If you’ve chosen to work during your pregnancy, you may face some difficult days with pregnancy-related morning sickness, a growing midsection, and mood swings associated with the same pregnancy hormones responsible for many of your aches and pains. Changing a few of your normal activities at work and preparing early for the potential impact of pregnancy on your workday can ease your struggles and help make work tolerable again.
Working during pregnancy means preparing for all those little things you know are going to happen during your workdays – like hunger, thirst, nausea, and even headaches.
- Do bring several small snacks to eat throughout the day. Small snacks help ease morning sickness, which can occur at any time of the day.
- Do bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Proper hydration is key for pregnancy health, but dehydration can also make that morning sickness more pronounced – so drink often.
- Do take frequent breaks to walk around. Swelling, pain, and fatigue are common during pregnancy and may become more of an issue if you sit at a desk all day. Take a 15-minute break every hour to walk around your desk a few times, hike to the bathroom for a quick break, or refill your water bottle. Walking may also reduce some of those aches and pains.
Just as there are things you need to do to protect yourself and your baby, there are also a few things you need to remember to avoid when you are working during pregnancy.
- Don't be around construction, painting, or cleaning. Often offices will undergo some sort of maintenance, which may include cleaning and painting. Paint and chemical fumes are not safe for your baby.
- Don’t lift heavy objects or bend at the waist. As your pregnancy progresses, bending at the waist and lifting heavy objects are out of the question. When in doubt, ask someone else to do the lifting.
- Don’t sit in front of your computer for too long. Sitting for long periods of time can cause swelling and increase the risk of blood clots in your legs. It is extremely important to get up and move at least once per hour. Moving increases circulation, moving fluids out of the extremities, and decreasing swelling.
- Don’t allow stress to overtake your day. Stress has a huge impact on your health and your pregnancy. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce daily stress.
There are plenty of women who choose to stick with a job throughout pregnancy. While in most cases work is not contraindicated, there are some things you need to do and other things you don’t to make life in the office safe and as enjoyable as possible.