6 Comfort Tips for the Working Pregnant Woman
Being pregnant and having kids needn’t spell the end of your career.
Women in the 21st century constitute a large percentage of the workforce. In fact, 70% of women in the UK and 59% of women in the USA are active in the labour force, and it is this pervasiveness of women in the workplace that has created the need to develop a workplace that protects women, more so during pregnancy.
Managing a job and pregnancy can be challenging. Addressing pregnancy-related health issues in the workplace is important, and while office ergonomics certainly are important to the general worker, pregnant women in particular should adopt best health and ergonomic practices while at work to ensure the wellbeing of the mom and the baby.
In this article I’ll share 6 essential comfort tips for you to manage your pregnancy comfortably wherever your working environment finds you.
Get a Comfortable Chair
Avoid excessive back pain that comes with sitting long hours. Now more than ever make sure you have a chair with a well cushioned seat and height adjustment. Make sure that the back tilts forward and that the chair has a curved backrest that fits the curvature of your spine.
If you find your back uncomfortable or even in pain after prolonged sitting, consider a lumbar support pillow that can be easily secured to the back of any chair to fit the contours of your back and give you the necessary back support.
Take Breaks Often
If you’ve always worked through your lunch break, now’s the time to go for a walk once or twice a week. Keeping active helps with your circulation, and as your baby grows, regular exercise helps you to feel less weighed down.
Get a Bed Tray
As a pregnant woman, you may find yourself working from home at times, and if so, often in the comfort of your bed. For those times, an ergonomic bed tray can be especially helpful. Apart from shouldering the weight of your laptop, a bed tray also shields your tummy from the heat dissipated from the back of the laptop, which at the very least can get quite uncomfortable. You can eat, drink, read and work from a laptop table all while laying down. Choose a laptop tray with a high clearance to ensure it will continue to fit over your stomach as it grows.
Look at Maternity Work Outfits
These don’t have to be expensive, but they must be comfortable. Working may require that you invest in one or two smart-type outfits. Look for classics that help you feel physically and emotionally confident and which suit your personal style and taste. Sometimes fitted bump-enhancing clothes can be more flattering to your new shape in the office than baggy dresses.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Pregnancy raises your body temperature. Dehydration is an ever present threat where your body loses water more quickly than you can take it in. During pregnancy, this is a major concern as water is used for the formation of the placenta, which sends nutrients to your growing baby. Dehydration during pregnancy can result in problems such as premature labor, birth defects and low amniotic fluid. Invest in a 1-liter easy-clean glass bottle with no-spill mouth and screw top which will ensure you stay hydrated in an easy, stylish way.
Be Aware of your Posture
Slumping at your desk will hamper your breathing. Make room for your stomach when seated by keeping your feet several inches apart. Also, the ability to go from sitting to standing will increase oxygen intake and circulation. If you can, invest in a sit/stand desk for now and in the future when you return to work. These desk types allow you to alternate between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. Getting up and standing can be looked upon as a form of exercise and it can help with preventing swelling and varicose veins.
A comfy working environment is important during pregnancy. Make sure your chair is comfortable, drink plenty of water throughout your workday, stretch and get up and walk around at regular intervals. By considering the above-mentioned tips, you should be able to avoid risk while you’re working and go confidently through the remaining months for the benefit of your baby.
- Oxford Academic. Occupational Medicine. Pregnancy in the Workplace. Available at https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/62/2/88/1480061/Pregnancy-in-the-workplace
2. Ergonomictrends.com The Best Laptop Trays and Tables for Beds. Available at http://ergonomictrends.com/best-laptop-tables-desks-for-beds-reviews-and-buyers-guide/2. Montgomery, K. NCBI. Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and Beyond. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595116/