Work is unavoidable, and there are many rewarding aspects of employment, whether self or otherwise. But pregnancy changes the way you approach your job to ensure your health and the safety of your unborn child. However, since you don’t want to overdo it, what are the signs of overworking while pregnant?
Work conditions that are physically taxing, including prolonged standing, continual bending, or heavy lifting, can adversely affect your pregnancy. Overworking symptoms include fatigue, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, headaches, breathing difficulties, back and stomach pain. The risks include low weight or premature birth for your baby and high blood pressure for you.
You or your employer should assess once you’re pregnant to see if overtime on your job poses a risk to your baby. It’s not safe for you to continue working with chemicals, x-rays, lead, or where heavy lifting is involved. Read further to find out how you can ensure the safety of your pregnancy by keeping an eye out for signs of overworking.
Signs to Look Out for Regarding Work Safety When Pregnant
You could be a school teacher, a CEO, news editor, or a policewoman, and if you’re not pregnant, the chance is you’ll one day be in the ‘baby way.’ It’s therefore essential that you learn all there is to know about overworking during pregnancy. For your health and that of your unborn bundle, you’ve got to put measures in place that will balance staying employed and keeping safe.
During your first trimester, mention to your doctor if you’re exposed to any harmful substances, or that your work involves prolonged standing. You shouldn’t engage in any heavy lifting from the very onset, and you’re to minimize carrying or climbing. If your work environment consists of excessive noise, heavy machine vibrations, or extreme temperatures, it’s time to cut back on the hours.
It’s not easy to work through pregnancy. You’re battling symptoms and trying to stay healthy while getting the job done. You can continue working as long as the task doesn’t jeopardize your pregnancy. Some jobs are better suited for pregnant women. But suitable modifications and precautions will make yours safer too.
To determine whether your job is safe for your unborn baby, ask yourself if you are;
Straining Too Much
Work that requires you to stand for long periods, lift heavy stuff, or do other strenuous physical activity will increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Talk to your doctor or boss before transferring to a less taxing assignment if your job involves such tasks. You can also take early maternity leave.
Operating Heavy Machinery
Many pregnant mothers-to-be work in manufacturing or other factory jobs. If you’re operating dangerous machinery, it might be best to change position during pregnancy. You can talk to the nearest office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA if you have concerns.
Exposed to Harmful Chemicals
If your work involves coming into contact with carbon monoxide, arsenic, dioxin, or lead, you’re putting your unborn baby at risk. Talk to your obstetrician or employer for alternatives when you’re in industries that include dry cleaning, computer chip making, rubber, leather, printing, toll booths, or shipbuilding.
In Health Care
When you are a health care provider such as a physician, medical technician, or nurse, you’re risking your life daily for others. Besides following workplace safety protocols, your pregnancy is at risk if you’re exposed to;
- Radiation from cancer treatment or x-rays
- Sterilizing chemicals like ethylene oxide or formaldehyde
- Cancer-fighting antineoplastic or alkylating agents
- Anesthetic gas
- Diseases like covid-19, HIV, cytomegalovirus or CMV, and hepatitis B
Working in a High-Risk Infection Area
Be aware of an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis. That’s especially if you’re working with animals or raw meat. You’re exposed to the parasite through handling raw meat, animal feces, or eating undercooked animal products. While some people have natural immunity, only testing can eliminate the dangers to your unborn baby.
Other areas where infection rates are high are working as social workers or teachers. These professions will see you coming into contact with influenza, chickenpox, CMV, and fifth disease. You should get immunized early in your pregnancy. Also, make it a habit to wear protective gear like breathing masks or gloves.
You may also be spending a lot of time in front of a computer, exposing your pregnancy to low levels of radiation. Besides that, carpal tunnel syndrome can result from repeated fingers, wrists, or hands.
How to Eliminate Signs of Overworking While Pregnant
You can actively alleviate the anxiety of work during pregnancy while ensuring you’re not overworking. Job-related anxiety that results in stress is the common denominator in cases of preeclampsia. Add to the apprehension of being pregnant, and overwork makes a recipe for pregnancy complications.
Talk with your employer regarding maternity leave and whatever financial benefits you’re due. It’s best to have everything in writing according to the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you’re worried about getting downsized or eliminated, voice your concerns.
It may also be time to update your resume. If you’re concerned about pregnancy-unfriendly hours or worrying about your employer’s health benefits, play an active role in finding alternative work. You’ll still get hired with the right skills when pregnant. It’s safer to ease work-related stress.
Instead of spending time anxious about employment, focus on the positivity that your baby bump brings. Once you’ve prepared yourself financially, spend time staring at your belly and picking out baby names.
When signs of overworking threaten to derail your pregnancy, the most important avenue to take will involve taking a break. Avoid running yourself rugged but instead allow time to breathe, take short walks, or a decent amount of time away from your workstation. While that works wonders to alleviate the stress that causes maternal hypertension, you’re less likely to burn out or affect your developing baby.
Take control of the situation at work so that your pregnancy can be safe. You’ll have to prioritize tasks and delegate or eliminate those that threaten your health and that of the unborn baby. If you feel frustrated in any way, talk it out with someone, it could be a friend, husband, or supportive colleague. Practice relaxation techniques and approach each pregnancy milestone with calm and peace, even when things aren’t medically okay.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!