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Pregnancy is a mini-revolution that happens in a woman’s body. If you are a pregnant woman at work in the 1st trimester, here are some vital things that you should know.
No matter how eagerly you have been waiting for your pregnancy test to come positive – if you’re a pregnant woman at work – you are bound to have a few moments of panic as you wonder “How will I manage all this?”
Being pregnant is overwhelming in itself with all that it implies. In addition there is the fear of being discriminated against at work; first for being a pregnant woman at work, and then for having the extra responsibilities of a new mom.
However, what you must keep in mind at all times as you yo-yo between euphoria and nervousness is – that your pregnancy is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Decisions that you make during your pregnancy will affect not one but two people. And adverse consequences of carelessness or bravado may be difficult or sometimes even impossible to reverse.
Here are 10 health tips to follow when you are a pregnant woman at work, in your 1st trimester.
Most women like to announce their pregnancies at the workplace only after the first trimester. While this seems like the most sensible approach keeping in mind the fact that chances of miscarriage are high in the first trimester, it may not necessarily be the best thing to do if you are working.
Although most pregnancies are discovered in the middle of the third trimester, it is the first trimester that is the most crucial for the development of the baby. It is in the first trimester that the foundation of the vital organs of the baby is laid. It is the time that can be considered a make-or-break for your pregnancy. It is therefore recommended that strict precautions be taken even before you conceive, and that these precautions be continued through the first trimester.
If you are working at an office and want to keep the news of your pregnancy hidden from your colleagues and bosses – it may be difficult for you to implement these precautions.
As ambitious women determined to do our best at work, we often disregard the messages our bodies give us. We push ourselves to do what is required despite crushing fatigue and exhaustion.
But this can be dangerous for a pregnant woman at work. The fatigue you experience in the first trimester is a deliberate attempt by your body to slow you down so that all your energy can be used for baby making. Don’t fight fatigue. Listen to your body. Rest when you feel tired.
Nausea and vomiting are the most difficult to manage symptoms of pregnancy. However, it is important to remember that they are a response to the new hormones in your body, and also keep you from eating things that could be dangerous to your developing baby. And while they are uncomfortable to bear, they must not be treated with drugs.
Keep your stress levels low and nibble on small low-fat minimal aroma meals through the day to keep away nausea and vomiting. Do not worry about eating for two in the first trimester. Just eat what you like in small quantities. Prefer home cooked food and avoid packaged or restaurant food.
It is most important to drink lots of water because every new cell that is made during pregnancy is made up of 70% water. Also because of all the work your body is doing, it is easy to get dehydrated during pregnancy.
Dehydration can lead to lethargy and mental fatigue. Sipping on water every half an hour can keep you focused and energized at work.
Check with your doctor and know what you can’t do as a pregnant woman at work, and discuss this with your superiors to make adjustments to your routine working style.
In general, pregnant women must avoid exposure to infections, exposure to toxins and exposure to radiation. They should avoid heavy lifting, long work hours, and long hours standing. Excessive temperatures, noise, and heavy vibrations must be avoided as well. Make sure you take no chances with these.
In the first trimester, your baby is so small that you will not experience too much difficulty wearing your regular clothes and sitting in your usual chair with your feet down. However, start looking for ways to make yourself comfortable.
Find a sturdy chair, a stool to keep your feet elevated, and comfortable formal maternity wear. You will need them as soon as you are in the second trimester.
Every job will have some stress associated with it. But manage your stress because getting excessively stressed during pregnancy can be harmful. A moderate amount of stress has been found to be good during pregnancy, but stress from situations where you feel things are going out of control is dangerous.
Manage expectations well. Let your employer know when you think you will be unable to manage something. Delegate to lighten your load when possible. Prioritize, make to-do lists, don’t micromanage, and don’t worry about unimportant things. Talk things over and find solutions. Do not carry work stress home.
Don’t try to run a perfect house in addition to managing your job as a pregnant woman at work. Let your husband and other family members manage routine tasks, and do not stress if it is not how you would do it. Arrange for extra help. And let some work remain undone. Don’t worry about it.
The best thing you can do for your pregnancy is – to get adequate peaceful sleep. It will help your baby, and it will help you focus on and perform at work.
Go for a walk, have a heart to heart chat with someone and do some mediation before you go to sleep. Sleep at the same time every day and avoid caffeine after lunch.
When the first-trimester fatigue is dragging you down, “exercise” may seem like the foolish impractical piece of advice. However, doing a moderate amount of light exercise – such as a slow leisurely stroll for 5 to 10 minutes 3 times a day can keep your energy levels from plunging. Exercise can make you feel active and energized when you feel like you just can’t move anymore. It can also keep your stress levels down and keep you from getting into complications of pregnancy.
The first trimester of pregnancy is one of the toughest to get through. And the challenges are doubled when you are a pregnant woman at work. When things are tough – just remember that this is just a slightly difficult path you have to walk towards a very precious gift.
Image source: shutterstock
Dr Debmita Dutta is a practising doctor, a Parenting consultant and the founder of the
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