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Standing For Long Hours In Pregnancy – How Does It Affect The Baby?

4 min read

Does your job require you to stand for long hours? If so, you might want to switch the nature of your job after reading this.
A research was conducted between 2002 and 2006 in the Netherlands. In this study, fetal growth was measured frequently by ultrasound of pregnant women who worked on their feet for long periods of time. Those who stood for long hours during pregnancy had babies with smaller head circumference, approximately 1 cm or 3 percent than that of average babies at birth.
pregnant woman standing- travel concept

  • How Does Standing For Long Hours Affects You And The Baby?
  • What If I Have A Job That Keeps Me On My Feet?

How Does Standing For Long Hours Affects You And The Baby?

Today, more and more women step out to work and continue to work during their pregnancy. Indeed, there has also been a research that indicates that infants born to working moms have fewer medical complications than those who have not been working during pregnancy. A woman, by all means, and if not recommended otherwise by the doctor, should continue to work and millions of women do just that. We have changed as a society, but we must not ignore the health of our pregnant women and the unborn fetus for the sake of a job. Some jobs, like that of a teacher, cashier, food preparation, child care require you to stand on feet for long periods. If you are in such a job, you must maintain a balance between working during pregnancy and proper pregnancy care.

1. Increased Edema:

Edema is swelling of feet during pregnancy. Pregnant women as it is suffer from edema to a certain extent and prolonged periods of standing might just aggravate the condition

2. Pubic Pain:

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) during pregnancy is a condition wherein the ligament that aligns your pelvic bone to be either too stretchy or relaxed. You might observe pain in your pelvic region, with the most of it around the pelvic bone. Standing for long hours can worsen the symptoms of SPD and the pubic pain

3. Can Lower The Blood Pressure:

Standing for long periods tends to lower blood pressure in pregnant women. If your blood pressure drops, you can get light-headed and potentially even faint

4. May Slow Fetal Growth:

In the study conducted, it was observed that women who were on their feet for longer periods of standing, the fetal growth rates were considerably slower. The babies also had a smaller head, approximately 1 cm lesser than those born to mothers who did not stand that long. Standing in almost motionless position may compromise blood flow to the baby
Pregnant lady working standing

What If I Have A Job That Keeps Me On My Feet?

  • Being on your feet would not be a big problem as long as you walk around. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and try to take frequent breaks
  • Speak with the management regarding your pregnancy issues. They may be able to help you by switching you to another department where it isn’t required to stand all day or might reduce your work hours. If that’s not possible, ask if a chair or stool can be used during work or more breaks can be given
  • Consider wearing compression stockings that will help when you are standing for long periods. These provide compression and help your leg discomfort and they work by promoting blood circulation. Increased blood circulation will prevent swollen feet
  • When you approach the end of the second trimester, a maternity belt can also help. Wearing it during the final phase of your pregnancy, it wraps over and under your belly and gives support by lifting the belly. It reduces fatigue by reducing the amount of work the mid and lower back has to do
  • Take occasional short walks. A work day in a pregnant woman’s should not be limited to just sitting or standing. Walking around, particularly, helps in easing delivery and constipation. Blood clotting can occur if pregnant women sit for long periods, and if you stand for longer periods, your baby may not get enough blood
  • Have plenty of water and juices during the day. Stay away from caffeinated drinks though
  • The inferior vena cava, the vein that pumps blood from your lower extremities to your heart can increase blood circulation provided you sleep on your left side. Increased blood circulation will in turn help you deal with swelling and puffing
  • Sit down for 15 minutes every hour. And when you do sit, don’t cross your legs rather prop up your feet if swelling is an issue
  • Don’t forget to manage your stress level. Do not work in excessive stress work conditions. You can do some breathing exercises and meditation that will help you maintain the happy state of mind

Conclusion: It was not clear in the study that whether standing for long hours can affect the health of the baby. It is very difficult to say that the finding in this study is clinically significant. It has been concluded that the growth of babies does get affected when you work on a job that keeps you on the feet, but to see if head size has an effect on the babies’ neuro development you would have to follow them for many years as they grow up.

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