Caregiver Blog: Working While Pregnant: The Dos and Don’ts for Expectant Caregivers

Article Categories: Caregiver Corner & Caregiver Tips and Tricks

Caregivers are some of the most resilient and hardworking employees there are in the healthcare industry. Nothing can change that, not even pregnancy. When caregivers learn that they're expecting, they bravely carry on, sometimes right up until their due date.

A caregiver's dedication is truly amazing, but when this special time for women arrives, their safety and their unborn child's well-being take a priority.

Dos

1. Keep your obstetrician in the loop.

Your OB must know about your job and the kind of tasks that you usually do. Telling your obstetrician about your work conditions can help them prepare safety recommendations for you.

2. Tell your supervisor.

You must also inform your supervisor, and your co-workers next, that you are pregnant. Your supervisor can arrange suitable workloads for you. For example, they can assign tasks that don't involve a lot of heavy lifting or those that wouldn't trigger your nausea.

Your colleagues, on the other hand, can offer support. They'll likely understand if you need frequent toilet breaks or rest periods.

3. Bring your anti-nausea kit with you.

During your first trimester or the first three months of your pregnancy, hormonal changes usually trigger nausea. This unpleasant feeling is especially worse in the morning. Prepare a small kit that contains barf bags, tissues, a bottle of water, and some crackers. Saltine crackers help calm your stomach. Keep this kit with you even when you travel to and from work.

4. Take care of your feet.

Wear compression socks or stockings. On your third trimester of pregnancy or from the seventh month onwards, you might have swollen feet, especially after a long day.

Swelling can be uncomfortable because your shoes feel tight. You can prevent swelling by wearing compression socks or stockings. It is best to put them on in the morning upon waking up or anytime when your feet aren't tired.

The use of these socks also prevents clot formation in the leg caused by the pooling of blood late in pregnancy.

Take a few minutes during your breaks to sit comfortably and raise your legs. Elevating your feet help to drain the pooled blood in your lower leg and relieve swelling.

5. Strictly follow infection control procedures.

Getting an infection at work can have disastrous consequences for your pregnancy. You can transfer microorganisms to your baby, and your baby can have birth defects or even die in your womb. Examples of such diseases are chickenpox, shingles, measles, and rubella. Supervisors need to know your condition so they can assign you to other patients.

Dont’s

1. Do not mix cleaning chemicals or handle products with pregnancy warnings.

Before using cleaning or disinfecting products, read the label. Do not use those with pregnancy precautions. An example of a product to avoid is an oven cleaner. Oven cleaners have toxic substances that cause miscarriage and birth defects. Mixing chemicals is unsafe because it can emit harmful fumes.

2. Don't skip meals.

If large meals trigger your nausea, ask your supervisor if you could take several small breaks to have light snacks instead of the usual lunch break. Bring healthy snacks with you, especially if your workplace's cafeteria does not offer much.

3. Don't smoke or consume alcohol.

Smoking is dangerous to your health, especially to your unborn baby. Alcoholic drinks are okay to take in moderation while you're not pregnant. But consuming even a small amount of alcohol while you're expecting can harm your baby.

4. Don’t eat raw meat, fish, or unpasteurized milk products.

Raw or undercooked food can cause food-borne illnesses that can harm you and your baby. Food poisoning is also possible, so it is best to cook food thoroughly. You may have to forego your cravings for rare steaks and sushi.

Also, unpasteurized milk has not been heat-treated, which also means that the milk may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Unpasteurized milk products are not a good choice for your calcium source.

5. Don't binge on caffeine.

Caffeine-rich drinks can stunt the baby's growth and lead to small birth size. It's better to give up caffeine while pregnant. You can consume substitutes such as decaffeinated coffee, plain water in place of colas, and fruit juices instead of energy drinks.

Caregiving while pregnant can be challenging. At times, it could even be dangerous. But with adequate preparation and precautions, you can successfully wrestle those precious nine months and welcome a healthy baby in your arms.


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