Pregnancy need not spell an end to your career. A pregnant woman can very well manage to work during this period, although she may be required to consider some things and accordingly make a few changes at her workplace.
In this respect, her employer may also have to make certain alterations. But, as long as her doctor doesn’t advise her to stop working, there is no reason she should have to give up working at this time.
Moreover, a pregnant woman has a right to maternity leave and may be granted flexible working hours.
She is eligible for paid sick leave as well if she experiences sickness or has health issues, due to pregnancy. She may be given time off for her scheduled medical check-ups with the doctor.
If her usual job profile presents health hazards for her or carrying out a particular task leads to sickness, she can refuse to do it and ask for a transfer to an alternate safer job. If a secure job is unavailable, she may be allowed leave, on this account.
Is there a reason that you shouldn’t work in pregnancy?
Being pregnant may seem like a full-time job in itself. And being pregnant at work may seem like a lot to manage. This is because, during pregnancy, a woman goes through, a lot of hormonal and physical changes that may take a toll on her health and ability to work. Aches and pain, fatigue, mood swings or morning sickness are some of the things that a pregnant woman may have to deal with, on a daily basis, during her pregnancy. All this coupled with the stress of work and tiring working hours may increase her distress during pregnancy. Therefore, a pregnant woman may find it tough to handle both, job and taking care of her health, at the same time. Travelling for work, posture, sitting or standing for long hours at work, the stress of deadlines and meetings may heighten her discomfort during pregnancy, leading to aches and health troubles.
It is not entirely inadvisable for a pregnant woman to continue working. It is advisable to take into consideration aspects like the nature of the job, the conditions at the workplace and whether the employers are willing to make allowances for you, before taking a decision.
If you are experiencing a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, you may surely continue working. It is always sensible to consult your doctor and discuss the issue with him.
How to stay comfortable at work?
Pregnancy presents its own share of difficulties. Pregnant women may keep in mind certain tips to manage and balance the pressures of work along with health needs.
a. Managing Fatigue
Combating fatigue may be your most significant challenge during pregnancy. This is because of the physical strain pregnancy can place on your body. You may tire easily or feel tired all the time. To enhance your energy, you may like to get up and move after regular intervals.
A short walk during your break can refresh you. It is essential to pay attention to your diet. Include foods that are rich in protein and iron like poultry, green leafy vegetables, red meat, sea-food, iron-rich cereals and beans. Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated by drinking lots of fluids may prove useful. Always remember to take short breaks while working. Avoid working at a stretch and try to reduce your workload by hiring help, online shopping.
Although the thought of exercising at the end of a long working day may seem exhausting, maintaining a workout routine may help increase your energy levels. If you are required to sit at work all day, going for a walk after work can be beneficial. You may also enrol yourself into a prenatal fitness class. Above all, you need to sleep for at least eight hours every night.
b. Managing Morning Sickness
Most pregnant women are troubled by morning sickness or may experience some kind of nausea or uneasiness throughout their pregnancy. To manage the illness, you can try and stay away from all your triggers that may intensify the feeling of nausea like the smell of certain foods.
Frequent snacking may also aid in fighting nausea. Keeping crackers or biscuits handy at work can be a good idea. Drinking ginger tea or ginger ale may also help.
c. Managing Aches and Pains
During pregnancy, women may experience several aches and pains as the posture drastically changes, owing to the increasing weight one is carrying. It is best to avoid sitting or standing for long. Every once in a while, stretching the back, taking short breaks to move around, may help in easing the tension in the muscles and promoting blood circulation.
Sitting on an adjustable chair which provides decent support to the lower back can relieve a backache. A small cushion can also be placed at the back for additional support. While sitting at the desk, you may rest your feet on a footrest to avoid swelling at the ankles and fluid retention in legs. If you need to stand for a long time, alternately shifting weight on both the feet may help.
You may like to wear comfortable footwear to work. If you need to turn, refrain from twisting at the waist. To lift things, try bending at the knees to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the back.
d. Managing Mood Swings
Pregnant women are prone to frequent mood swings due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Stress and fatigue at work can add to it or make it worse. Practising meditation, relaxation methods like conscious deep breathing, yoga may benefit. Getting massages, listening to music, taking naps, spending quality time with friends may also assist in brightening up the mood.
Going on a walk with a good friend and talking out your frustrations and problems can also make you feel better.