Thursday, April 16, 2015

Balancing job and pregnancy

December 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

Bringing a child in the world has huge financial impacts so many women choose to keep on working to the last trimester of pregnancy.  It is then interesting to leave as late as possible in order to enjoy the longest possible maternity leave after childbirth.  Beside financial reasons, women these days are more career-oriented and will want to stay on the job as long as possible before leaving to give birth.  Contemporary women wear many hats; mother, spouse, home keeper and career woman all at once.  If less than four decades ago women resigned the moment they learned they were pregnant, some women today will chose to work until the last day of pregnancy. Times have changed since the ’40s and ’50s, when motherhood was perceived as a reason why women could not compete with their male counterparts up the hierarchy ladder.  Happily women made tremendous progress since; pregnancy and a fruitful career are no longer mutually exclusive.
The reality today is that it is not impossible for a woman to continue working during pregnancy, provided that the type of work poses no danger to the unborn child.  A continuing presence at work however, has a few downfalls.   Consider morning sickness for example; despite de name it can occur any time of day.  A mere smell or the thought of food is sometimes enough to trigger it. This feeling of nausea can be overwhelming and makes the woman’s miserable, especially during the first trimester. For some women nausea will persist throughout their pregnancy.

Pregnant women also tire more easily and feel uncomfortable as their body experience major hormonal and physical changes, often exacerbated by work-related stress. Some working conditions may be worse than others and harmful for the expecting mother, such frequent changes of working shift, intense physical tasks, very hot or cold environments, jobs demanding a lot of walking about or long standing up periods, the lifting of excessive weight, strong vibrations, and exposure to unsafe substances. In some cases, the doctor will even prescribe a preventive withdrawal for pregnant women working in such environments.  Some diseases are dangerous for pregnant women, including some child infections.   Expecting mothers who work with young children are often entitled to preventive withdrawal. This is often the case for the women working in the field of child care or schools.

Even if the work does not represent a clear threat it is frequently necessary to alter the working conditions of a pregnant woman, for her well-being. These changes must be made to ensure the continued good health of the woman and her unborn child.

Tips for pregnant women at work:

• Try to avoid whatever can trigger a fit of nausea. Nausea often occurs because of an empty stomach.  Make sure you have breakfast before leaving for work, even a light one.  If you can’t eat in the morning bring snack to have later.  Try to avoid odors that might bother you. For example, do not take your break at the cafeteria if you know that the smell of food irritates you in the morning. Drink plenty of fluids helps.  Keep a supply of food that is not too tasty close at hand, to ease the nausea should it come biscuits, bottled water, hard candy, lemon drops, soda or ginger tea (ginger is good for treating nausea), are effective options.

• Get enough sleep. A pregnant woman needs more sleep to be rested.  Go to bed early. Take breaks during the day, even step out to get some fresh air.  Rearrange your work schedule if possible. For example, if you used to clean up the house after work on Wednesdays, don’t strain yourself and postpone the task till the weekend when you’re not so tired. Do not exert your body and keep leisure time for yourself every day.

• If you work sitting down, get a comfortable chair, and if need be cushions or a pregnancy pillow that will provide a comfortable position while supporting your body.  Use a stool to rest your feet, or a cushion on the workplace.  Keeping your feet up for a few minutes several times a day will do a lot of good.

• Exercising can do wonders during pregnancy, because it significantly improves the health and well-being. It boosts the mood, improves sleep quality, reduces the pain and discomforts of pregnancy, and prepares you for childbirth by strengthening the muscles and building endurance. Exercise is especially important because during and after pregnancy a woman’s body is under a lot of stress. Exercise helps reduce constipation, back pain, fatigue, varicose veins, circulation problems, as well as several problems related to pregnancy. Exercise also helps to get back in shape after childbirth. The most recommended exercises for pregnant women are: walking, swimming, yoga, stretching, and low impact aerobics. Caution is in order though; exercise with moderation and forget enlisting in a Marathon for now.  Also consult your doctor before embarking into an exercise program; each pregnancy is unique.

• Pelvic exercises called the Kegel Routine are also beneficial for pregnant women for they help strengthened the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles help support the uterus, colon and bladder. These body parts are put under pressure during pregnancy and childbirth. These are the muscles used to control or stop the flow of urine. They can easily be contracted anyplace and anytime and it will help reinforce them.

• If you have to lift weights at work, try to spare your back. Even if you lift something light, bend your knees, not your waist. Keep the load close to your body while lifting. If a load is too heavy to handle easily, ask for help.

Balancing job and pregnancy is quite possible, with a minimum of care. However, if your type of work is too demanding, think about the baby first. You can be reassigned to other duties, or receive preventive withdrawal; talk you your doctor about it if the need arises!

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