Your Pregnancy-at-work Toolkit

Being prepared to deal with any pregnancy symptoms during working hours can help you to feel on the ball and remain professional with a minimum amount of fuss. You may want to include:

  • Bottles of fresh water to stay hydrated and alert

  • Decaf coffee or tea

  • Healthy snacks to keep you going

  • Natural remedies for headaches, heartburn, and nausea

  • A cushion, heating pad, or hot water bottle for backache

  • A footstool to keep your feet up (under your desk, of course)

  • An alarm clock, in case you manage to catch a few winks during a break

  • A toothbrush and toothpaste, to help recover from vomiting episodes

  • A notebook listing ongoing projects and their status

  • Your job description, highlighting your regular routines and tasks

  • A list of everyone you work with and their contact details

  • A master list of file names and locations on your computer, with a password set up to access all personal files

Rest and recharge

Take extra breaks now and then to recharge your batteries if you need to, but make sure you keep up with your work and maintain a professional manner to set the standard for how people treat you and your pregnancy.

Hazards at Work

It is completely safe to continue working in most jobs while pregnant. However, it is important to be aware of any potential risks to you and/or your baby. If your job involves any of the situations listed here, you are within your legal rights to ask for changes to be made to your job description and working practice.

  • Working with animals, which may carry E. coli or organisms that cause tularemia, toxoplasmosis, or histoplasmosis

  • Working with chemicals, such as those used in medical, dental, or pharmaceutical occupations, as well as in painting, cleaning, farming, dry-cleaning, gardening, pest-control, and carpet-cleaning

  • Exposure to food hazards, such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella, which can be encountered by handling raw foods

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke, which crosses the placental barrier and increases the level of carbon monoxide in your baby’s developing brain

  • Exposure to radiation, from X-rays

  • Exposure to viral hazards, in medical settings or even childcare facilities, where you may be in contact with viruses that may harm your baby

  • Requirement to do heavy lifting

  • Long hours spent standing or sitting

  • Working excessive hours

  • Working in awkward spaces and work stations

  • Working under stress, an excess of which has now been linked to low birth weight, high blood pressure, and developmental and behavior problems in your baby

  • Exposure to violence

  • Wearing a tight-fitting uniform, which can make you uncomfortable and exacerbate pregnancy symptoms

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