One of the most common concerns women have about pregnancy is “can I still work while pregnant?”  The idea of a loss of income during pregnancy is impossible to consider for most people. Thankfully, pregnancy accommodations in the workplace are now common and help expectant mothers to continue working.  However, it’s important not to overdo it and know your limits. We’ve outlined a few key things to help you find that balance between work and pregnancy. For more information, call DAZZ today at 843-225-3010 to learn about the free services and support we have to offer you.

Find Ways to Rest

It’s no secret that pregnancy takes a physical toll on you.  As your baby grows and develops, your body has to work harder to support both of you, making sure that enough iron, energy, and essential nutrients are being delivered to the baby.  This often results in you feeling drained of energy, but there are some things you can do to combat your pregnancy fatigue. Adding foods that are high in iron and protein to your diet can make a significant impact, as it will offset the nutrients that are being diverted to your baby and help give your body a rest from having to produce extra nutrients. 

One of the best ways to take care of yourself at work is making sure you’re comfortable and not overdoing it.  If you have a desk job, take a few minutes every hour to stand up and walk around to both break the monotony of the day and get your blood flowing again.  Likewise, if your job requires you to stand, those breaks are even more important, as you need to replenish the additional energy that standing requires. Investing in comfortable shoes and using a stool or chair if you’re at a stationary position can go a long way as well. Some other tips to consider are bringing a water bottle from home to stay hydrated, finding a chair with good lumbar support, elevating your feet or legs at your desk, and reducing your physical activities after work if your job is physically or mentally demanding.

Manage Your Stress

One of the most important things you can do during your pregnancy is to try and keep your stress levels low.  Stress can put an unnecessary strain on your body and your pregnancy, but avoiding it is often easier said than done.  However, it’s important to realize that as your pregnancy progresses, you’ll find that you may not be able to perform daily tasks as easily as before.  Recognizing and accepting that fact is a vital first step, rather than being upset or anxious about the limitations your pregnancy can bring. Don’t obsess over them, but instead be aware of the changes that are occurring and have an open dialog with your boss and co-workers as your pregnancy progresses.  Don’t be afraid to ask for support or to let them know when an aspect of your job is too difficult to complete. The best you can do is be accepting of the changes that are happening, managing the expectations you set for yourself, and not overdoing it.

Know Your Rights

While asking for accomodations can sometimes be uncomfortable, it’s never something that should be downplayed.  Taking care of yourself and your pregnancy comes first above all. Take some time to read up on the rights you have in the workplace as an expecting mother.  In 2018, South Carolina passed the Pregnancy Accommodation Act, which expanded and reinforced ensuring pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is eliminated.  Some of these rights include additional bathroom breaks, providing seating for positions that require a lot of standing, providing assistance with manual labor tasks, and even allowing for your job duties to be adjusted as your pregnancy progresses.  The specifics vary depending on size and type of company, but having a conversation with your employer when you discover you’re pregnant is a great way to learn more about your company’s specific policies. In addition, you should talk to your doctor during your prenatal visits to get their recommendations on what activities are safe for you to perform at your job.  

Ways We Can Help

Of course, balancing your pregnancy and your job doesn’t just stop once you clock out for the day.  You need support outside of the workplace as well to ensure that your life as a whole is healthy and thriving.  At DAZZ, we’re dedicated to providing you with the resources and support you deserve. We offer free parenting classes, parenting education and resources, and can help you find community resources and referrals.  Call us at 843-225-3010, send us a message online, or stop by our center at any time to learn more about how we can help you.

Additional Resources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20047441

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=work-and-pregnancy-85-P01244

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/query.php?search=DOC&searchtext=3865&category=LEGISLATION&session=122&conid=9224588&result_pos=0&keyval=1223865&numrows=10