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Can I Keep Working?

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With all of the physical concerns that pregnancy brings, you may wonder whether you ought to stop working. The vast majority of women can continue to work during pregnancy, even until their due date. Women whose pregnancies are high risk (like those carrying multiples or a history of preterm labor), however, may need to take maternity leave earlier than others so they can get the rest they need.
On-the-Job Strategies

Even if your pregnancy is not high risk, follow these measures to stay healthy and rested during your workday:

  • Take breaks and put your feet up several times throughout the day. Circulation slows down during pregnancy; raising your feet keeps blood flowing, which helps reduce swelling in the ankles and feet.

  • Try to minimize stress at work. Some research indicates that women under a lot of stress have a higher incidence of premature births. If you have a very stressful job, now is a good time to learn a stress management technique, like yoga or meditation.

  • Get enough sleep at night. Some women find they are more tired during the day when they're pregnant. To help combat daytime sleepiness, increase your nighttime shut-eye. Or, if you can find a comfortable, private place at work to lie down, indulge in a catnap. For more information on coping with sleep problems during pregnancy, see Sleep Strategies for Mothers-to-Be

Special Job Considerations

A few jobs might pose a risk to you and your baby, in which case you might have to scale back or modify your activities. If you have a job that requires heavy physical activity, check with your health care provider. You may be so fit that you don't need to change anything. Most providers, however, will want you to avoid activities that require good balance; pregnancy changes your center of gravity and makes falling more likely.

Likewise, if your job involves heavy lifting, try to find ways to avoid straining your back, especially during the second and third trimesters, when your abdomen is getting bigger. If you can avoid heavy lifting completely, all the better.

You should also check with your health care provider if you work with strong chemicals in your job. A face mask and thick gloves might be all you need for protection, but it depends on the chemical.



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