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Working During Pregnancy: Staying Healthy and Managing Stress
Is Your Work Environment Safe?
Physically Demanding Duties
- Sudden and severe swelling that affects your hands, fingers, or face
- Severe headaches
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Difficulty urinating
- Vision problems
- Vaginal bleeding
- Leaking of amniotic fluid
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting—Morning sickness early in pregnancy is common. But, if you have severe nausea or vomitting, talk to your doctor.
- Baby has decreased activity
Designing a Pregnancy-Friendly Workplace
- If you work at a desk, arrange your computer monitor, keyboard, and chair so that you are sitting more comfortably.
- Change positions often, incorporating sitting, walking, and standing .
- Keep snacks at your office to help you avoid skipping meals. Having a stash of bland foods like pretzels and crackers at your desk may help you curb nausea if you experience morning sickness.
- Drink plenty of water each day.
Unwinding Outside of Work
American Pregnancy Association http://www.americanpregnancy.org
The National Women’s Health Information Center http://www.womenshealth.gov
The Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice. Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Jan;99(1):171-3.
Bale TL. Is mom too sensitive? Impact of maternal stress during gestation. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2005;26:41-49.
Brett KM, Strogatz DS, Savitz DA. Employment, job strain, and preterm delivery among women in North Carolina. Am J Public Health. 1997;87:199-204.
Environmental risks and pregnancy. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/stayingsafe%5Findepth.html. Updated October 2011. Accessed February 28, 2013.
Marcoux S, Berube S, Brisson C, et al. Job strain and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Epidemiology. 2000;11:95.
Morning sickness. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/morningsickness.html. Updated July 2011. Accessed February 28, 2013.
Pregnancy and travel. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/travel.html. Updated January 2013. Accessed February 28, 2013.
Pregnancy complications. WomensHealth.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/pregnancy-complications.cfm#d. Updated September 27, 2010. Accessed February 28, 2013.
Pregnancy exercise guidelines. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/exerciseguidelines.html. Updated January 2013. Accessed February 28, 2013.
Work and pregnancy. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/pregnant/work.html. Accessed February 28, 2013.
9/10/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Occupational guidance for physical and shift work of pregnant women in the United States. Austin (TX): University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing; 2014. 13 p. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=48219#Section420. Accessed September 10, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2013
- Update Date: 09/10/2014