It is fairly common for women to become pregnant and remain working at their full-time jobs. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do, especially when you have a job that requires large amounts of walking, constant interaction with patients, and being on your feet for long periods of time, such as a nurse working in a hospital or clinic.
For nine months during pregnancy, your body is changing and adjusting to growing the new life inside you, and on top of everything, it can get very complicated along the way. Not only are you eating more, sleeping less, and experiencing hormonal changes every minute, but there are common maternal health conditions and problems that women can experience during pregnancy, making it more complicated to endure.
With all the day-to-day stressors that come with working a full-time job, can it actually affect your pregnancy in the long run? There’s no scientific evidence to prove one way or another, but there are certain precautions that you can take to ensure a safe pregnancy along the way.
So, maybe this is your first go-around with being pregnant and you’re not sure whether or not you can handle being employed full-time? Typically, most women can continue to work during pregnancy, however, there are a few different ways to make life a little easier while at work:
So, as long as you stick with these tips and take your prenatal vitamins daily, you should be fine to work a normal day, right? That depends! With every pregnancy, there may be one or two complications that arise that could make working more difficult. It may not be a reason to totally quit your job, but it may require additional days off or time to heal.
It’s no secret that sometimes pregnancy can come with positive moments (like finding out the gender of your perfect angel) and, of course, negative moments (like weight gain, multiple trips to the bathroom, gestational diabetes, etc.). It’s important to know that pregnancy complications can commonly happen, and that you are not alone.
Complications that can happen during pregnancy include: Anemia (having lower than normal healthy red blood cells), Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), mental health conditions, such as depression, hypertension (high blood pressure), gaining weight and obesity, infections with HIV, STDS and TB, and hyperemesis gravidarum (severe, persistent nausea and vomiting).
Other pregnancy complications and situations include:
Although pregnancy complications can happen to anyone, it’s also good to know that with advanced medical practices, these complications and scenarios can be treated the majority of the time. So, it should be safe to continue to work even if you need a few days here and there to go see a doctor.
Another great benefit to working while pregnant is that your job, depending on which state you work in, should come with pre-implemented plans for expectant mothers. There are pre-existing laws and rules that companies have to follow in order to meet non-discriminatory regulations in the workplace.
So, let’s say you just found out that you are expecting a beautiful healthy baby in nine months or so, what are the first steps to take with your employer?
By letting your boss know about your pregnancy in the early days, they won’t be as surprised when you decide to take some time off right before and after the baby arrives. Review your employer’s policies about leave and talk with your supervisor or HR contact; find out if you qualify for FMLA leave and be sure to check whether your state has a leave law that may apply to you.
Most places of employment are understanding about the circumstances that you are under while being pregnant. In fact, most employers should have experienced this type of situation before and should know what to expect.
As a good rule of thumb while being pregnant on the job or even at home, you should try your best to listen to your body. If you’re feeling a little under the weather or your muscles are straining a little too much, try sitting down for a minute or two to rest and give your body the attention that it needs. After all, you and your baby are what’s most important at the end of the day.