Most women who are pregnant can keep working during their pregnancy. Some women are able to work right up until they are ready to deliver. Others may need to cut back on their hours or stop working before their due date.
Whether you can work or not depends on your health, the health of the baby, and the type of job you have. Below are some factors that affect your ability to work.
If your job requires heavy lifting, standing, or walking, you may need to work fewer hours each day. You should put less stress on your body the closer you get to your due date.
If you work in a job where you are around hazards (poisons or toxins) you may need to change your role until after the baby is born. Some hazards that may pose a threat to the baby include:
Ask your employer about any hazards or poisons in your workplace. Ask these questions:
If you work with a computer, you may notice numbness or tingling in your hands. This may be carpal tunnel syndrome. The numbness and tingling is caused by the body holding onto extra fluid.
The fluid causes swelling of tissues, which pinch down on the nerves in the hands. It is common in pregnancy as women retain extra fluid.
The symptoms may come and go. They often feel worse at night. Most often, they get better after you give birth. If the pain is causing you problems, you can try a few things for relief:
If your symptoms get worse or affect your daily life, talk to your doctor.
Stress at work -- and everywhere else -- is a normal part of life. But too much stress can lead to health problems for you and your baby. Stress can also affect how well your body can fight off infection or disease.
A few tips to deal with stress are:
Ask for help when you need it. If you are having a hard time dealing with stress, talk to your doctor. He may refer you to a counselor or therapist who can help you better manage the stress in your life.
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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