

Brothers and sisters and cousins and childhood friends and new friends–like me–were altogether eating cake and drinking sodas.

LIttle Miss Three was handing out ring pops like a queen dispensing largess.

All these people getting together to support one another touched me.

I don’t throw parties very often, and I don’t think I have that span of ages.

It’s a rich heritage to have people who remember you. And people that can give you advice and help you out when you aren’t sure what to do.

My friend has a a support network like that. I am lucky enough to be part of it.

Others don’t have that kind of network. And even if some of us do have a wide circle of people we could reach out to, we might not have the right sort of people to ask specific things.

Time changes what the cultural norms are.

My mother’s experience of working while pregnant was not the same as mine. She had a different kind of job, a different sort of boss.

For women in this new era, with new norms and expectations, I created the Pregnant Professional. This is meant to be a place where advice and reassurance can be found, in the moment of pregnancy during your career.

Somehow something always comes up

So this morning I got a call on my work cellphone. One of my team can’t show up today because of car trouble.

It happens.

We figured it out and things will be okay. There’s another guy who can fill in and we’ll get the boxes delivered and the install work done.

The guy whose car wouldn’t start felt really bad. I didn’t rub it in, I told him that I hoped his car would get fixed soon.

Like I said. It happens.

It happens often enough that you can’t even be surprised or upset when it happens.

What you have to do is have enough slack in the system that one or two hiccups won’t throw it all off.

That’s what I do for my Pregnant Professional tribe. What I do is help women look over their career and family landscape, look at what they want and what their resources are, and make their plans.

You know that saying?

If you want to make God laugh, make a plan?

I know that the plans people come up with are not foolproof. But when you have a plan, and have a good grasp on what your resources and options are, you can handle a hiccup.

Just like my little hiccup this morning. In the end, it all worked out beautifully.

That’s what I want for you, my Pregnant Professionals: smooth, panic-free career transition.

And it’s absolutely possible.

Sunday Mom day

It’s Sunday morning, and daylight savings “Spring Forward” just happened. That’s the worst half of daylight savings.

I am not really affected by light or lack thereof. My mother is, and I know others are. When there is not enough daylight in their lives, they feel off. Perhaps this will help my mom feel happier in her day.

For me, daylight savings mostly messes up my delicate family schedule. It’s a very sensitive ecosystem of things that must be done at certain time, most particularly bedtime for my daughter Veronica. She requires a lot of help to get to sleep.

In a lot of ways, though, this is Sunday like any other. This is the day that I get stocked and loaded for the week.

Do I have laundry done so that I have the right things to wear? Are there particular events (meetings at work or events in the evening) that I need to have an outfit ready for?

What events will happen this week that I need to get supplies for, or do prep work on?

Do I have enough food for everyone’s meals this week? Are there other non-food items we are out of, like toothpaste or toilet paper? What different stores do I need to visit to get these?

And what windows of time in the weekend will that all get done? which parts of the day are already taken?

Because once I hid the pillow on Sunday night, whatever is undone will most likely STAY undone for the rest of the week.

Sure, I might be able to order a needed item for delivery from Amazon. I might have a chance to do a load of laundry during the week.

But mostly, if it hasn’t happened by Sunday night, it’s going to have to be done later.

This lends a certain pressure to half my weekend. Because I’d really love to lay around. And I know the cost of laying around too.

Somehow I always think I can do more than I actually can. I’d really love to weed the flower patch, but that has to come second behind the special homework assignment my daughter has (why are all homework assignments more work for the parents than for the kid?!) to turn in on Thursday.

And after we give the poor dog a bath. She’s been scratching, so I can’t tell if she has fleas or is just dirty. Probably both.

But it’s all got to be done on the ‘day of rest.’

That’s what it means to be a working woman. And especially a working mother.




Because we will do what it takes

Have you heard the Clean Bandit song “Rockabye”?

It’s about a single mother who has to strip (all the better for the video) to take care of her baby. And she is determined to take care of him.

