Being a mother is a full-time job. Things could be even more different or difficult if you are a working woman. Once you are pregnant, you may start considering many factors like working during pregnancy, continuing your night shifts during pregnancy, etc. Pregnancy need not be a reason to put your career to end. Working during pregnancy can be simplified with proper planning and balance between your work and your health. Nevertheless, things could get tricky, especially during the first trimester in case you experience symptoms like nausea, morning sickness.
If you are a working woman, you might be stressed about many things such as informing your boss about your pregnancy, the safety for you and your baby in your work environment, etc. Though pregnancy is a time for excitement, you also need to be aware of many things like jobs that should not be done during pregnancy and about how many hours a pregnant woman can work.
Here is what you need to know about tips for working during pregnancy and the things that must be avoided for a safe pregnancy.
Though it is safe for pregnant women to work until their due date, the safety of working during pregnancy largely depends upon the nature of your work, existing pregnancy complications, and your overall health status. However, according to a source, most women can continue working during pregnancy.
Pregnancy causes a lot of changes to your body and your ability to work during pregnancy depends on your health, the fetus health, your work hours, etc. Many jobs are safe to continue during pregnancy. Some jobs might not be very difficult during your early pregnancy phase, however can be tough later. If you want to continue working throughout pregnancy you must be safe and comfortable.
Work schedules and work hours can also impact how long you are able to continue working when expecting a child. Many jobs require an employee to stand for long hours and some shifts extend to even 12 hours. Many pregnant women doubt how many hours a pregnant woman should work and can a pregnant woman work 12 hours? The number of hours and the shifts you work are both important factors for working during pregnancy.
According to a source, the risk of preterm labor and miscarriage was high on pregnant women who worked for more than 40/hours per week and it was even higher for those who worked for more than 51-70 hours and 71+ hours per week.
Also, another source reveals that working during pregnancy for at least two-night shifts per week had higher chances of miscarriage (32%) than those who work during the day.
Also, there are a few jobs that should not be done during pregnancy such as jobs involving carrying or lifting heavy loads, working with chemicals and dangerous substances, involving loud noise, standing for a long time, to name a few. Basically, anything that can pose a risk to your pregnancy and baby is off limits.
6 Do’s When Working During Pregnancy
It could be a little tough for pregnant women to work and to take care of themselves too. Some women are more focused on work during pregnancy which can mean compromising or neglecting health due to stress, work schedules, highly-demanding jobs. etc. Working women find it harder to balance work and life.
Related Reading: 11 Tips For Balancing Work And Motherhood
Though pregnancy is beautiful, it does come with a lot of challenges. Things such as nausea, mood swings, headaches during pregnancy can happen during any part of the day. And when you are working during pregnancy, you have to be prepared for it. Many women continue to work during pregnancy and have succeeded well too. All you need to do is play safe, take care of your health, listen to your doctor and maintain a good work-life balance.
Listed below are a few things to do while working during pregnancy.
1. Eat in regular intervals
Even though you eat a hearty breakfast before going to work, you could start feeling hungry within an hour or two. This is because pregnancy can take a ride on your appetite and all you need to do is keep snacking at regular intervals to ensure you do not get fatigued.
Pack small snacks in enough quantity along with your lunch which includes healthy options such as dry fruits, sprouts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, vegetables, etc. Pick foods that keep you energized and full.
It is vital to stay hydrated, especially while working during pregnancy. Many pregnant women may not intake the recommended water levels while they are at work. Water plays an important role as it delivers the necessary nutrients to the fetus through the placenta and the amniotic sac.
Dehydration during pregnancy could also lead to problems such as constipation and swelling. Ensure to carry clean and filtered water from home to your workplace. You may also drink fresh juices to keep yourself hydrated. Cut off sodas or caffeine intake during this period.
Related Reading: 18 Home Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy
Sitting for long hours can become uncomfortable as you progress in pregnancy. You can combat this exhaustion by taking small breaks and by moving around your workplace. It is recommended that you take frequent breaks every few hours. Ensure your meal break is longer for every four hours.
While you sit, keep your legs elevated using a small stool. Even a waste bin, in that case, would be of great help. Do not cross your legs as it hampers blood circulation.
