Avoid these 8 enemies at your workplace, especially if you are pregnant.
No wonder, pregnancy brings in changes. And when we write the word ‘change’, we do not solely mean the huge baby bump you are about to have in a few months. The whole world around you changes when you start expecting. Not just your body, but also your mind, and the behavior of the people around you change. Your lifestyle changes. You finally give up your favorite bad habits. And amidst all these changes, you become susceptible to anxiety and depression. And stress at your workplace becomes the cherry on the cake named anxiety.
As an expecting mother, it’s your lawful right to put your health on the top of your priority list at your workplace. In these crucial nine months, you can meet certain factors at your workplace that can turn out to be an enemy to you and your growing baby. And, it’s necessary that you don’t give in to any of these enemies. You are an independent, conscious decision-maker, and we want you to take the correct measures. Talk to the HR department if the situation demands. Request them to take special measures so as to ignore the possible health concerns that the enemies can inflict. And, don’t forget to talk about your maternity leave. Remember, your health is your first priority. No compromise is worth your or your baby’s health.
Here is a list of eight such non-human enemies at your workplace that you must keep at bay.
1. Extreme Noise
Your workplace can be a host of extremely loud noises. Starting from loud conversations, booming speakers, vacuum cleaners, mixer grinders, lawn mowers, and motorcycles to jet take-offs, there can be an unending list of sources of loud noise that can harm your unborn baby. Around week 16 of pregnancy, babies start to hear limited noises. Your baby's outer, middle, and inner ears, including the cochlea, the snail-shell-shaped tube in the inner ear where vibrations convert into the nerve impulses we perceive as sound, are well-developed by the time he is 24 weeks old. His ears are also developed enough for him to likely turn his head in response to voices and noises.
Extreme loud noise causes stress. Sound can reach your baby via your body and may damage your baby's hearing, apart from causing him disturbance.
Thus, it’s a must for you to cautiously avoid any source of loud noise keeping in mind that it can be pathetically dangerous to your baby.
2. Confined or Enclosed spaces (because no air circulation)
Prolonged periods of being in air-conditioned rooms can be troublesome. This is particularly for those moms who need to sit in their air-conditioned offices for hours. Confined environments, mostly with ACs on, are dangerous because the virus and bacteria circulating in the air do not get a chance to get flushed outside and remain inside your office premises only. Pregnant moms are more susceptible to catching them.
Switch off that AC and open the windows. Let the fresh air from outside in. Opening the windows allow better air circulation and you get fresher air to breathe.
3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Typing for a long time can give you hand, wrist, and finger pain. Keep your wrists straight and type with a soft touch in case you feel the symptoms of “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. It is a condition that results from swelling around the nerves of the wrist. It leads to numbness, pain, or tingling in one or both wrists. Pregnant mommies are more likely to fall victim to this disorder. Around 3-5 out of every 10 pregnant mothers feel the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Make sure you lower your hands than your elbows and try to wear wrist braces while typing.
4. Incorrect Posture
Sadly, poor postures come naturally and involuntarily to us, and maintaining correct and good postures requires practice and constant attention to the posture we are in at every moment. If you are following a good posture, you have lesser chances of experiencing neck pain and back pain. Aligning yourself properly while sitting and standing increases blood flow, supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and aids in maintaining your blood vessels and nerves. You need to train your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in ways that put the least amount of strain on your back by practicing good posture, that is, the way you hold your body whether you're standing, sitting, or lying down. While your growing baby bump may make you feel like slouching every other time, you must adhere to good, proper posture that will ensure your comfort.
5. Strenuous Physical Work
If your work needs you to engage in strenuous physical work that involves activities like heavy lifting, bending, prolonged periods of standing, physical exertion, etc., it’s high time to say “No” to those. Even repeatedly bending at the waist, stooping and squatting must be avoided. And, this stands true everywhere you go. At home too, you must avoid demanding physical work. These may increase your chances of certain pregnancy complications and issues like miscarriage, preterm birth, and other injuries.
6. Excessive Screen Time
Exposure to screen radiation is inevitable to almost every other human on earth. Be it laptops, computers, tablets, or mobile phones, everyone is exposed to screen radiation, and moms, sadly you are not an exception. And while expecting, you must be particularly vigilant about your screen exposure because pregnant moms' excessive exposure to radiation may lead to birth defects in their babies. Between weeks 2 and 18 of pregnancy, when your fetus is in its early developmental stage, it is particularly vulnerable to radiation. Your workplace is not solely responsible for excessive screen time for many of you. Yes, we are talking to the ones who are addicted to their phones. According to some researchers, prolonged exposure to mobile radiation during pregnancy may change the gene sequence in the mother's mitochondria, which might then affect the baby's DNA and cause the development of degenerative diseases in the child.
Thus, it’s high time to reduce your screen time considering the risk factor. Your work may be demanding which requires you to sit in front of laptop screens for hours, but you must do the needful keeping in mind your baby’s well-being.
7. Work Stress
The word ‘stress’ may be a small word with six letters but can be tumultuous physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It’s extremely important for expecting mothers to be stress-free because stress increases the chances of complications in pregnancy. The hustle culture at work affects you and your baby's health. It amplifies the chances of miscarriage, preterm labor, preterm birth, low birth weight, preeclampsia, and other pregnancy complications. Take breaks and also measures to stay calm and peaceful. Moms who are doing stressful jobs should be given more care and must be observed more closely and carefully.
Know more about the importance of emotional well-being during pregnancy here:
Emotional Wellness - How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant
There are ample stories of how the work culture is getting more toxic day by day. Corporate politics, yes boss mentality, sexist outlook, gender discrimination, unequal wages are some of the things that can lead to dissatisfaction and even severe mental and emotional disturbance. Moreover, pregnant mothers frequently worry a lot if their professions will be affected by their pregnancy, if they will lose their jobs, or if the pregnancy will end their careers. Workplace strain, work-related stress, and burnout can occasionally result from the pressure of the job and a sense of being out of control. Seek help, talk to your HR if you feel you are going through any of these.
Enemies (we are talking of the non-human enemies here) are going to chase you everywhere you go. However, it’s your duty to identify certain factors which may be a threat to you or your baby’s health and steer clear of them. The need of the hour is to stay as much safe as possible. Look out for the possible harmful factors in and around your workplace. Take precautions and actions to avoid them as much as possible.