Many self-employed people are focused on an hourly invoice and making as much profit as possible.

During a pregnancy it doesn't get any easier to realize those ambitions.

How do you remain successful as an entrepreneur?

First a disclaimer: those who yearn for hands-on tips to be able to work day and night with a baby belly, will not be reassured by this story.

The urge to remain equally successful is actually based on a wrong assumption, according to pregnancy therapist and self-employed person Angelique Verstegen.

"You should actually see it differently. The priority should not lie with your turnover, but whether you get enough rest. But I know that that is extremely difficult for self-employed people", says Verstegen, who has more than twenty years of experience as a midwife and pregnancy counselor.

You don't really need to explain to anyone that a pregnancy costs a lot of energy, often entails all kinds of ailments and requires extra rest.

But that message is difficult to get through to the enthusiastic, hard-working one-man: you love your work and you need that profit.

You don't have to lie down all day

"Remember that you are actually trying to do two things at the same time: being pregnant full-time and running a business. A man of that age doesn't have two full-time jobs either," says Verstegen.

By the way, nobody says that you have to lie on the couch all day if you are pregnant or if your pregnancy is bothering you.

"See if you can arrange a financial buffer, AOV or crowdsurance in time in case you are unable to work due to your pregnancy."

"There is a lot between working full-time and not working at all. Check for yourself: is it realistic what I am doing now?", Advises Ina Heijnen, author and expert in the field of combining pregnancy and work.

"It's never been so black and white. When you look at it that way, it becomes easier to rest more."

According to Heijnen and Verstegen, there are certainly things you can do to continue your business in a healthy way:

  • Ideally, preparations begin before you become pregnant.

    Realize that you will probably have less turnover in those nine months and prevent the step back from coming as a blow.

    Check whether you can arrange a financial buffer, disability insurance (AOV) or crowdsurance on time in case you are unable to work due to your pregnancy.

  • Slow down your work pace during your pregnancy.

    Start a little later in the day, take frequent breaks and rest for an hour in the afternoon.

    Heijnen: "If you take a step back in time, you will also remain employable for longer."

  • If you have a large client, tell them you are pregnant as soon as you feel comfortable with it.

    For example, say that you want to coordinate how the collaboration works every three weeks.

    This way you prevent disappointing your customer if you can handle a period less.

  • Discuss any replacement with your client in advance, should you drop out.

    This is pleasant for the client and good for your long-term relationship.

  • If you work on location: discuss whether you can use the client's rest room (intended for, among others, pregnant and boiling employees).

  • For example, do you work as a hairdresser, in a hospital or in construction?

    Then, as a pregnant woman, you are exposed to occupational health and safety risks that not all clients pay close attention to.

    You can look up your profession and any risks yourself in the SER guidelines.