Working daily can be exhausting and doing so while being pregnant is twice as challenging. There are a few lifestyle changes that you need to consider when working during pregnancy. Focusing on a healthy diet and exercising is also essential. More importantly, always keep your doctors’ appointment to check on the growth of the fetus and to review your overall general health.
Tips for Pregnant Working Women
1. Consume food 3-5 times a day
It is necessary to provide healthy nourishment for the fetus to grow. Many women are encouraged in the early pregnancy stages to eat more often. A daily meal should consist of fruits, carbohydrates, dairy products, and protein. Instead of having 3 larger meals, it is advised to eat food three to five times a day. This ensures that the fetus receives the required nutrients consistently.
2. Keep healthy snacks at work
Feeling nausea is common during pregnancy. During working hours, it is best to nibble on healthy snacks which will help keep nausea away. Some options for healthy snacks include fruit, yogurt, granola bar, peanut butter sandwich, whole-grain crackers, mixed nuts, or even chocolate (preferably dark chocolate) in moderation.
3. Sleep for 8/10 hours per night
Feeling tired and fatigue is part of being pregnant and happens due to the hormonal changes in the body. The level of exhaustion you feel may vary depending on the trimester. In the first and last trimesters, you may get tired easily and need a lot of sleep. If you are working, then it is important to get up to 8 or 10 hours of sleep at night. This ensures seamless blood flow to the baby, which aids in the development. Restful sleep can also prevent swelling. Catching a catnap in between work can also help you to feel rested.
4. Stay away from smoking
Smoking and pregnancy are incompatible. Cigarettes are dangerous as they contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. Smoking considerably increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and can be fatal for both – the mother and the fetus. Smoking during pregnancy can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. It can also lead to premature birth and other complications.
5. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol causes problems during all the stages of pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and birth defects such as weakened heart, hearing or vision problems, learning difficulties, behavioral problems, etc. It also increases the risk of miscarriage and can lead to the development of a serious condition called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which could result in poor growth and distinct facial features.
6. Hydration is important
Drinking plentiful water is important for the overall general health of you and the fetus. During pregnancy, water is essential as your body needs it to make amnionic fluid, produce extra blood volume, build new tissues and carry nutrients. Water also helps in digestion and flushes out waste and toxins. Staying well-hydrated during pregnancy can help prevent constipation, reduce oedema, decrease the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) and pre-term labor.
Working pregnant women should drink at least 8-10 cups of water (2.3 liters) each day. If nausea causes you to vomit, drink lemonade, fresh fruit juice or chew on ice chips to alleviate the condition. For extreme nausea, consult with your doctor. Also, limit your caffeine intake during pregnancy and avoid energy drinks completely. Water is an ideal choice to stay hydrated, and other fluids that you can consume during pregnancy include soup, milk, fruit-infused water, and natural fruit juices.
7. Avoid flickering screens
Sitting in front of a screen is a part of the work-life for most women in the USA. Avoiding it completely is not an option. However, they can try to limit their personal screen time so that it doesn’t harm their baby. Too much screen time can lead to over-exposure to radiation, which can affect the health of both – the expectant mother and the fetus.
8. Exercise moderately
Staying active during pregnancy is important as it helps strengthen the heart and blood vessels, which helps regulate the blood flow throughout the body. It helps decrease back pain, alleviates constipation, and helps maintain a healthy weight. To enhance your overall fitness level, exercising during pregnancy is vital, but you need to be cautious and not over-exert yourself. After consulting with an obstetrician, a pregnant woman should ideally get at least 150 minutes of a moderate-intensity workout during a week.
9. Reduce stress with Yoga and Meditation
Working on numerous projects and meeting deadlines can be stressful, and stress isn’t good for the health and development of the fetus. High levels of stress among women can cause many health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, heart condition, etc. During pregnancy, stress can increase the probability of a pre-term baby i.e. born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. It can also increase the likelihood of low birth weight. Thus, managing stress during pregnancy is important and this is where meditation and yoga is the ideal tool that can help improve your physical and mental well-being.
To sum up
These are just a few tips that working pregnant women can follow to improve their health and fitness during pregnancy. Eating healthy food, staying active, drinking plentiful water, restful sleep, and avoiding alcohol, smoking, and processed foods should be given top priority. Pregnancy comes with many challenges. However, with simple lifestyle changes, you can get through this period without it affecting your work-life.