The Pregnant Working Woman

For many pregnant women these days, economic needs dictate that she continues with her job till very late into pregnancy. A normal healthy woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy and a normal fetus may continue to work without interruption until the onset of labour, as long as the job does not involve too many risks. A lot depends on your health and the type of job you have.

The Pregnant Working Woman

The Pregnant Working Woman [Illustration by Shinod AP]

It is advisable for women who have long working hours (that require more than four hours a day on their feet) to quit by the 24th week. It’s not a good idea to stay at a job which requires lifting, climbing or bending below the waist past the 20th week. Those women who have a desk job can work right up to full term if they feel good about it and are healthy.

A list of tips to keep you healthy in the workplace:

  • To combat morning sickness, eat crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed and snack on bland foods several times a day. Other strategies include sipping on fruit juice, only don’t overdo it. Excessive amounts of fruit juice may trigger gestational diabetes.
  • If you have a desk job, get up and walk around occasionally. And don’t sit with your legs crossed for long periods of time. Periodically propping your foot up on a stool or waste basket helps. If you are standing for a long time, keep one foot on a low stool to take pressure off your back.
  • Avoid smoke-filled rooms and any place with noxious fumes and chemicals.
  • If you have a physically demanding job, make a point of resting at regular intervals. Or else ask to be assigned less strenuous duties.
  • Don’t skip meals or snacks. Keep a supply of nutritious foods at your work station. Raisins, nuts, fruit and whole grain crackers, popcorn, cheese and yogurt are healthy snacks.
  • If you have a sedentary job, make sure you have a chair with arm-rests and proper back support. Keep your posture right.
  • Many pregnant women hold two jobs, one at work and one at home. If you’re working, then try and cut down on some of your responsibilities at home.Ultimately, only one person decides whether to work full term or not. You. And in this matter, there are no rules to follow but your own.