With the progressing pregnancy, everyday activities such as sitting and standing can become uncomfortable. But it is good to stand, walk, and change your positions now and then to stretch your body and have some physical activity.
However, if your daily occupation requires you to stand for a long time every day, you might want to know if that is safe for you because your legs hurt and the back aches.
In this post, MomJunction tells you if it is safe to stand for so long, the effects it could have on your health and ways to overcome the effects.
Is It Safe To Stand Too Long During Pregnancy?
It is safe to stand for a long duration if you move around or sit for some time in between. Standing for long hours might be unavoidable if you are a working woman or a homemaker doing the regular chores at home. You can continue working until restricted by your doctor but by taking breaks to sit and relax.
Your doctor may advise you against standing for a long time if you are having any complications.
Research studies (1) (2) show that standing for long hours effects the growth of the baby. One study has found that women standing for more than 25 hours per week could give birth to babies who weigh 148-198g less than the babies born to women who do not stand for that long. Also, their head circumference is likely to be 1cm less.
We’ll tell you about some more effects in the next section.
How Does Standing For Long Hours Affect You And Your Unborn Baby?
Standing need not always affect you or your baby. But in some cases, prolonged standing may aggravate the pregnancy symptoms, or affect you in the following ways:
- Aggravates edema: Edema or swelling of feet is common during pregnancy. Standing for long hours can worsen this condition (3).
- Causes pain in the pubic area: Some women may have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) that causes severe pelvic pain. Standing for prolonged hours may worsen the pubic pain (4).
- Affects blood pressure: It may cause a drop in blood pressure (5) or a rise in it (6). If you have low blood pressure, you will feel giddy.
- Causes low back pain: Standing too long may cause lower back pain during pregnancy. The pain may also radiate to your leg or foot (6).
- Leads to preterm birth: Spending most of your time standing may increase your risk of having preterm labor and premature birth (7).
Remember that it is not harmful to stand during pregnancy and most of these effects are for women who have the occupational requirement of continuous standing for long periods.
[ Read: Back Pain During Pregnancy ]
How To Overcome The Effects Of Standing When Pregnant?
Standing should not be a concern as long as you walk around comfortably. But, if your work or lifestyle requires you to stand for prolonged periods, you may have to take the following measures.
- Wear footwear that has the right arch and heel support for a comfortable standing position.
- Wear compression stockings as they promote blood circulation and prevent swollen feet.
- As you get into your late second and third trimester, consider wearing a maternity belt. Wrapping it over and under your belly will provide support and relieve lower back pain.
- Take frequent short walks. It could help with blood circulation. It also eases constipation and supports delivery.
- Consume sufficient water and healthy juices to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Avoid caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration.
- Talk to your manager about your pregnancy issues and see if you can switch to a work that does not involve long standing hours. If that is not possible, ask for more breaks and use a footrest or low stool to prop one foot for support.
- Manage your stress levels by doing some breathing exercises and meditation.
Also, you need to talk to your doctor about your occupational requirements and get clearance from them.
Do Not Hesitate To Take Rest
Whether it is your workplace or home, do not hesitate to sit and relax in between your work. Let the others know that you are pregnant and need to take breaks. There is nothing embarrassing about it because you are doing one of the best jobs in this world – giving birth to a new life.
Does your daily job involve standing for long periods? How are you coping with it? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below.
2. Hatch M et al.; Do standing, lifting, climbing, or long hours of work during pregnancy have an effect on fetal growth; Epidemiology (1997)
3. Thomas R. Waters and Robert B. Dick; Evidence of health risks associated with prolonged standing at work and intervention effectiveness; Rehabil Nurs (2015)
4. Emily R. Howell; Pregnancy-related symphysis pubis dysfunction management and postpartum rehabilitation: two case reports; J Can Chiropr Assoc (2012)
5. After standing, a fall in blood pressure; Harvard Health Publishing (2018)
6. Saurel-Cubizolles MJ ET AL.; High blood pressure during pregnancy and working conditions among hospital personnel; Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol (1991)
7. Back pain during pregnancy; Cedars-Sinai
8. Magann EF et al.; The effects of standing, lifting and noise exposure on preterm birth, growth restriction, and perinatal death in healthy low-risk working military women; J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med (2005)
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