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Keeping Your Focus at Work

As your body grows larger, you may feel as if your cubicle is closing in on you. If you're dreading going to work each day, think about what you can do to make yourself more comfortable. Try these ideas to stay alert and focused throughout the day:

  • If you're sleepy or overheated, take a brisk walk during your mid-morning coffee break, again at lunch, and in the afternoon before you go home. This is especially important if you work in a factory, kitchen, or other place where temperature extremes are the norm. You own body's thermostat is set higher during pregnancy, so keeping cool is essential.
  • If you suffer from headaches at work, press a cold, damp paper towel to your forehead. If you can, turn off the light in your office for a few minutes and rest your eyes.
  • You may be plagued with all sorts of aches and pains as your pregnancy progresses. If there's a particular complaint that seems associated with your job -- neck strain, shoulder strain, or sciatica, for instance -- investigate the ergonomics of your desk and chair. Should you raise your chair? Bring in a footstool? Work part of the time standing up if you're always sitting down on the job, or vice versa. Good posture is critical for a healthy back, so invest in a maternity support garment if you're starting to have trouble keeping your posture in line. Dump all nonessentials out of your handbag too; this will help reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
  • Eat lunch somewhere other than huddled over your computer terminal and stock up on healthy snacks so you can avoid running downstairs to the junk food vending machine every hour.
  • If your workplace has a refrigerator, store reusable cold packs there to use on aching muscles. When driving is part of your job, allow extra time so that you can stop and use a restroom or stretch your legs.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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