Working while pregnant: How to set up your workstation correctly?
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Being pregnant can feel like a full-time job. In addition to being pregnant, most women already have full-time jobs. That job might require you to sit at your desk or be nice all day, even if you're feeling sick or your belly is growing. If you have two full-time jobs, your biggest challenge is probably fighting fatigue. Pregnancy fatigue during your first trimesters is common and can't be worse than jetlag. This is a good sign as it indicates that your hormones are circulating and your body is hard at work helping your baby grow. Try to follow a healthy diet where you eat a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods as much as possible. As the months go by and your belly grows, your work setup may also cause you discomfort or pain. Read our tips for correctly organising your workplace while working pregnant.
How to set up your workstation while pregnant
Keep your wrists above your keyboard
During the third trimester, many pregnant women experience a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. A carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and wrist. It happens when there is increased pressure within the wrist on a nerve called the median nerve and is due to fluid retention. Keeping your wrists in a neutral posture, not resting on your keyboard, and keeping your hands, wrists, and forearms in a straight line when working.
Try to use a footrest
Your pregnancy can increase the risk for swelling in the feet and increase the risk for blood clots. You may need to add a footrest to get extra support and reduce swelling. Putting your feet up will prevent discomfort and swelling and make your workspace more comfortable. Search for a footrest that can lock for safety and comfort.
Keep everything close
When you’re in the final months of pregnancy, you may need to start reaching an additional 30 centimeters more to access your keyboard, mouse, phone, or even the desk. This will encourage you to reach your arms forward and is putting strain on your arms, shoulders, and back. As your body weight is coming more forward more pressure is coming on your lower back. Moving objects closer to you, even a few centimeters, will improve back and shoulder comfort.
Boost your energy, get moving
Incorporating more activity throughout the day will keep blood circulating and will help to reduce some swollen ankles, hands, and fatigue. Exercising while pregnant is far from the easiest, but walking during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Think of safe sports such as pregnancy yoga, walking, or cycling. A 30-minute walk on your lunch break will give your heart a workout and release feel-good endorphins to finish off your workday while you're pregnant!
How can Fit for Work help?
To learn more about setting up or managing an ergonomics program that supports staff working from home or in the office or support with staying legally compliant, you can reach out to Fit for Work. For more information on our Ergonomics Self-Assessment and Education Tool, contact us.