No one’s ever gonna hurt you, love
I’m gonna give you all of my love
Nobody matters like you

Yes, yes. I know you all have that same determination in your hearts, to care for your children with all you’ve got.

And isn’t it fantastic that you make enough careful choices in your life that stripping isn’t your only option.

I honor that fictional woman in the song, doing what she must. And I with even greater respect, I honor my pregnant professional tribe here.

You thought it through. You piled up education, credentials and experience. You have a whole brain and a driving ambition to be more than merely a survivor.

For myself, I resisted motherhood until I had a secure spot to launch from. I knew it would be tough (what little I knew!), and I knew that I needed a solid solid ground to take care of myself as well as a little child.

I knew I wanted to work. I knew I had something to share with the world, and although motherhood was part of it, it would not be enough.

Like that phrase:
necessary but not sufficient.

We have ambitions to feed as well as tiny mouths.

Mad respect, my pregnant professionals.

Martyrdom is not required. We need empresses of our domains.

Mother Stories from the Front Lines

As I work to spread the message of The Pregnant Professional, I’ve been learning more and more about the need for this program. Every person I speak to is excited about the need for this program. Everyone shares more and more ways to spread the word and support my fellow women in their career choices.

This week I had the opportunity to get in front of some entrepreneurial businesswomen, all mothers. These women are dedicated to their families and on fire with ambition. Their commitment to their family and to themselves inspired me.

I was able to do a quick survey and the results truly amazed me. Yes, this was a self-selected group of entrepreneurial mothers, but when they shared their background and entrepreneurial origin stories I got a glimpse of the big picture about how their families motivate them in business.

Again and again I heard the story of how having a baby changed everything. More than 80% of the respondents said they changed their career path after the child was born.

I heard of women having very clear-cut goals for their lives, goals that had taken years of education and preparation. When their child was born, and these women held a little baby in their arms, an immediate shift happened.

The majority of the respondents said this new life unexpectedly shifted their plans and ambitions. They immediately began to re-route their life path so they could stay with the little one.

Doctors, accountants, and attorneys took one look at their baby and began planning how to do their work so they would not be pulled away from that child.

Not a single woman responded to say that her ambitions left her. More than 40% said that they were not willing to give up their autonomy, to have to choose what an employer demanded above what she felt her children needed.

One woman told how her three children had taken the place of a career in her life, but now that they were grown her ambitions were hotter than ever.

Another woman shared that she enjoyed being a working mom, it fit her life and her family and so that was her choice.

12% of the women shared that they had planned their career, even before having children, so that they could be the kind of mother they wanted to be. They chose careers that would allow them autonomy to choose their children.

They all agreed that their focus intensified after the child arrived, their ambitions took on bigger meaning.

I was so moved by their empowerment. These women were captains of their ship, in tune with their intuition and knowing what was important to them. They were able, even when their bodies were wracked from delivering their babies, to recognize what they needed and begin to enact it immediately.

It was a group of entrepreneurial women, and so they had already made their choice to be in business for themselves.

I know there are more stories of how women in the workforce with bosses have negotiated the right kind of working environment for themselves. I will look to hear more of those too.

I am inspired by these stories of determination and ambition. Women standing up for their families and themselves is exactly what the Pregnant Professional is about.


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The Pregnant Professional

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What it means to be a pregnant professional

Someone asked me the other day to talk to their group about the Pregnant Professional. There is so much happening here, all the support that I can provide to women who are working while pregnant! Of course, I was excited to share my story, but I had to gather my thoughts to express it succinctly.
The Pregnant Professional—what does that mean?


Really, the first question is to define “professional.”  If a person is a pregnant professional, they are first a professional. Pregnant is a describing word, a characteristic of professional.

So, what does it mean to be a professional?

I googled it, and there is (of course) way too much information. There are a ton of listicles telling us Five or Seven or Ten Ways to be Professional.

Mph. Thanks for nothing.

So, I had to use my own brain. I pondered and came up with 3 aspects of Professionalism.

