Work and Pregnancy
Many women continue working until their due date if they have uncomplicated pregnancies. While nausea, vomiting, swollen ankles, back pain and fatigue can certainly impact one’s job performance, these symptoms are considered a normal part of pregnancy.
Your practitioner might restrict your work or activity if you exhibit high blood pressure, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, vaginal bleeding or preterm labor. A medical leave from work may be necessary if you or your baby may be harmed if you continue to work.
Stress During Pregnancy
Experiencing some concern or anxiety during pregnancy is normal. It’s normal to worry when your body is undergoing so many dramatic changes, hormones are fluctuating and the unknown aspects of childbirth and parenting are just around the corner. It’s important to learn how to manage stress.
• Learn to ask for help. Ask your partner, family or friends to pitch in with cooking, cleaning or daily activities. If you have other children at home try setting up a play date for them so you can have some quiet time.
• If there are situations or people that create a stressful environment for you, reduce or eliminate interaction with them.
• Find simple ways to relax for a little bit each day. Try taking a walk, enjoying a warm bath, reading or listening to music.
• Take advantage of relaxation techniques. There are many relaxation CD’s with guided meditation. Look into a prenatal yoga class or join a support group for new parents.
A helpful activity to ease anxiety and worry is to make a list of things that make you fearful or worried. Put them in order from least to most stressful. Ask yourself how realistic is your fear or worry? How likely is it to occur? Ask your practitioner for guidance if you have medical concerns. If one of your concerns is very unlikely to happen you can take it off your list.
If you have control to change one of your concerns, ask yourself what steps you can take to alter the situation. If it’s out of your control, work on refocusing your energy to something positive about your pregnancy.
Smoking And Pregnancy
• Women who smoke are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy.
• Smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight offspring which puts your baby at higher risk of serious illness, chronic lifelong disabilities, and increased of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
• Women who smoke tend to have premature babies that may result in chronic problems after birth and potentially throughout life.
• Children from households that smoke have 4 times as many respiratory infections than those from non-smoking households.
• Secondhand smoke can harm both you and your baby. It increases the risk of your child developing asthma.
If you have quit smoking, congratulations on the beginning of a healthier lifestyle for you and your baby! If you are still smoking ask for a recommendation from your practitioner for help. It is important that your partner and other family members quit smoking with you.
Travel During Pregnancy
It is generally considered safe to travel during low risk pregnancies up to 36 weeks if you have no medical complications. With that said, you should always check with your practitioner prior to travel during the third trimester. If you’re traveling by motor vehicle, even though your belly is growing you still need to wear a seat belt to protect you both. Position the lap belt below the baby, not across your abdomen or uterus.
If you are planning to travel, here are some general guidelines:
• Inform your practitioner when and where you are planning to travel.
• Avoid becoming fatigued. Remember your growing baby is putting a greater demand on your body than normal. Plan for frequent opportunities to rest between sightseeing or travel commitments.
• Don’t travel to high altitudes greater than 7,000 feet. Since there is less oxygen you may feel sick or become easily tired.
• Plan to urinate frequently.This will help you avoid bladder infections.
• Make certain to stretch every two hours. It’s important to get up and move around frequently to improve circulation.
• Bring healthy snacks and stay well hydrated.
Sex During Pregnancy
Unless your practitioner advises against it, sex is safe during pregnancy. You and your partner may need to be creative with different positions. Later in your pregnancy, you may choose to find alternatives to intercourse to satisfy sexual desire. If you experience a cramp in your uterus after orgasm a backrub my relieve it.