Now that you are pregnant have you considered whether you will be working in the future? This is the time to decide what options you have whether you should continue working when pregnant or not.
Talk to your employer about what options you have regarding maternity leave, or if you have a contract at work what happens during these circumstances.
Some woman, when they fall pregnant they leave work almost immediately to begin to prepare for the birth of their child. But we can rarely see that happening because in today's society both parents need an income just to manage. Some even work right up until 2 weeks before their birth of their child and are normally back at work within a few months of their child's birth.
Realistically, working while pregnant isn't a great option but unfortunately for most families this is the only option available. Not only do you spend less time with your other child, you have to work full time, come home late and tired and deal with the new baby, day in and day out. I think that’s what we call “life”.
I am writing this article for the expecting mums who have decided to work during pregnancy. This is a practical guideline that outlines matters to consider while working during pregnancy to make the nine months more comfortable for you.
When I Shouldn't Continue Working when Pregnant
There are quite a few jobs out there that you should reconsider continuing if you are pregnant.
- Your job involves a lot of bending, stair or ladder climbing, or heavy lifting.
- You work in an extremely hot, cold, or noisy environment.
- You work long hours or rotating shifts.
- You are exposed to infectious diseases, chemicals, or toxic substances while at work.
- Your job requires that you stand for more than three hours per day.
- Your work is highly strenuous or physically demanding.
If your job happens to fall in one of the above categories it's a good idea to discuss what options you have available with your employer if you would like to continue working during the nine months of pregnancy. I would also recommend talking to your doctor regarding the conditions of your work if you are unsure whether or not it will be safe for you and the baby.
How do I Manage Working and Pregnancy?
The biggest difficult that you will face during working while pregnant will be staying comfortable. During your nine months of pregnancy you will be dealing with morning sickness, nausea, your body changing and the various aches and pains you will experience due to pregnancy. Here are a few tips of staying comfortable at work.
Avoid nausea triggers – Now that you are pregnant even the smell of foods can make you run to the nearest bathroom. Even a colleague might be making lunch and your tummy will begin to have uneasiness. Stay clear of anything that may trigger nausea.
Snack often – Crackers and other bland foods can be lifesavers when you feel nauseated. Keep a stash at work for easy snacking. Ginger ale or ginger tea may help, too.
Drink plenty of fluids – It's important you drink enough fluids through the day if not your nausea may end up getting worse. Keep a water bottle at your desk or in your work area and sip throughout the day.
Take short, frequent breaks – Getting up and moving around for a few minutes can really benefit you. Spending a few minutes with the lights off, your eyes closed and your feet up also can help you recharge, take a catnap at work if necessary.
Keep up your fitness routine – Although exercise may be the last thing on your mind at the end of a long day, physical activity may help boost your energy level — especially if you sit at a desk all day. Take a walk after work or join a pregnancy fitness class, as long as your doctor gives you the “all clear”.
Sitting – Make sure if you spend all day sitting at work that you are comfortable and the seat has adjustable armrests, a firm seat and back cushions, and good lower back support — especially as your weight and posture change. If your chair isn't adjustable, improvise. Use a small pillow or cushion to provide extra support for your back.
Standing – Prolonged standing can cause blood to pool in your legs, which may lead to pain or dizziness. It also puts pressure on your back. If you must stand for long periods of time, put one of your feet up on a footrest, low stool or box. Switch feet every so often, and take frequent breaks. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Consider wearing support hose, too.
Bending and lifting – Proper form can spare your back, even if you're lifting something light. Bend at your knees, not your waist. Keep the load close to your body, lifting with your legs — not your back. Avoid twisting your body while lifting. Ask for help when lifting heavy objects.
When to Stop Working When Pregnant
If your pregnancy has been a healthy one then you should stop working 2 to 3 weeks before your baby is due. This will help you get ready for the baby's arrival and make you feel more comfortable, giving your body time to prepare, nearing end of your pregnancy.
However if you feel comfortable while working, it could be a good distraction for you as you wait for the baby. You could work right up until a week before your due date. If you do decide to work, make sure you are able to get to the hospital in case your water breaks while working.
Another way to tell when you should stop working is if you are uncomfortable all the time, this usually happens a couple of days before the birth. However, if you are having problems and are having difficulty at your job because of the pregnancy, then talk to your doctor and they might tell you it is time to stop working.
With keeping these tips in mind while you are working all you have to do is wait nine months until a baby pops out of you...I wish you the very best of joy and happiness.
Don't forget to talk to your employer about work during pregnancy once you have found out that you are pregnant to see what options are available to you. Please, if you have any concerns regarding your working environment or about pregnancy and job, talk to your doctor.