Good News! You are going to be a mom, even better a working mom! Doctors are often asked if women can continue to work during pregnancy. The answer to it lies in the fact that pregnancy is not an illness. It is a natural process and therefore one can certainly work through the entire duration unless complications arise.
To understand the dynamics of work & pregnancy it’s important to understand the changing needs of the body during the entire stretch of nine months.
The period of pregnancy is divided into three trimesters of three months each. The challenges and requirements of each trimester are different but equally important. A closer look into each trimester and its challenges will help better manage work and pregnancy.
First Trimester (0-3mths)
During the first trimester your body is busy making a little human take shape. So it is indeed the most important phase of your pregnancy.
It is only natural to experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting in this stage. For some symptoms are more pronounced than others. Symptoms like these are termed as “morning sickness”. In case of heavy discomfort it is advisable to consult your gynaecologist. Your doctor will prescribe medication to alleviate the discomfort. The medication is completely safe.
If you are working, travel is unavoidable. But the good news is that it is absolutely safe to undertake travel while you are pregnant. A one to two hour travel time is perfectly fine however outstation travel should be avoided. It is not to suggest that out station travel for work or vacation is unsafe but this caution is exercised only to ensure that your gynecologist is well within your reach in case of an issue. Most commonly encountered issue is bleeding. It is not an alarming sign but certainly needs attention.
- Activity level:
Staying active during this phase is a sign of health. One must carry on with regular activities without much fuss. Climbing stairs, walking, doing household chores and prolonged sitting are safe and can be undertaken without any apprehensions.
Regular exercise is important to stay fit and healthy in this stage. Yoga, stretching and walking are preferable forms of exercise. Avoid lifting weights, running and inversion poses.
- Snacking Vs Eating habits:
Your breakfast , lunch and dinner should be balanced in terms of nutrition. The regular meals should include variety in terms of Dal, rice, roti, green vegetables and fruits . Milk curd and other dairy products are recommended too.
Apart from the regular meals, mid-meal snacking is important too as empty stomach may cause nausea and acidity. Therefore keep healthy snacks handy at office. Carry roasted nuts, fruits, boiled vegetables , poha , porridge etc. Keep the portions small .
In addition to healthy snacks, liquid intake is important too. Fresh fruit juices, lassi in summers, green tea and coconut water are some options you must consider. Avoid caffeine and cola drinks.
- Carry medicines:
Always carry basic medicines like Paracetamol, Digene and antacids with you to your workplace. These medicines are safe for consumption during pregnancy .
Congratulations on entering your second trimester. If your first trimester was easy this will be breezy. It is the most comfortable time of pregnancy!
You can relax and let down your guard. But maintain the same eating habits and activity levels. Outstation travel can be undertaken on the behest of your gynecologist. Be cautious while exercising .
You are almost there! And your baby bump tells you just that. Enjoy the attention because you are going to get a lot of it. You can continue to work till the last day if you feel well. However if you work in another city or commute really far than take a break two-three weeks before your due date.
This apart the following must be taken care of in the final trimester:
- Choose clothes wisely. Comfortable loosely fitted clothes will help you stay cool and relaxed
- Sip on liquids at regular intervals
- Take frequent breaks from your desk
- Try and put your feet up as prolonged sitting with legs dangling can lead to swollen feet. The swelling usually disappears after adequate rest but in case it persists consult your gynaecologist
- Maintain correct posture. Sit with your back straight and legs apart . Do not slouch. This will prevent backache.
- Follow an exercise regime that includes yoga, breathing exercises, stretches and walk.
Managing work during pregnancy has its challenges but it can be hugely rewarding if one takes the right amount of care. Not only will work to keep your mind off anxious thoughts but will help you stay active and healthy and positive. So keep at it!