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

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

standing for long hours during pregnancy

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. The 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.  Standing for long hour during pregnancy is not good. 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.

It is generally safe for a pregnant woman to stand all day. In any case, if you have a physically demanding job, you should be able to move around or take breaks to sit down. Your healthcare provider should be contacted if you are being told that you are at high risk for preterm delivery or your baby is measuring small. The position is critical when you need to stand for a long period of time.

In This Article

How Does Standing For Long Hours Affect 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 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 unborn fetus for the sake of a job. Some jobs, like that of a teacher, cashier, food preparation, and child care require you to stand on your 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

increased edema

Edema is swelling of the feet during pregnancy. Pregnant women, it is suffering 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 most of it around the pelvic bone. Standing for long hours can worsen the symptoms of SPD and 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 for women who were on their feet for long 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 an almost motionless position may compromise blood flow to the baby.

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

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

Speak with the management regarding your pregnancy issues. They may be able to help you by switching you to another department where you don’t have 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 if more breaks can be given.

  • 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.
  • 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 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.  Walking around, particularly, helps in easing delivery and constipation. Blood clotting can occur if pregnant women sit for long periods.  In that case, your baby may not get enough blood.
  • Have plenty of water and juices during the day. Stay away from caffeinated drinks though.
  • 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 a happy state of mind.


It was not clear in the study 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. So let us conclude that when you work on a job that keeps you on your feet, it may affect the growth of the baby in the womb.  But to see if head size has an effect on the babies’ neurodevelopment you would have to follow them for many years as they grow up.


1. How Long Is Standing Too Long While Pregnant?

Not only is it risky for a pregnant woman to stand for lengthy periods of time, but it may also be uncomfortable. A pregnant woman shouldn’t stand for more than four or five hours at a time, and she should take numerous breaks throughout the day.

2. Can Standing For Long Hours Cause Pain During Pregnancy?

The additional weight of a pregnant woman may place a strain on the lower back and legs, making it uncomfortable to stand for extended periods of time. This gets more noticeable as the pregnancy develops. Prolonged standing may impede fetal growth because of less blood flow to the uterus.



Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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