Posts Tagged ‘heavy lifting’

How to stay healthy and safe at work

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Most women who work will continue to do so during pregnancy—some will work up to the day of their baby’s birth. But sometimes working during pregnancy can have some challenges. Here are some tips that can help you stay safe and comfortable at work throughout your pregnancy.

Common pregnancy discomforts

  • Nausea: Unfortunately morning sickness can happen at any time during the day. To help manage your nausea, try to avoid foods and smells that bother you and snack on crackers or other bland foods. And make sure you are drinking lots of fluids!
  • Fatigue: Being pregnant can be exhausting—especially during the first trimester. During your work day, try to get up and walk for a few minutes or even take a power nap in your car during your lunch break. Get to bed early, exercise, and eat healthy foods.

Workplace safety

  • Dangerous substances: If you work with metals (such as mercury or lead) chemicals, or radiation, talk to your health care provider. Describe your work environment and any safety equipment you or your company uses. Your provider can then tell you if it’s safe for you to keep working during pregnancy.
  • Heat: Working in places that are very hot can raise your body temperature. If your body temperature is too high, it could be dangerous to the baby. Make sure you talk to your provider.
  • Heavy duty jobs: If your job includes heavy lifting or climbing, it might not be safe during pregnancy. Nausea, fatigue and dizziness can make it hard to do these jobs safely. And your added weight can throw off your sense of balance and make you more likely to fall. You may need to talk to your employer about taking on other job responsibilities during your pregnancy.
  • Infections: If you work with children or in a health care setting, you may be at risk for infections. Wash your hands regularly. If you think you were exposed to an illness, talk to your provider right away.

Computers and desks

If you work on a computer or sit at a desk for most of the day, comfort is key. To avoid wrist and hand discomforts, neck and shoulder pains, backaches and eye strains, follow these tips:

  • Take short breaks often and walk around your office or building.
  • Adjust your chair, keyboard and other office equipment to be more comfortable.
  • Use a small pillow or cushion for lower back support.
  • Keep your feet elevated by using a footrest.
  • Be sure to use the correct hand and arm positions for typing.
  • Use a non-reflective glass screen cover on your computer monitor.
  • Adjust the computer monitor for brightness and contrast to a setting that is comfortable for your eyes.

It’s important that the work environment around you is safe for you and baby. If you have concerns, speak with your health care provider and your supervisor at work.

You can learn more ways to stay safe at work on our website

Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Is your back bothering you?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

backacheBackache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. If you’re suffering, you’re not alone. Nearly half of all women have back pain at some point during pregnancy.

You can lessen some of the normal back pain encountered during pregnancy by following these tips:
• Be aware of your posture. Try to keep your hips pulled forward and your back straight. Don’t be a “sway back.”
• Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Avoid wearing high heels. They can strain your lower back muscles.
• Avoid lifting heavy objects. This can put even more strain on your back. If you must pick something up from the floor, squat down, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend over from the waist.
• Split larger loads into two smaller loads. Holding them in either hand may be easier than carrying one large load. If you must carry a large object, keep it close to your body.
• Keep objects you need close by so you don’t have to bend or stretch to pick them up. Be careful. It’s easy to lose your balance when you are pregnant.
• Avoid standing for long periods of time, if possible. If you have to stand for an extended period, rest one foot on a stool or box. This will help relieve the strain on your back.
• Sit in chairs with good back support. Tuck a small pillow behind your lower back for extra support while sitting.
• When sleeping, a firm mattress provides better back support than a soft one. If your mattress is too soft, a board between the mattress and box spring will make it firmer. Sleep on your side instead of your back. Tuck a pillow between your legs when lying on your side. The pillow will help straighten your spine and give extra support to your back.
• Look for maternity pants that have a wide elastic band to be worn under the curve of your belly. This band will help support the extra weight. Consider using special abdominal-support girdles. They can provide back support and are available in maternity stores.
• Apply a heating pad set to the lowest temperature, a hot water bottle filled with warm water or a cold compress. To avoid excessive cold or heat, wrap the heating pad, hot water bottle or compress in a towel.
• Try gently rubbing or kneading the sore areas of your lower back. Ask your partner or a friend to help. Consider getting a massage designed for pregnant women.
Medication to treat back pain during pregnancy is usually not a good option. Always check with your health care provider before taking any type of medication.
• Certain exercises can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles. They can also improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles for labor and delivery. Talk with your health care provider about which exercises are safe for you and how long you should keep doing them during pregnancy.