Keeping Up with the 9-to-5

How long will you be able to work during your pregnancy? Being able to work safely until you give birth depends on a few factors. These include the type of work you do, your heath, and your baby's health.

Talk about risks of your job with your healthcare provider at your next checkup. These risks could include exposure to the following:

  • Toxic metals. These include mercury and lead.

  • Solvents. These include household cleaning agents and pesticides.

  • Pharmaceutical agents. These include chemotherapy.

  • Infections on the job. These include hepatitis and rubella.

  • Extreme heat early in your pregnancy

  • Radiation, especially early in your pregnancy

These risks on the job can all have harmful effects on your unborn baby. They may lead to a miscarriage and birth defects. But by taking safety measures, you can help keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Tips for every working mom-to-be

If you’re a working mom-to-be, follow these tips: 

  • Take a break from work every few hours.

  • Take a longer meal break every 4 hours.

  • Drink plenty of fluids while you’re working.

  • Shift your position often. Go from sitting to standing and walking.

  • Don’t bend or lift heavy objects often.

  • Get enough rest during the hours you aren’t working.

Proper lifting techniques

Weight gain during pregnancy adds strain to your back. Proper lifting can help reduce the strain and prevent injury. When lifting, keep these tips in mind:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Tuck in your buttocks.

  • Bend at your knees.

  • Lift with your arms and legs, not your back.

  • Limit how much weight you lift.

Strategies for computer use

It’s common to use a computer at work. Computers have been linked with many health issues. These include neck, wrist, hand, shoulder, and back pain. This comes from sitting in the same position for a long time. Computers can also cause eye strain.

Taking the following actions may help ease these symptoms:

  • Take work breaks often.

  • Use a detachable keyboards and adjustable chairs and tables.

  • Use nonreflective glass on your screen, adjust the screen lighting and contrast, and install indirect lighting.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.