Pregnancy could be exciting as well as uncertain. While you decide to continue to work during pregnancy even during your last trimester or even until your due date, there could be unforeseen reasons to stop working during pregnancy for which you need to be mentally prepared.
Deciding when to stop working during pregnancy is purely your choice. It includes many factors such as maternity leave, financial conditions, and family situations. Even though you might want to work until the last day of pregnancy, there are a few indications or signs to stop work during pregnancy.
If you are looking for an answer for: “when should I stop working during my pregnancy”, or worried about doing household work during pregnancy, we got you covered.
When to stop working during pregnancy is completely a mom-to-be’s choice, as there are many factors to consider before taking that big step. While a few women prefer to work even until the last hour of labor, some women may start to lose focus on work and start concentrating more on their baby’s arrival as their due date approaches.
Many women can carry on their routine work until 32 weeks to 34 weeks of pregnancy unless there isn’t a pregnancy complication. However, there are certain types of work that can increase the risk of preterm babies. These include
- Jobs that require long hours of standing
- Involving lifting heavyweights
- Exposure to too many chemicals and a noisy atmosphere
While most of the household work during pregnancy is considered safe and is recommended to stay active throughout pregnancy, chores such as lifting heavy weights, too much strain, or standing for long hours or if there are medical reasons to stop working during pregnancy, it is better to avoid doing them.
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Since pregnancy is a delicate phase, whatever you do could affect you and the baby inside you. While most of the household work is safe to do during pregnancy, there are a few precautions to be followed and one should be aware of what household chores to do & what to do avoid for a safe pregnancy. Ensure you stay active as well as avoid strenuous work to keep the pregnancy safe.
Simple tasks such as cutting vegetables, folding clothes, cooking, washing utensils, etc can be done with care. The rule while doing any chore is not to spend too much time standing or sitting for a long time. Also, when you choose to clean bathrooms and toilets, use cleaners that are eco-friendly and chemical-free.
Though it is safe to do most fags household activities a few that are listed below are better avoided. This is because of the stress it could put over the body and the risk that it could cause for your pregnancy.
- A task that involves carrying heavy loads or moving furniture.
- Too much climbing — things like cleaning ceiling fans or changing curtains
- Using toxic sprays to kill insects and flies
A woman who has a normal and healthy pregnancy can work up to the start of the labor. Nevertheless, you can always discontinue when you have reasons to stop working during pregnancy. While the decision is purely a personal choice, some women choose to stop working weeks before their due date while others choose to work until the last day.
Many moms wish to work until the last day of the pregnancy mainly to save their maternity leaves and to use the time for bonding with their babies. It is also the ideal time for the mother to recover from delivery. Whatever planned, for a few, the signs to stop working during pregnancy occur much sooner than anticipated. Hence, the decision of when to stop working during pregnancy is always uncertain.
Listed below are a few signs and reasons to stop working during pregnancy which you must pay heed to.
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Pregnant women wish and pray to avoid preterm delivery. If you are seeing signs of preterm complications, it is time for you to discuss with your doctor to stop working during pregnancy. This usually happens three weeks before the due date, when the body starts getting ready for labor.
While it is said that conditions such as too much stress or lifting heavy weight may cause preterm labor, it is better to avoid and take a break during this condition as it is one of the important signs to stop work during pregnancy.
A few signs of preterm complications include:
- Fluid leaking in the vagina
- Vaginal bleeding
Related Reading: 11 Common Complications During Pregnancy And Delivery
There are a few danger signs to watch out for during pregnancy that can make your pregnancy a high-risk one. Your first pregnancy could have come easy, but chances of having twins and multiples or complications such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure automatically make your pregnancy high-risk.
When you could barely walk or are on bed rest, working with pregnancy complications can make the situation worse. There are a lot of complications to deal with in a high-risk pregnancy. Hence, it is better to stop working sooner in this condition to avoid further risk.
Factors contributing to a high-risk pregnancy include:
- Smoking and alcohol
- High blood pressure
- Heart or blood disorders
- Poor fetal growth
- Multiple pregnancies
- History of preeclampsia
If you and your baby are healthy and your job does not demand much from you, it is ok to continue with it. However, some jobs require more physical exhaustion such as bartenders, nurses, pharma sector, sales, etc. where you might be expected to stand for a long time or strain yourself too much.
During pregnancy, working women have special concerns. Hence, physically exhausting work increases the chances of having a problematic pregnancy such as premature babies, high blood pressure in pregnant women, and fetuses remaining small for the gestational age1.
Some of the physically taxing work includes:
- Prolonged standing
- Heavy weight lifting
- Night shifts
Having said that, even a normal desk job could also become tedious during any phase of the pregnancy. These kinds of jobs require you to sit all day long which could make it tough leading to swelling in the legs and adding pressure to the belly.
If you find your job demanding more or if you could not concentrate on your work properly, it is one of the signs to stop working during pregnancy. Perhaps, you wouldn’t quit your job for a normal headache, right? But if it is getting serious, would you not consider it?
Even if your job isn’t physically demanding, the emotional trauma that you undergo could lead to stress and anxiety which isn’t good for the little human growing up.
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The choice of making an announcement of your pregnancy to your employer is personal. However, it is better to do it early as you might need to make sure that your nature of work and the workplace isn’t dangerous for you or your fetus. Jobs, where pregnant women are exposed to too much noise or significant exposure to radiation and chemical substances could harm the fetus.
In some cases, some risks are impossible to avoid at work. If your nature of work is one amongst them, it is better to ask your employer to alter the nature of work or provide you with an alternative. If your employer cannot find a suitable job for you, it is one of the reasons to stop working during pregnancy as hazardous conditions aren’t recommended for any pregnant woman.
Whether you are expecting your first child or the fourth, there is a lot to do on a baby’s arrival. Balancing work and life is a special skill that not everyone is capable of. If you want time to prepare yourself for the big day by packing clothes or just relaxing and keeping your mind free from tensions, it is one of the good reasons to stop working during pregnancy.
When you aren’t prepared for the baby’s arrival or the due date, physically and mentally, it could become exhausting and stressful. Taking a break a few days or weeks before the due date, just to anticipate the baby’s arrival could be bliss!
There are a few signs to stop working during pregnancy that must not be ignored. The most common rationale for it would be based on the doctor’s recommendation. Also, the reason to stop working during pregnancy could vary from one mother to another. While some work because of financial constraints, the others could be of personal choice.
If you have any pregnancy complications which require you to stay on rest or if your workplace is hazardous, continuing your job might not be suitable for you. Always remember to weigh your work against the health risks it might possess for you and your baby.
The final word — you should consider all factors and decide on when to stop work during pregnancy before someone else makes that decision for you.