It’s common for many women to continue working during pregnancy. While most of them do it only during the first and second trimester, others choose to stay at work until childbirth or close to it. For some women, it’s a choice, while for others, it’s a compulsion.
Pregnancy changes how you do your work in many different ways. From morning sickness to fatigue to stress, there are several pregnancy discomforts you have to deal with to stay comfortable and productive at work. To help you on this journey over the next nine months, here are the best tips to manage pregnancy and its symptoms while working.
How to maintain a healthy pregnancy at work?
Your topmost priority should be staying safe, healthy, and comfortable when you choose to work during pregnancy. Follow the tips below to enjoy a healthy pregnancy at work:
#Ease nausea and vomiting
Nearly 80% of women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy. Despite its name, it can hit you anytime from morning to night. To ease nausea at work:
- Take a break and get some fresh air.
- Stay away from flickering screens to help reduce eye strain.
- Take plenty of healthy snacks to work.
- Embrace bland, salty foods and snacks.
- Take a sniff of rosemary or peppermint.
- Eat frequently to keep your stomach satisfied.
- Stay well-hydrated with water, juice, and other beverages.
- Steer clear of things that trigger nausea.
- Avoid facing direct heat on your head. Cover your head while traveling.
- Have something with ginger in it, like ginger ale, ginger tea, or gingersnap cookies.
With the progress of your pregnancy, it becomes challenging to do everyday activities, such as standing and sitting, which you used to do with ease before pregnancy. No matter what kind of work you’re in, it’s vital to keep yourself physically comfortable at the office. Try these strategies:
- Elevate your legs often to decrease swelling.
- Avoid repetitive strain injuries.
- Refuse offers of overtime.
- Keep a small pillow or soft cushion for the back support.
- Wear dresses designed for pregnant women.
- Always wear comfortable footwear with good arch support.
- Use an ergonomic office chair to maintain the right posture.
- Never skip meals.
- Stand up and walk around every two hours.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Use a standing desk if you have to stand at work.
- Try to switch feet frequently. Take a break often.
- Reduce stress by doing yoga, deep-breathing exercises, stretching, and walking.
- Bend at your knees, not at your waist if your job involves bending or lifting.
- Take time off if needed.
Taking rest during office hours is nearly impossible. Consequently, you may sometimes feel exhausted as your pregnant body requires more energy to stay productive at work and support the proper development of your baby. To keep your energy levels up at work, try these tactics:
- Take breaks whenever you can. Don’t push yourself too hard.
- Sip water, juice, etc., throughout the day to stay well-hydrated.
- Go to bed early. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep every day.
- Rest during your lunch hour.
- Take short, frequent breaks to reinvigorate yourself.
- Stand up and stretch often.
- Walk around as much as possible if you sit at a desk.
- Cut back on energy-consuming activities.
- Sit down and elevate your feet if you stand most of the time.
- Indulge in pregnancy-friendly exercises if you sit at a desk all day.
- Eat iron-rich foods and protein, such as red meat, poultry, seafood, leafy green vegetables, and iron-fortified whole-grain beans and cereals.
#Manage aches and pains
As your posture changes drastically, you may experience several pains and aches during pregnancy. When you’re at the office, try these tactics to relieve aches and pains:
- Wear comfortable footwear to work.
- Take short breaks to move around.
- Place a small cushion behind the back for extra support.
- Avoid twisting at the waist if you need to turn.
- Sit on an adjustable chair to support the lower back.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long.
- Rest your feet on a footrest to prevent swelling. Consider wearing four-way stretch maternity pants and leggings to avoid swelling.
- Stretch the back occasionally during office hours.
- While standing, shift weight on both feet alternately.
What should you avoid doing?
You should avoid doing certain things at work during pregnancy for the well-being of your child:
- Don’t push yourself beyond reasonable limits.
- Refrain from lifting heavy objects.
- Avoid moving heavy furniture at work.
- Stay away from any possible health hazards at work.
- Keep away from late-night office parties.
- Avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, or aerated drinks.
- Withhold dressing in tight or ill-fitting clothes.
- Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long.
- Don’t cross your legs or feet.
- Avoid anything too spicy, high in sugar, and street food.
- Don’t work in shifts.
- Avoid climbing a ladder.
- Don’t work more than 40 hours per week.
How to deal with work-related travel?
If your job involves traveling, bear the following things in mind:
- Book an aisle or window seat near the bathroom.
- Eat smaller, frequent meals.
- Stretch your legs frequently when traveling by car.
- Limit driving time to 4-5 hours.
- Avoid traveling to malaria-prone areas.
- Wear your seatbelt below your bump, across the hip bones.
Some working conditions you should avoid
Avoid following work conditions as they can lead to various pregnancy complications:
- Prolonged standing
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Excessive noise
- Heavy lifting, climbing, or carrying
- Extreme temperatures
- Heavy vibrations, such as from large machines