On The Job

Pregnant On The Job

Get smart tips for managing stress and pressure at work while you're expecting a baby.

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-Hi, everybody. I'm Juli Auclair. You're watching Parents TV. Working during pregnancy is the norm for many moms. Staying healthy and keeping stress to a minimum is a lot more difficult while you're on the job but it is possible with a little planning, and joining us now is the author of the brand-new 4th edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting, Heidi Murkoff, with some tips for working mothers to be. It's great to see you. -Hi. Very good being here. -Thanks for coming in. So tell me there are more and more working moms now than ever before. -Yes. 67 percent of expecting moms are working full time and 80 percent of those are going straight from the desk to the birthing room. -Well, I did that, almost. -Well, it sounds like you did. -Pretty much. I was in labor at work. -From the news desk to the birthing room. -What do you think this statistics have grown so much? -Well, a lot of moms have to work. -Yes. -But also you know I think it's great that moms keep busy. -All right. How about eating and staying healthy during pregnancy because it's really important but how can women make you more of a priority while they're at work? -You just have to schedule into your day. I mean first of all if you never ever have a chance to eat, bring food with you. Bring your snacks, keep them in your desk, keep them at your workstation, keep them in your briefcase, keep them in your purse. -Otherwise-- -Keep them in the car if you're in a car a lot. -You'll eat out of a vending machine. -Exactly. The vending machine will know you by name. -Right. -And start calling your name whenever you're hungry. -They did know me well when I was pregnant. -Oh yes. And then also you know if you find a good deli that delivers those healthy sandwiches. If you're planning the meetings, schedule it for lunch at a restaurant where you know you can eat. -Okay. -If it's like a conference room kind of thing, make sure you have the same kind of food that's served like maybe go bring a bowl of fruit along with those donuts. -You need to keep your blood flowing too. If you're sitting at the desk, at a desk all day, you need to get your circulation going. What's the best way to do that? -Well, if you're sitting all day then take a walk. -Yes. -If you're standing all day, sit down preferably with your feet up if you can swing it. By all means, take a quick walk if you can. Chances are you have to go to the bathroom anyway. -I was gonna say that. You're gonna be taking a lot of trips to the bathroom, so that's a good-- -Yes. So that's a good way to keep and to make sure that you do that, make all those trips to the bathroom, you need to stay hydrated. -So drink a lot of water. -So take a walk also to the water cooler. Refill that water bottle because paradoxically the more water you drink, the less water you retain in those feet. -Right. -And those ankles. -If you stay they do blow up at the end. -They do especially if you're on your feet a lot and especially uncomfortable if you're wearing the office shoes. -Right. High heels. -Which I recommend that you try to stay out of those as much as possible. You know a 2-inch heel wide heel is the most comfortable. -Right. -But obviously there are times when you have to wear something a little less comfortable, and so stay off your feet when it starts to get to. -All right. Let's go back to those bathroom breaks. You say-- -Wear flats. -Yes. Let's go back and talk about that a little more. You say it's really important to go whenever you have the urge and not wait, why? -Yes. When you gotta go, go, because if you're regularly holding it in and a lot of moms do that and we all do that. You know you're on the phone a lot, you're in a meeting, you're like oh I'll just hold it in, I'll hold it in. Well if you hold it in all the time, it can actually eventually lead to UTIs, urinary tract infections. -They're very uncomfortable. -Theoretically, yes. Very uncomfortable, very common in pregnancy, but also theoretically could lead eventually to contractions. -Oh, we don't want that. -So no, we don't want that. We want it when you're ready-- -In the end. -Not before. -Okay. -So yes. Don't hold it in. -So a lot of women drink coffee to keep themselves going at the office. -Yes. -But that's-- -But don't we all. -That's caffeine unless you have decaf but what are the latest recommendations that's safe when you're pregnant. -You don't have to surrender your Starbucks drink altogether. -That's good news. -That is very good news. -Yes. -You just have to pull it out a little less often or use it a little more judiciously. The current recommendations, limit pregnant women to that 200 milligrams a day. Now that means you have to do the math before you belly up to the coffee bar. -Okay. -And I can help you do that. 200 milligrams will buy you about 12 ounces of brewed coffee, the regular brewed coffee, not the espresso stuff. -Right, right. -And you know those venti cups are a lot bigger than that, so if you wanna fill it up to the brim, do that with milk because then you'll get a calcium bonus. -Oh. That's a good point. -Just keep in mind that that 4-shot latte is gonna push you over the top because each shot of espresso is 90 milligrams of caffeine. -So just go for a regular cup of caffeinated coffee. -Yes, yes. Or you can have a 2-shot latte once a day, not 5 times a day. -Okay. So once you've had your coffee and your snack-- -Yes. -You recommend bringing a toothbrush to the office. I know fresh breath is very important but-- -But why, especially if you're doing the old heave ho in those early-- -Oh, the morning sickness. -And also if you have-- I don't know if you have this but a lot of moms get extra saliva in their mouth. -I didn't have that. -Yes. Well lucky you. -Which is a good thing, right? -Or metal mouth. -Yes. -When it taste like you've been sucking on a freshly minted penny. -Right, which is lovely. -Not for the-- but you know especially excessive saliva when you're on the job can be a little inconvenient and embarrassing. -Yes, it can. -When you're giving a talk or something. -So go brush. -Yes. So brush your teeth. You might even wanna bring some mouthwash with you. Also keep in mind that your teeth and your gums are a little more vulnerable anyway when you're pregnant, so it's a good idea to practice a lot of oral hygiene. -Okay. -They get sensitive too. They do because all the mucous membranes in your body swell even ones that seem completely unrelated to giving birth. -So strange but it happens. -Yes. It happens. -Carpal tunnel syndrome. -Yes. -Why are pregnant women more at risk of getting it? -Well you know the funny thing is even if you don't do repetitive motion-- -Yes. -Most pregnant women get carpal tunnel so even if you're not using a computer all day, though everybody is these days-- -Right. -Your chances are get it anyway, that's because of all the swelling in your hand. -Okay. -And that rest on the nerves, so if you do repetitive motion, of course you got a double whammy, so you need to if you're using a computer, get a wrist rest, that helps. -A keyboard with a very good wrist rest a little bit. -Yes, exactly. -And sometimes using a brace helps. -Yes. -You can wear a brace, not exactly a great fashion statement but-- -Who cares? -A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. -Right? -Exactly. -All right. Heidi, thank you so much. Great information. -Thank you. -And we love having you in. -Oh, it was fun. -So we'll see you again soon and the 4th edition of Heidi's book What to Expect When You're Expecting is in bookstores now so pick it up and we wanna hear your ideas and questions. You can email us at Thanks for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family. -Thank you for watching Parents TV, our families, our lives.