Health at work when pregnant

Comments from Simone Ross, Osteopath, Kane and Ross Clinics, W1 & SW5.  Specialising in the Osteopathic care of ante and post-natal women and newborn babies.

50% of women have back pain or pelvic pain  during their pregnancy but ‘pain is not normal in pregnancy’ otherwise everyone would have it!  Most pain can also be helped so do not endure pain whilst you are pregnant it will alter your posture, reduce your sleep and increase your stress levels.

30% of women who have back pain during pregnancy will have back pain post-natally.  A good diagnosis is important and a plan of action ante and post-natally will help prevent problems.  If you are getting pelvic (pubic pain) you should see someone as soon as possible.

Your body goes through a huge physical change which involves the spine changing the shape of its curves,  if there is a problem it is usually your body struggling to adapt to your new pregnancy posture which causes muscular and joint pain.

Things that you can do at work to help;
– Get your ergonomics assessed – sit with your pelvis about your knees, do not cross your legs.
– Get up from your desk frequently every 20 mins just walk around and sit down again.
– Continue your exercise programme until advised to stop or modify it.  The fitter you are the easier your pregnancy and delivery will be.  Try and exercise 2-3 times per week. It will help with aches and pains and improve your sleep.
– Sit up not only to protect your back but also to allow food to digest and avoid heart burn.
– Eat something small 2 hourly, rather than a big meal avoid acidic foods if you have heartburn (coffee, red meat, oranges, and tomatoes).  Drink lots of water about 2 litres.
– Stretch regularly at your desk if you can.

When to get professional help – see a specialist, not a massage therapist if you are getting regular back pain (2-3 times per week) or have a previous history prior to being pregnant.  Your private insurance companies may cover treatment.    (Sarah speak to me about this).

Post-natally it is common to have headaches and pain in the upper back and neck from carrying and feeding your baby, try some neck stretches at work, and watch your posture as you are much weaker through the abdominals.  If stretches do not help seek Osteopathic help.

Remember being healthy and relaxed when pregnant is good for the growing baby inside of you. Look after yourself, as well as your career!

If you are concerned about how to cope when pregnant at work, you may want to attend one of our Maternity Returner Career classes which covers the transitional stages from pregnancy at work, going off on Maternity Leave, to returning after Maternity Leave. See our Services and Fees section for more details or email sarah@maternity-matters.co.uk