It is not always easy to work out during pregnancy. Know how to combat the symptoms, and stay healthy once you do your job.
Most women can continue their work during pregnancy. However, pregnancy can present challenges in the workplace. To stay healthy and able to get the job done, understand how to reduce common pregnancy annoyances and know when a job could threaten your pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting
It’s called “morning” sickness, but nausea of pregnancy can come on at any time. To relieve nausea at work:
- Avoid nausea triggers. That double coffee you longed for every morning before pregnancy or the smell of food heated up in the break room microwave may now make your stomach turn. Completely get rid of anything that makes you nauseous.
- Eat snacks regularly. Pretzels and other neutral foods can be a lifesaver when you feel nauseous. Keep stock at work for an easy snack. Ginger syrup or ginger tea can help, too.
Working with fatigue
You may feel tired because your body is working too long to support pregnancy and resting during the workday can be difficult. It may help:
Eat foods rich in iron and protein. Fatigue may be a symptom of iron deficiency anemia, but adjusting your diet can help. Choose foods like red meat, poultry, seafood, green leafy vegetables, and breakfast cereals that contain fortified whole wheat cereals and legumes.
Take frequent short breaks. Getting up and moving around for a few minutes can rejuvenate you.
Spending a few minutes turning off the lights, closing your eyes, and raising your feet can also help help you recharge.
Drink plenty of fluids. Keep a bottle of water at your desk or in your work area and drink it throughout the day.
Cutting back on activities can help you get more rest when your workday is done. Consider doing your online shopping or hiring someone to clean your house or take care of your yard.
Maintain your fitness routine. Although exercise might be the last thing on your mind at the end of a long day, physical activity can help boost your energy level especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day.
Go for a walk after work or take a prenatal fitness class, as long as your health care provider says it’s okay.
Go to bed early. Aim to sleep at least eight hours each night.
Lying on your right side will increase blood flow to your baby and reduce swelling. For extra comfort, place pillows between your feet and under your stomach.
Make sure to take a comfortable position
As your pregnancy progresses, daily activities such as sitting and standing may become uncomfortable. Remember the short, frequent breaks needed to combat fatigue? By walking around every few hours, you can also relieve muscle tension and help prevent fluid buildup in the legs and feet.
Try these other strategies, too:
sit down. With an adjustable chair with good lumbar support, you can sit for long hours in a much easier way, especially when your weight and posture change. If the chair is not adjustable, use a small pillow or bolster to support your back more. Elevate your legs to reduce swelling.
stand up. If you must stand for long periods of time, place one foot on a footrest, a low bench, or a low box. Switch feet from time to time, and take frequent breaks. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Also consider wearing supportive or compression stockings.
Bending and lifting objects. When you’re lifting something light, lifting it correctly can keep your back safe. Bend your knees, not your waist. Keep the load close to your body and lift it on your legs, not on your back. Avoid bending your body while lifting.
Stress at work can drain the energy you need to take care of yourself and your baby. To reduce stress in the workplace:
Take control of your life Make daily to do lists and prioritize tasks. Consider delegating someone to do some tasks for you or reduce those tasks.
Express what is inside you. Share your frustration with a co-worker, friend or loved one who supports you.
You have to relax. Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing slowly or imagining yourself in a quiet place. Try to take a prenatal yoga class as long as your health care provider says it’s okay.
Take appropriate work precautions
Certain work conditions may increase your risk of complications during pregnancy, especially if you’re at risk of preterm labor including:
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Standing for long periods
- Lifting, heavy objects, or climbing
- excessive noise
- Severe vibration, such as from large machines
- excessive temperatures
If you have any of these problems, you should mention this to your health care provider. Together, you can decide if you need special prescriptions or adjust some work tasks during pregnancy.