How to Stay Healthy while Working during Pregnancy?

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Guidelines for Working Expecting Mommies in India

Twenty-first-century’s modern Indian working woman is smart and knows how to balance a family life and her career at same time. But when it comes to pregnancy you need to be extra careful. There are many simple but most of times unknown things which you must be aware of for a healthy pregnancy while balancing your career life.

If you are a working woman, if you feel well during your pregnancy, and if your job is one you can continue without risk or strain, you can probably plan to work until your due date or until your labor starts!

Consider your needs and decide how long you wish to work. Some women like to work as long as they can so that they don’t waste any maternity leave and can use more of it after their baby is born.  Others get tired or uncomfortable and it becomes difficult for them to work, especially if they have a strenuous or stressful job or commute.  Talk to your doctor about your situation.

While you are working, you want to maintain your health and ensure that your baby has a healthy environment in which to grow and develop.

Here are some tips:

1) Some foods and smells can trigger nausea during pregnancy. Stuffed parathas or poha you used to love for your breakfast may now cause your stomach to churn.  To tackle with nausea, recognize these changes and stay away of these foods and smells.

2) Keep crackers in your bag and use them to stave off nausea at work. If your stomach is very empty or very full then you may get more problems.

3) To stay hydrated drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Dehydration is not good for you and baby and it may make your morning sickness worse.

4) You may feel tired often during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters.  Get plenty of sleep

5) Allow yourself enough time to get ready for work in the morning. Rushing in morning can give you fatigue and stress which will also increase nausea.

6) Your body needs regular movement for blood circulation so take regular breaks and take a short walk and move around. But if your job is physical, try to take more rest-breaks. Resting regularly will keep you healthy and fresh which will help you to concentrate.  Resting after lunch break with your feet up on a chair will help your whole body to rest.

7) You may feel tired by afternoon especially in first and last few months of pregnancy.  In such case, change your work schedule so that you get the higher-energy tasks for later half and lighter work the morning while you are feeling fresh.

8) If your job is a demanding job, try to avoid commitments outside work. Get more rest after working time so that you will be prepared for the next work day.

9) Regular light exercise, breathing exercises, stretches will help your energy level as well.  Take guidance from your doctor for exercising during pregnancy.

10) Take rest when you are tired.  You should not stay up until midnight to for the extra work. You and your baby deserve extra sleep as your body is changing.

11) Make your chair more comfortable with extra cushion on back and neck. Use chairs with firm back and adjustable arms and height. To ease the stress on your muscles and back, move around frequently. Standing, sitting in same position and lifting for long periods of time will make you sore and tired. Listen to your body.  Long time sitting can make your feel swollen to avoid that stress on your feet, put your feet up on a wastebasket, stool or basket.

12) Plan for the extra trips to the bathroom, don’t try to hold it.

13) If your job needs prolonged standing then put your foot up on a box or stool to change your position. This will help take the strain off of your low back. Pay attention to both legs throughout the day and regularly change the leg you elevate. Wear comfortable sh sports/running shoes and use pregnancy or support pantyhose to support your legs.

14) If your job is very stressful, you need to rest more and may need to stop working sooner.  Stress can be much harder on a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

15) Talk to your co-workers, your boss and others and see if you can reduce usual stress.  Consult with your doctor and explain your working day, doctor may suggest an earlier leave or other options.

16) Prenatal yoga classes are very helpful for working pregnant ladies. Trainers in prenatal classes teach you relaxation exercises.  You can use this to relax and relieve stress and you will feel much better.

Below listed jobs should be carefully evaluated:

– Jobs in toxic environments (gas, hazardous chemicals, fumes, dust, infectious diseases, radiation)

– Those that require frequent lifting or heavy lifting (a recent study indicates that physically demanding work may lead to premature birth.)

– Jobs with strenuous climbing or lots of standing or walking (prolonged standing is also associated with increased incidence of premature birth)

– Environments with constant loud noise, lots of vibrations.

– Jobs that require intense or long commutes

– Jobs with frequent shift changes or very long hours

– Jobs in very hot or cold environments

– Jobs that require a lot balance or flexibility

If your job is a high risk job and you must continue to work throughout your pregnancy then you must talk to your employer about taking another position for the period of pregnancy.

If you carefully evaluate risks and problems in your job and plan to work safely then working is in fact beneficial for your health. It keeps you active throughout the day. Because of working timings you follow your diet timings strictly every day.

In India we have a very mother friendly environment and a a working pregnant woman you will surely see a lot of helping hands around you. Stay positive and stay healthy.

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About Author

Sapana

An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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