Many women continue to work for as long as possible when they are pregnant, saving the maximum maternity leave to enjoy after their baby is born. Studies have shown that there are no negative effects from working up until 36 weeks into your pregnancy, especially if you are happy in your work.
But if you’re on your feet all day working when pregnant can be tiring, exacerbating many common discomforts such as pregnancy varicose veins, pelvic girdle pain, pregnancy backache, or swollen feet and ankles. A recent study from the Netherlands has shown that women who stand for long periods during pregnancy experienced a slightly slower fetal growth rate – although the study did not make it clear whether this has any long term effects on the health and size of the baby.
Sitting down all day can be just as uncomfortable, especially as your bump gets bigger and it becomes harder to reach over it to get to your desk. Sitting for prolonged periods can compromise blood flood and has been linked to an increased risk of unhealthy weight gain and gestational diabetes.
The answer is to keep moving!
Whilst you might not always feel like it, regular exercise during pregnancy will improve your strength and circulation. Try and include at least 30 minutes exercise into your daily routine on at least five days a week, it’s good for you and good for baby too! You should aim for a minimum 150 minutes of daily exercise during pregnancy.
If your job involves standing for most of the day, make sure you move around as often as you can and try and including a combination of standing, sitting and walking. Don’t just slump into a chair, stretching out first will make you feel less tired and achy.
Regular yoga stretches will improve your circulation as well as your flexibility and can be modified to do at your desk. Ease your tense shoulders with the shoulder release pose, or eagle pose and just spend a few minutes with a ‘Breathe & Stretch’ routine.
Be conscious of the need to move regularly. Use your lunch break to take a brisk walk whenever possible, you’ll feel much better!
If you’re spending a lot of time at your desk, considering swopping your usual chair for a fitness ball. Make sure it’s the correct height but you may find it a lot more comfortable and less static than an office chair – or use a balance ball chair, which is combines a wheelie chair base with a swiss ball.
More FittaMamma tips for pregnant women at work!
- Keep a water bottle handy so you stay hydrated and avoid too many coffees or fizzy drinks.
- Regular healthy snacks (such as nuts, raw veggies or crackers) can help avoid pregnancy nausea – and will help stop you snacking on biscuits or cakes too.
- Try and avoid going home and immediately embarking on household chores – scale back, shop online and accept help.
- Make sure you get your eight house sleep every night – resting on your left side will maximise blood flow to your baby.
- Make sure your pregnancy diet includes plenty of foods rich in iron and protein to help combat fatigue. Include meat and fish, leafy green vegetables, whole grain cereals and beans.
- Invest in clothes to support your baby bump. The FittaMamma range will help ease the weight of your growing baby and can alleviate many pregnancy discomforts such as tired legs, backache and pelvic girdle pain. Team FittaMamma leggings with a jumper or wear them under a dress for maximum everyday comfort and support.