Our legs can withstand quite a bit of load. But during pregnancy, the load increases manifold. If you stand for long hours, your legs will surely suffer! So, what else can go wrong with prolonged standing during pregnancy? Read to find out the health complications, long standing hours pose during pregnancy.
How Does Standing While Pregnant Affect?
Pregnancy is not an illness, but it is a time when your body is fragile. You don’t need bed rest and you may exercise a little even now. But standing for long hours is avoidable. Here’s how prolonged standing can affect you during pregnancy:
1. Causes Lower Back Pain:
Almost 50-70% women suffer from pain in the lower back during pregnancy. Most women also complain of leg pain (1). If your work involves being on your feet all the time, you are more likely to get back pain during pregnancy.
2. Can Lead To High Blood Pressure:
High BP is dangerous for everyone. But for pregnant women, it can become a matter of life and death. Studies show that prolonged standing can spike BP in pregnant women (2).
3. Can Cause A Pubic Pain:
Some women suffer from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) during pregnancy. It causes pain in the pelvic region, especially in the pubic bone. Prolonged standing can lead to worsening of SPD symptoms, including severe pubic pain (3).
4. May Hamper Fetal Development:
Unfortunately, if your work involves long hours of standing, chances are high that your unborn baby may suffer from stunted growth (4).
5. Can Lead To Premature Labor And Birth:
Some studies indicate that prolonged standing can cause premature birth (5).
6. May Cause Low Blood Pressure:
Standing for too long, without a break, can also cause low BP (6).
7. Can Aggravate Edema:
Many women suffer from edema or swollen feet during pregnancy. Standing for long hours can worsen the condition (7).
What Can You Do?
If your lifestyle or work involves prolonged standing, it may be time for a reality check. There are measures you can take to minimize these adverse effects. We have some tips to help you out if you are standing all day while pregnant:
- If you have a high-risk pregnancy and spend more than four hours a day standing, switch to a desk job. Talk to your boss and discuss your problems. If needed, get a note from your doctor! Otherwise, you may have to quit your job by the 24th week of pregnancy.
- If your job involves standing for more than 30 minutes every day, you should try to minimize the time spent on your feet. If you are beginning to feel uncomfortable, look for a job change.
- If your job requires you to stand at one place, take occasional walks.
- Use a support hose if you need to stand for long hours.
- During the second and third trimester, wearing a maternity belt can help support your growing abdomen and keep the pressure off your back.
- Try water aerobics, it is a great way to get some relief from lower back pain (8).
- If you cannot avoid standing for long, keep a footrest, low stool or box handy. Whenever possible, put one foot on the footrest for some time. Keep switching legs frequently (9).
- Invest in shoes with good arch support.Let’s not turn pregnancy into a disease. Yes, it is not practical to expect women to quit their jobs because they are pregnant. But you do need to be careful if your job involves a lot of walking or standing while pregnant. Talk to your boss and figure out a way to work things out.