Pregnancy and Staying comfortable
Carrying around a growing baby can make everyday activities like sitting, standing, bending and lifting uncomfortable. It can also cause constant pressure on your bladder, strain on your back and fluid retention in your legs and feet.
Emptying your bladder frequently can help relieve pressure. Moving around every few hours can ease muscle tension and help prevent fluid buildup. But you may need to try other strategies to make yourself comfortable throughout your workday and prevent potential health hazards. Here’s how to handle common on-the-job activities:
- Sitting. If you have an office job, the chair you sit in is important, and not just during pregnancy. While the weight of your body is increasing and shifting, it helps to have a seat you can adjust for height and tilt. Adjustable armrests, a firm seat and back cushions, and good back support can make long hours of sitting much easier and facilitate exits from the chair.
If a chair with these options isn’t available, take steps to improve what you do have. For instance, if you need more cushioning or back support, use a small pillow or invest in a cushion designed to support the lower back. This type of cushion can also serve as a car seat support, which might make driving easier if you have a long commute.
While sitting, it’s best to elevate your feet on a footrest or box to help take some of the strain off your back. This may also reduce your chance of developing varicose veins or clots in the veins of your legs. Using a footrest may also help reduce the swelling in the feet and legs. Round-bottomed footrests even can be rocked gently with your feet. This motion is good for your circulation and may be soothing if you feel restless. Skip crossing your legs as well.
- Standing. Standing for long periods may not seem like a risky proposition. But during pregnancy, you have increased dilation of blood vessels. This can cause blood to pool in the legs with too much standing, which could lead to pain, dizziness and even fainting.
Standing can also put pressure on your back. If standing is part of your job, put one foot on a box or low stool to take pressure off your back and decrease blood pooling. Switch feet every so often. It may help to wear support hose and take frequent breaks throughout the day. Most health care providers recommend wearing shoes with low, wide heels rather than high heels or flats.
If your job requires you to stand for four or more hours a day, ask your health care provider if he or she has any specific recommendations or concerns that might require you to stop working earlier in your pregnancy or modify your job duties.
- Bending and lifting. To prevent or ease back pain, follow proper form when bending and lifting. To pick up something off the floor, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body by bending at the knees, not the waist. Keep your back as straight as possible when you grasp the load. Then keep the load close to your body while you use your leg muscles to lift you and the item. Don’t twist the body as you rise to a standing position.
Tags: Healthy pregnancy, Pregnancy and Staying comfortable, pregnancy challenges, pregnancy guide, pregnancy problems, pregnancy tips and advices
Posted in Pregnancy