Working during pregnancy may not provide you time for fitness. However, it is important to stay fit throughout pregnancy as it helps in overall health. It is better to dedicate 30 minutes every day for exercising or at least 20 minutes in 4 days a week to get benefits.
The idea behind exercising during pregnancy is to keep the blood flowing. Simple exercises or even brisk walks would help you stay active. It is safe to exercise during pregnancy unless you have any pregnancy-related complications.
It is essential to eat a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals nutrients during pregnancy to help the growth of a fetus. However, the nutrients from food may alone not suffice the growth of the fetus. Hence, doctors recommend prenatal vitamins that contain nutrients rich in iron, folic, and calcium for both the mother and the child.
Do not skip taking these medicines while working during pregnancy as they help in the overall growth of the child.
Whether you will return to work or hope to quit your job, planning maternity leave is crucial. Discuss your maternity leave plans with the officers concerned. Plan for the change in your nature of work (in case it is hazardous) and any transitioning you might require in the work schedule or shift timings.
Related Reading: 12 Relevant Things To Know Before Choosing A Pediatrician
Get to know the details on how many hours of work is required, if it is mandatory to work full time or if you can opt for work from home options. You could also discuss with other ladies in the organization how they planned their maternity leaves.
5 Don’ts When Working During Pregnancy
Women work during pregnancy due to various reasons such as personal choice, circumstances, or financial needs. Many women work till the start of the labor, while some stop many days, weeks or months before. It all boils down to your personal choice and whether you have a normal, healthy pregnancy or not.
If you choose to work during pregnancy, there are a few things that you might or need to be aware of. Remember, whatever you do is going to affect you and your fetus health. No mom-to-be is willing to do anything that is going to make her pregnancy dangerous.
We have listed below a few things that every pregnant woman must avoid while working during pregnancy.
It is vital to keep stress at bay anytime during pregnancy as the chances of miscarriage and preterm labor are high due to stress. Try to avoid unpleasant situations at work or excuse yourself from talks or activities that could stress you. Do not take overload, instead try to do limited tasks that do not lead to a build-up of tension.
Just like staying cautious on what to eat and what not to, there are a few activities that you must avoid at all costs while pregnant. You might be a helpful person. But helping people lift heavy objects or carrying stuff from one bay to another during pregnancy isn’t encouraged.
Related Reading: 9 Common Pregnancy Aches and Pains With Remedies
Avoid any task involving too much physical strain or carrying heavy. Also standing for long hours could cause swelling in the legs and induce back pain. Keep in mind to cut off activities involving strain and pressure. Even while you walk, keep small steps to avoid accidents.
Working in night shifts or staying awake late for long hours to work isn’t recommended for pregnant women. Many pregnant women are already sleep-deprived. Hence, late nights working during pregnancy or attending office parties aren’t welcomed. In case you do attend parties, get back early and yes — without having that sip of alcohol.
Pregnancy is a different time and you need not be fashion-oriented during this phase. Accept the fact that your body is changing and plan your dress accordingly. Working during pregnancy is fine, but what is not fine is taking risks. Avoid those high heels during pregnancy, since you’d not want to take a chance and trip. Tight jeans may have been your favorite outfit, but you may need to ditch it for more comfortable clothes. There are many good pregnancy clothes you could try, rather than experimenting.
Related Reading: 9 Hacks To Dress During Pregnancy Without Maternity Clothes
Now that you are pregnant, choosing healthy habits must be your prime goal. Cut on activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol. Don’t be tempted by those coffee vending machines in the office. Working during pregnancy also means you need to ensure a healthy growing environment for your little one. Caffeine isn’t healthy for you and the fetus. Instead, opt for tea.
Related Reading: What Teas Are Safe To Drink While Pregnant?
Work can be tiring even in normal circumstances. Working during pregnancy could be even more tiring as your body goes through a lot of changes. Though the doubt of working during pregnancy occurs too often, it is safe to work until your due date, unless you do not have any pregnancy complications.
Remember, if your job involves too much strain or dealing with harmful substances, talk with your employer to avoid or minimize the job to continue working during pregnancy. Do not take too much risk while working during pregnancy. Keep following the tips provided above, as pregnancy is a phase that keeps changing week by week and all we need is a safe and happy pregnancy.