Here they are:

  • Expert
  • Trusted
  • Valued

A professional is a trusted, valued expert.

Here is what I mean. When an employer hires someone to do a job for them, they try to find someone who has expertise and skill in the area they are hiring someone to be responsible for. They hope that the person they hire has all the experience and more to handle the job. But even if the employee has very little expertise, just by the fact that they hold they job, they are the expert.

Back when I was an intern at NASA, utterly conscious of my ignorance and intimidated to tears by what felt to me like a job that was way over my head, one of the sweet scientists told me “All it takes to be an expert is to know more than anybody else in the room.”

So just by having the job, you are granted and tasked with being the expert in your area of responsibility.

Now we come to trusted. Your employer entrusts you with your position. Your position is an area of responsibility you are the designated expert in, and you are trusted to do the work and be the expert. Even if anyone doubts your expertise—even and especially yourself!—you are definitely trusted with your position.

You are trusted until the position is taken away. Up till that time, you have the trust.

And now I will talk about being valued.

One of the easy answers for defining a professional is one who is paid. So, an amateur is not paid but a professional makes money. Money is an easy definition of value. In about a thousand different ways, money is the boiled down right-side-of-the-equation answer to how valued you are.

All that is cold and clinical. Since I’m talking about pregnant professionals, I’m talking about people and I’m talking about women.

Three dimensional women with emotions.

When I asked woman if she is trusted, most likely she will put this in a feeling context. How does she think about how other people feel about her?

And at her favorite time of day, when she’s well-fed rested and happy, that answer will be one way.

And when she’s tired, achy, and hormonal, that answer will be different.

Tired, achy and hormonal is the base state of pregnancy.

A 360-degree approach to the world is valuable. Turning all the way around and getting the whole picture is a great idea. And often you come right back to where you started.

So how do we define a pregnant professional?

A trusted, valued expert who is pregnant.

In this case, your employer is exactly where you left him or her. It is YOU who have changed. Your area of responsibility, that area of expertise that you have been trusted with, the one your employer valued and needs you to do is still there.

What has changed is that you now need to manage the circumstance of your pregnancy as a factor in your job.

I’m a project manager at construction sites. I make sure the work teams have they supplies they need, that they know what they need to do and can get it done. A big part of what I do is make sure that all the people we are paying to do work have work to do while we are paying them.

If an unusual circumstance came up, I’d have to manage it. Say a crew of 4 came to a site to do work and there wasn’t electricity in the building. I’d have to think about it and see if there was work we could do. A change in what was planned or what had been expected is super common, and we all must be nimble and make changes and move things forward.

Your pregnancy is a change in your job. Just a little. And it’s your area of responsibility, so it’s your job to keep your employer informed about what is happening and how it might affect your job.

When it comes to a new area of responsibility at work, it’s your job to study up and get informed about it. Your pregnancy is the same way. What will you need to know? What can you reasonably expect for how this will affect your job? Gather the data, get your facts and be ready to present to your boss what is going on.

A trusted expert is especially valued if she keeps surprises to a minimum. Also, when surprises happen, she has a plan and takes care of it.

All these things require advance preparation. And that is where this program can help. You may not have thought it all the way through, what this pregnancy will mean at you job.

It’s a lot to grapple with. Especially when you are tired, achy and hormonal.

That’s why I have made a handbook, a roadmap, and a whole bunch of cute little videos (I even put makeup on) to tell you what you need to know. Good god, it’s too much for you to have to try to google it on your own.

You do not have that kind of time. Give yourself a break and get some help.

You can do this. You already are the best person for the job.

Still going

Here’s the thing about being pregnant:

It is temporary. It is massively temporary. In the landscape of a woman’s whole life, a small portion of it is spent being temporary.

You know what’s NOT temporary? Being a mom. That’s a line you cross and never go back. And for most of us moms, it’s a very time-consuming status. We want to be the best moms we can be.

Two lovely women who read this blog have given birth since i started it. Funny, that. I’ve been thinking about how that’s inevitable.

