A pregnant woman needs to look at her workplace with new eyes. What may have been a safe environment for you prepregnancy may now pose harm to your developing fetus. Look around. Does your work require you to use or be near solvents, paints, paint thinners, cleaning products, fumes, pesticides, chemicals such as lead and mercury, carbon monoxide, benzene, or formaldehyde? Is there a chance that you'll be exposed to radiation? Do you work in a dental, medical, or veterinary office where you are exposed to nitrous oxide, which has been shown to cause birth defects? If so, you will need to take steps to protect your baby.
Two other working conditions can impact pregnancy: lifting and standing. If your job requires you to lift heavy objects or stand most of the day, talk with your doctor about whether these activities put your baby at risk.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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