Do you have a little toddler on the way? You must be so incredibly excited. There really is nothing more precious than a baby. Holding a newborn for the first time and witnessing so much innocence is unbelievably heartwarming. There really are no words to describe the experience. I had the honor of giving birth to a healthy and beautiful daughter last year.
My best friend is two months pregnant and has been keeping in close contact with me. I have enjoyed sharing the lessons I learned during my journey to motherhood. There has been one recent news item pertaining to prolonged standing during one’s pregnancy and stunted fetal growth that caught my attention. I shared the piece with my friend and I want to share the key points with you.
An important study conducted by researchers from the Netherlands was recently featured in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The study examined 4,680 pregnant women from early pregnancy onwards. These women were surveyed on the work conditions and physical demands required by their jobs. The researchers discovered that 38 percent of the participants stood for long periods of time; 45.5 percent had to walk for long periods; 6 percent held jobs that required heavy lifting; and 4 percent worked night shifts.
The major finding that researchers discovered was that women who stood for prolonged periods during their pregnancy gave birth to babies whose heads were on average 1 cm smaller than the average at birth. Examples of job fields that require extended periods of standing include teaching, childcare and sales. Researchers also discovered that women who worked 40 or more hours per week gave birth to smaller babies than those who worked fewer than 25 hours per week.
The Mayo Clinic has highlighted the dangers that women themselves face as a result of having to stand for long periods of time during their pregnancy. Prolonged standing during your pregnancy can cause blood to pool in your legs, which can cause pain or dizziness. It also puts a great deal of pressure on your back. The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you must stand for prolonged periods because of your job, you should put one of your feet up on a footrest, low stool or box. You should switch feet during regular intervals. It is also advisable to wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate arch support.
If you are pregnant and have a job that requires you to be on your feet for significant periods of time, you should make some adjustments with your employer or consider taking a leave. If you are a teacher, for example, you may consider requesting for a student assistant from a higher grade who can help you complete classroom tasks. It may be possible for you to remain seated as you lecture class while your student assistant can collect and hand out papers.
A newborn child is so precious and a beautiful blessing. Giving birth may be the happiest moment in your life. If you are pregnant and have a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, you should take some steps to ensure that your newborn is as healthy as possible at birth.
Nicole Lewis is a proud wife and mother of a baby girl, freelance writer in the health niche and web content coordinator for BabyChangingStation.com. Nicole shared these research findings with her best friend and felt it would make for an informative and useful post.