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Is Your Job Putting Your Pregnancy at Risk?

Posted Dec 05 2008 1:44am

Pregnancy can be emotional, stressful, exciting and sometimes painful. You may become anxious and worry that normal work tasks may be harmful to you and your baby. Set all the anxieties aside. Pregnant women often can keep doing their normal jobs. But if your job requires a lot of heavy lifting, climbing, carrying or standing it may not be safe during pregnancy. Dizziness, nausea, and fatigue which is common in early pregnancy can increase the chance of injury. During the end of pregnancy the extra weight can throw your balance off and lead to falls.

If you are concerned that your job may be harmful to you or your baby's health discuss it with your doctor. You may have to cut back on the hours that you are working, give up certain tasks, take on another position or stop working until after the baby is born.

Chemicals, pesticides, cleaning supplies, and metals such as lead can cause serious problems during pregnancy. If you are in contact with these substances during the work day discuss it with your doctor. Women who work in farming, factories, dry cleaners, or printing may be exposed to harmful agents.

Working in health care while pregnant can also be risky. Exposure to viruses like hepatitis B, rubella, and chickenpox can cause miscarriage or birth defects if the mother is infected during pregnancy. Absorbing or breathing medical gases and toxic drugs can pose another danger. Radiation used to take X-rays and to treat cancer can also lead to miscarriage. Most women who work around radiation are protected from exposure.

If you believe that your job is bringing you into contact with something harmful find out for certain by talking to your employee health office, personnel office or union. Then let your doctor know right away. Check out these sites for workplace safety hazards and tips.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Your employer may be able to relieve you of certain duties if the problem can not be fixed. Otherwise your doctor may suggest that you stop working.

Cascia

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