How to Create a More Comfortable Workspace During Pregnancy
As the months progress in your pregnancy, the more uncomfortable it can be at work. There are some things that you can do in your workspace to make it more comfortable that will help you avoid many of the stresses of working while you’re pregnant. Here are some easy ways of how you can create a more comfortable workspace during pregnancy:
Sit in a Comfortable Chair
This may be an obvious change, but not very women switch out their current work chair in their office to something more comfortable. To avoid the back pains that come from sitting long hours, you want to make sure that you have a chair with height adjustment so that you set it to have your knees bend at a 90-degree angle. If your chair doesn’t adjust, rest your feet on a stack of books to provide better support for your lower back. If you have a chair that the back tilts forward and has a curved backrest that fits to the curvature of your spine, even better! This is going to help with your posture and help you feel better at the end of your day. But if your chair doesn’t, have a nice throw pillow that you can rest against.
Lower Your Screen Lights
Having your computer screen and your phone screen on its full level of brightness can actually cause you to have more headaches and cause you to become nauseous. No fun! Turn down those lights to avoid these reactions and another bonus is it will save your battery too!
Keep Files Within Reach
The less bending and reaching out that you have to do, the better on your body. Arrange your work environment so that you don’t have to go very far for things that you regularly need. Try to have everything within arms reach.
Pregnancy will naturally raise your body temperature and it can make your workspace a little warmer than usual. I recommend purchasing a little battery-operated fan that can attach to your desk to keep you cool or getting a portable fan plugged in close by. You’ll really appreciate the cool breeze.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep an extra stick of deodorant at your office just incase you get a little over heated.
Avoid Unhealthy Spaces
This should be an obvious one, but sometimes it’s difficult getting out of these work environments if this is the norm in your workplace. Once you’re expecting, this is something that you need to discuss with your supervisor/boss. You need to avoid extremes of temperatures, stay out of smoke-filled rooms, stay away from noxious fumes, chemicals, or other hazardous odors. They’re not only bad for your baby but they can increase your own fatigue.
Sit and Stand Straight
Something that you can do yourself to feel better during pregnancy while at work is to sit and stand straight. Whenever you think of it, lift your chest, tighten your stomach muscles, and tilt your pelvis forward. Slumping at your desk will actually interfere with your breathing. The more oxygen that you breathe in the clearer and better your mind works. The further you are in your pregnancy, make room for your belly when you’re seated by keeping your feet several inches apart. This will keep you and your baby more comfortable.
If your job requires you to do a lot of running around, this is the time to slow down. Running up and down stairs or rushing around the office can cause you to have a lot more swelling, round ligament pain, and other complications. If you have to move a lot at your job, try to schedule those times when you have to be up and around at one time. Then schedule times throughout your day to put your feet up and relax a bit. You, your baby, and your feet will need it.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you have the opposite problem from the previous point and you are sitting too much throughout the workday, it’s just as important to stand and walk around after you’ve been sitting for long periods. If you’re standing and walking too much, sit down with your feet up to help with circulation and reduce swelling. I tell my clients all the time that they need to rest and take naps throughout the day since they are growing a human! However, since napping is usually not possible and looked down upon at work (haha!), try to lie down on your left side on your lunch hour, if possible. Just doing this will help with your energy and help you feel better the rest of the day.
Another note, be sure to empty your bladder at least every two hours. Pregnancy should already cause you to get up around every hour, but if you aren’t, you really should. You don’t want to weaken your bladder muscles and/or cause yourself to have a bladder infection.
Keep Snacks Close By
Keep some crackers, nutritious bars, peppermints, and water at your desk to keep your body and mind feeling good and clear. As I’ve said many times, hydration is super important during pregnancy and having light snacks throughout the day help your blood sugar stay stable and help you have the energy you need for your work day.
Stop working when you’re overtired. The more strenuous your job is, the more you need to cut down on personal activities and rest whenever you can. Having a good night’s sleep will be one of the best things that you can do for yourself and having a better more productive workday.
Ask Your Coworkers to Help
Don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it. Most coworkers will be happy to oblige especially since you are expecting a little one.
Were there things that you did to create a more comfortable workspace during pregnancy?