Women's Health
Pregnancy and Work

Introduction:
Pregnancy does not hinder work or its progress. Generally, pregnant woman can work safely, while trying to balance between them to maintain physical and mental health of the fetus. For office work, with no any associated risks, nothing to worry about, but if the work entails some risks, pregnant women should request her employer to reduce volume of work or replace it. These risks include:
  • Frequent standing.
  • Lifting or pushing heavy weights.
  • Traveling frequently.
  • Climbing/descending stairs.
  • Working in radioactive places (such as: x-ray room).
  • Working with chemical materials, which may cause birth defects or miscarriage.
  • Working for long hours without intervals, which may cause miscarriage, preterm birth or low birth weight.
  • Working in a place with noise level exceeding 90 decibels (such as: plane take-off sound or some noisy electric equipment), which are connected with low birth weight. 

Office work:
Office work during pregnancy is generally safe, but due to fluid retention, sitting may cause some problems (such as: swelling of the wrist and inability to use keyboard), here are some tips:
  • Take intermittent breaks and walk around to improve blood flow and reduce swellings.
  • Use a comfortable chair with good lower back support.
  • Follow the proper way of placing your hands and arms when using the computer.
  • Avoid leg-crossing, which can restrict blood flow and cause retention. 
Repeated standing may cause back and leg pain, particularly at the third trimester of your pregnancy. Standing for a long periods of time may restrict blood flow to the fetus and slow his growth. If you must stand for long periods of time, follow these tips:
  • Take intermitten sitting breaks.
  • Wear comfortable supported shoes.
  • Get permission to sit while working rather than standing.

Job-related problems:
  1. ​Fatigue and exhaustion: especially in the first trimester with a lot of nausea or drowsiness, and last trimester because of increased body weight. Here are some tips: 
o Bring some snacks to prevent nausea and avoid food that causes it.
o Go to bed early and avoid late sleep and taking caffeinated drinks at night.
o Alternate between sitting and movement to improve exhaustion feeling.
o Take some break outdoor or next to window.
o Use comfortable back cushions or comfortable armchair.
2. Stress: Try to keep emotions under control and avoid stress, and take short break for walking and deep-breathing.   

Wearing comfortable shoe:
Due to many factors you get excess fluids trapped in your body. Such fluid retention may cause swelling of your feet and increase your shoe size, therefore pregnant woman must choose comfortable shoes (sports shoes) to facilitate movement, and avoid high heel shoes. If your work requires you to sit for a long period of time, it is recommended to try, from time to time, to elevate your feet on a chair or footstool to reduce fluid retention on the lower part of feet and legs. 







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