Stress is part of work and home life. There is no way to avoid stress altogether, but there are ways of minimizing stress and the effect of stress on pregnancy, especially in a work setting. The effects of stress on pregnancy can cause serious complications, thus women continuing to work during pregnancy should be prepared with a few relaxation and de-stress tips to maintain a healthy pregnancy at work.
- Take 15 minutes every couple of hours during the workday.
If working in a stressful environment is your only option during pregnancy, take frequent time-outs to recoup and relax. All it takes is 15 minutes of peace and quiet to lower the heart rate and calm the nerves. If possible, find a quiet place where no other employees will bother you during your brief quiet time.
- Use deep breathing exercises to relax heart rate.
When you feel stress getting the best of you, close your eyes and take 10 to 20 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the sound of your breath and the feeling in your lungs. Your heart rate will lower and your mind will clear almost instantly.
There are times when stress is inevitable at work and then there are times when you find yourself in a situation that can be avoided. Avoided stress is one of the better means of staying calm and reducing the impact of stress on your pregnancy. Walk away from situations, both direct and indirect, that may cause stress. If you must be a part of the situation, take a few minutes and breathe deeply before returning.
- Divert stressful decision-making to a co-worker when possible.
Making stressful decisions is a part of working. During pregnancy, try to divert the most stressful decision-making to co-workers whenever possible. If you are in a higher level position, try asking your assistant to take up some of the stressful slack for a few weeks.
- Avoid working overnight or late night shifts.
Late night and overnight shifts can cause undue stress at home. There are clinical studies proving that late night and overnight shifts can cause reduced lifespan, which is something no pregnant woman wants to envision. Switching to day shift is the best possible option for pregnant women, especially during the latter stages of pregnancy.
Stress at work is not something you can avoid all the time, but you can control how you respond to stress. Surround yourself with calming images and music, breathe deeply and focus on the most important part of life right now, your health and your unborn baby.