Posts Tagged ‘working during pregnancy’

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.

Heavy duty jobs and pregnancy

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

working womenLots of women work tough and physically challenging jobs. My daughter-in-law is a fire fighter, my neighbor’s daughter works in a big warehouse store. Yesterday I noticed a landscaper hefting bags of peat moss and sizable shrubs while I stopped at a nursery.

Many women, like me, sit at a desk most of the day, but others are up and moving all day long. Some jobs involve more physical labor than others and we need to consider this when pregnant. For example, if your job includes heavy lifting or climbing, it might not be safe for you during pregnancy. In early pregnancy, nausea, fatigue and dizziness can make it hard to do these jobs safely. Later in pregnancy, your added weight can throw off your sense of balance and make you more likely to fall and hurt yourself. The last thing you or your boss wants is for you to take a tumble. Talk to your employer about taking on other job responsibilities during your pregnancy.

Talk to your health care provider if you work with:
– Metals (like mercury or lead)
– Products that contain lots of chemicals (like certain cleaning solutions, pesticides or gases)
– Radioactive waste, radiation or other dangerous substances (like drugs to treat cancer or X-rays)

Being in contact with these kinds of things without proper safety equipment (gloves, gowns and masks) can cause birth defects, miscarriage or other serious health problems. Describe your work environment to your provider 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.

Whatever your job, if you need to lift something follow these tips:
– Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
– Bend at your knees, but keep your back straight and rear end tucked in.
– Use your arms and legs. Lift with your arms (not back) and push up with your legs.
– When possible, lower the weight of the item (for example, break up the contents of one box into two or three smaller boxes and lift one at a time)

Standing for long periods of time can also be cause for concern. That’s because blood can collect in your legs, which may lead to dizziness, fatigue and back pain. Women who have jobs like hairdressers, museum guards or cashiers need to find ways to break up long stretches of standing still. When standing:
– Place one foot on a small foot rest or box.
– Switch feet on the foot rest often throughout the day.
– Wear comfortable shoes.

Most working women can keep working during their pregnancy, even right up until their due date, though perhaps with a few job modifications. If you plan to work during pregnancy, it’s important to plan ahead to help you and your employer transition during this new phase of your life. Here is a link to important workplace issues you’ll want to consider.

Working right up to the big day

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Two days in a row now I’ve been asked by separate people when I plan to work up until. This struck me as odd. I plan to work right up until I deliver, of course. What other option is there? I’m due the end of February and I’m a first time mom. This little one could very well have a March birthday. I’m not about to take off around the time of my due date, sit at home and wait for something to happen. I’d go crazy. What did you do or plan to do?