Best wishes on your pregnancy! If you work, you may be wondering if you can keep your job during your pregnancy. Many ladies can do it without difficulty. Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, and your ability to continue working is determined by your general health, the health of the fetus, and the type of work you do. Many jobs are safe to hold during pregnancy. Other jobs may be acceptable in the early stages of pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy progresses, some responsibilities may need to be modified or eliminated. Your schedule or hours may need to be adjusted at some point. The goal if you keep working is to stay safe and comfortable.
Growing up a human being can be demanding, and you’re not alone if you feel like working and being pregnant are two full-time jobs. Working while pregnant is safe in most cases, as long as you take proper care of yourself and your baby. Read more about whether or not it’s safe to work during pregnancy, including when you should stop working and how to feel comfortable at work during pregnancy.
Is it safe to work during pregnancy?
Most people can continue to work while pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, your job security depends on a variety of circumstances, including:
- what do you make a living from
- your state of health
- any difficulties you may be experiencing during your pregnancy
If you have concerns about your job or if it exposes you to any of the risks listed here, talk to your doctor.
- chemicals, radiation or other potentially dangerous substances
- standing or climbing for long periods
- lifting or carrying heavy loads
- Heavy machinery makes a lot of noise or vibrates a lot.
- extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
The number of hours you work and even the time of day you work could play a role.
A 2014 investigation of Japanese women found that those who worked more than 40 hours per week were more likely to miscarry and give birth prematurely. The greater the danger, the more hours worked (51–70 hours and more than 71 hours).
During the first trimester, this risk was also the highest.
According to a 2019 Danish study, women who work at least two-night shifts each week are 32% more likely to miscarry than those who work during the day.
The reason for this has to do with your circadian clock and how the body releases melatonin, a hormone that protects the placenta.
3 signs to stop working during pregnancy
Here are some tips to help you decide when to take maternity leave.
You are running out of energy in the middle of the day.
Lack of sleep is affecting your performance during the day, making you lethargic, grumpy and forgetful. You are also worried about all the pending preparations that await you at home.
Both sitting and standing are inconvenient.
Backaches, swollen legs and feet, and shortness of breath are signs that you need more horizontal time, especially if your job requires you to be on your feet for long periods.
You are experiencing signs of preterm labour.
Lower back pain, cramps, or blotchiness indicate that you should seek immediate medical help. Your doctor may recommend complete bed rest.
How to be comfortable at work during pregnancy
- Take breaks: If you’ve been on your feet for a while, sit down and put your feet up, or go for a walk. During pregnancy, moving your muscles can help with swelling in your feet and ankles.
- Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes and maternity clothes that fit well. Pregnancy compression stockings may also be beneficial in preventing or relieving oedema and varicose veins.
- Keep moving: If you have a sedentary job, get up and walk every hour or so (or ideally every thirty minutes). Do some stretching exercises while you’re up to help relieve or prevent back pain, which is typical during pregnancy.
- Eat regular meals and snacks: Morning sickness and blood sugar crashes can be avoided by eating consistently. To ease pregnancy-related constipation, eat balanced, nutritious lunches whenever possible, and choose high-fibre foods like cruciferous vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
- Reduce stress: If you can’t eliminate a source of stress at work, find ways to relieve it elsewhere, such as stretching, deep breathing exercises, prenatal yoga, or short walks to clear your mind. Counselling or therapy in your spare time can also be beneficial.
- Request modifications in the workplace: If your workplace makes you uncomfortable, try putting your feet under your desk or get help adjusting your chair or monitor properly. If you need wrist braces, splints, or other devices to prevent repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Don’t give in to guilt: If you have to be late for a doctor’s appointment once in a while or if you work slower than usual, don’t be too hard on yourself. Prioritize your health and your baby.
- Accept help: Let your co-workers take care of you a bit if you don’t mind. It is a great period in your life, and it is good to be able to notice and appreciate significant developments at work.
Taking proper job precautions
Certain work situations, especially if you are at high risk of preterm labour, can increase the chance of problems during pregnancy, including:
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Heavy lifting, climbing, or carrying
- Extreme temperatures
- Excessive noise
- Strong vibrations, such as from large machines
If you have any concerns about any of these problems, talk to your doctor. You and your partner can decide if you need to take extra steps or change your job duties while you are pregnant.