Are You Pregnant and Working?
“Adjusting to life as an expectant mother can be extremely exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Doctors, friends, and family members all have advice for you and they will give you a list of things you can and cannot do. The list starts with the obvious things, like no more smoking and drinking, but goes on to include avoidance of certain foods, advice on how to exercise, and so forth. However, one topic that is usually not discussed in length is how to adjusting to being pregnant at work.
Surviving the aches and pains of pregnancy at work can be a lot easier if you come prepared for the day. During the nine months it is imperative to take care of yourself, body and mind, not only because a little person is depending on you, but because your body needs the support. Try wearing compression socks to work. There are so many cute designs and colors out in stores now it is easy to find a likable pair. These socks support your legs and increase your blood flow. As you walk and move about your day in the office the compression socks will give your body the extra support it will need.
A precaution that should be addressed while being pregnant at work is heavy lifting. It is not recommended that pregnant women should not lift boxes or heavy objects at work due to health ramifications and premature labor especially past the halfway point of pregnancy. If you are past the halfway point discuss your situation with your employer, get a doctor’s note or get help from another employee. If you are in a situation in which you must lift an object during the early weeks, please follow these simple rules. In fact, everyone should follow these rules even if you are not pregnant!
Keep your back straight as you bend your knees to pick up the object. Do not bend over at your waist. While returning to a standing position push up using your legs and continue to keep your back straight. This should be a smooth motion without any sudden moves or jerking.
This is the healthy and correct way to lift objects especially when you are pregnant at work. During this time your hip joints are widening and your skeletal system is adjusting to all of these changes. Your structure is different, which might cause you to be susceptible to certain problems or strains. A chiropractor specializing in prenatal care is someone you should visit throughout your pregnancy to help you with these changes.
The next word of advice for taking care of your pregnant body in the workplace is workplace ergonomics. Workplace ergonomics “is the study of how a workplace, the equipment used there and the work environment itself can best be designed for comfort, efficiency, safety and productivity. Often we can improve our levels of comfort and productivity with relatively simple changes.” It is so important to create a safe, functional and comfortable working environment to promote your productivity, but this is essential if you are pregnant.
Other methods to keep yourself motivated and not burning out at work is to constantly keep yourself hydrated and eat small snacks throughout the day. Attempt to take a nap during your lunch break. Allow yourself to change positions often such as sitting and standing at your work desk. Keep yourself in good posture by sitting up and following proper sitting guideline. Proper guidelines for sitting suggest that your knees and belly should be lower than the level of hips, a wide stance of the feet so that the belly can relax forward, and sit up straight with weight on your “sit bones” rather than letting the pelvis rock back. It is better for pelvic alignment to sit on a birthing ball or yoga ball (properly sized) than a traditional office chair. This also allows you to do pelvic rocks as often as you need.
These subtle changes at work is a positive way to support your body during pregnancy. Hopefully, some of these techniques and suggestions will also become a part of your work routine after the pregnancy!