I want to keep supporting you, moms. I can’t just step away. There is a whole journey of momhood I’d like to support too.

A friend of mine who is a therapist says her job is to only be there for a few months, and then her clients have gotten what they need and move on. I suppose that makes sense.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. I connect deeply with my circle.

This whole Pregnant Professional concept is about women’s full lives. Yes, we are moms. And we are broader too. We have careers and ambitions and a whole self that motherhood doesn’t touch.

SO, I plan to find a way to support that part too. After the Pregnant Professional isn’t pregnant anymore, there is still a women there. I would like to call her:

Working Wonder Mom

Because she’s working. Oh yes, she’s working. She’s a wonder woman! Wait, she’s a wonder MOM!.

She’s a wonder, like a superhero.

She’s also wondering how to make everything a little better. How to reach higher and deeper and go bigger with her ambitions, her career and her life.

I wrote this book Pregnant Professional, and created the course to help pregnant career women. I’m super proud of it.

I haven’t written a book about the HUGE area of what Working Wonder Moms have to life with as they navigate their dreams, career, and the diapers, laundry, diet and EVERYTHING of their life.

I bet I could start though. I want us to have a place and a resource to go to.

Because I’m ambitious like that.

Work Hazards

Still deep in my OSHA training at my new job. I am repeatedly horrified at how many fatal accidents occur at work. They remind me how most if not all of these accidents are so preventable.

It tears me up to hear of these (mostly construction) workers falling to their deaths or being electrocuted.

Be Careful!

And as I read and learn from this important training, I find a gap. It’s not death, not usually, but there is that other kind of hazardous work condition. The harrassment, the bullying, and the hostile work environment.

My training touches on it very lightly, “It’s not macho to risk your life!”

Yeah. And why would they have to say that? Because working conditions can have this culture of unsafe practices. And the unsafe practices start long before you choose the ladder to do the work on the roof.

I have read so many articles and even books about how to stand up for yourself and ask for what you need at work.

Does anyone else feel like that song? It’s good advice that you just can’t take.


Those smug article writers will glibly tell me and any other people reading their “7 reasons why you can demand what you need from your workplace” what and how to say what we need.

But when I found myself against the wall, crying through my commute every night because of hostilities and non-cooperation from co-workers, I needed more than a listicle.

I am so glad those days are over. It’s strange to realize that it took years after LEAVING that hostile work environment to recover my equilibrium and feel like a person again.

To put a neon arrow by it, this type of mental culture can have a big impact on a woman’s willingness and ability to speak up and ask for what she needs and wants while pregnant.

It’s not just one thing.

What’s in YOUR workday?

I’m reading a massive article from the Atlantic about maternity leave for women.

Here’s a quote:
the focus on maternity leave gives the impression that if only America had a reasonable policy, women would be able to participate fully and equally in the workforce, they’d climb the ranks of management, and there would be more female senators. Our interviews revealed that while working parents would welcome improved paid parental leave, it’s only the tip of a very large iceberg: The real challenge is everything that comes after those hazy newborn days.

Um. Yeah. I get a little frustrated hearing people rhapsodize about the European countries that allow massive maternity leave, even REQUIRE it!

Thanks, but I want to work. I want to have a team of people help me and my family. I want to use my brain and my people skills.

It makes me happy.

I am wondering if I need to bring the pregnant professional past just the moment of pregnancy. That LOOOONNNGGGG moment of pregnancy, which pales in comparison to the Long LIFE of parenthood.

Couldn’t it be different? Couldn’t the efforts of the knowledge workers (this in the information age, after all) that are what most workers do, couldn’t that be changed to make more sense? It would be great if families were really regarded as equally important to the workplace.

Workers are hard to find and hard to keep. There are a gazillion studies about worker retention.

But respecting and helping balance our life is lagging.

There has to be a better way. I believe that women deserve a chance. Why do we have to so easily sacrifice ourselves because of parenting?

It doesn’t have to be that way.