Many people wonder whether or not a pregnant woman can work all the way up to her due date. Factors such as the working conditions and nature of the job duties and the quality of the pregnancy have to be considered, but for most typically pregnancies, of course a woman can continue working up until her due date! For a working mom who plans to return to work after the baby is born, she wants to save as many days as possible for after the baby arrives, so taking maternity leave before the due date seems counterproductive. If you are a working mom, or working mom-to-be, who wants to keep working up until her due date, use these tips to make it all the way to the end.
First of all, I worked up until my due date with my first child and I am well on my way to doing the same with my second. With my first my job, the job duties were very diverse. Some days I sat behind a desk while other days I was on my feet teaching or working an event all day. I have since changed jobs, but the basic variety of the job duties—sitting one day while being on my feet all day the next—have remained the same.
If you have a desk job, the biggest issues you may face in working up until your due date are swelling in the feet and ankles and back and hip pain from staying in a seated position. If you use a computer daily you may also find your eyes getting blurrier than normal. To combat these problems you must take frequent breaks. Even if the break is just to stand and stretch and close your eyes momentarily, hourly breaks are necessary if you want to keep working the entire nine months. Use longer breaks to walk around the office, or outside, and to stretch your leg muscles. While sitting at your desk you can also rotate your ankles or write the alphabet in the air with your feet to keep the blood flowing and help keep swelling at bay. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will also help with swelling and other aches and pains, plus the frequent potty breaks will allow you to stand and stretch as well.
If your job requires that you be on your feet all day, the biggest barrier to working up to your due date will likely be general fatigue. While swelling and specific targeted pains are more likely to hit working moms that spend the day sitting, general exhaustion will hit the pregnant woman who spends all day on her feet. To combat these issues and keep working up until your due date, you must take time to rest when you are not working. When you get home from work, lay down. Figure out some way to care for your other children if you have them and take at least half an hour to do nothing but lay down, and even nap if you so desire. While at work, make sure you use your breaks and lunch time to sit and rest as well. Drink plenty of water and make sure you are eating high protein, complex carbohydrate rich snacks every two hours to help keep your energy up. Continue to exercise 10-15 minutes daily while at home as well.
So if you wonder about the question, can a pregnant woman work up until her due date, I am living proof that it can be done! Following a few tips to take care of your own body, and of course the tiny body of your unborn child, will help you reserve as many days as possible with your little one during your maternity leave after delivery.