Pregnant at work? Read here


Stretch it out

You may be at a desk or doing something more physical like working in a store; either way take good care of yourself.

1. Take breaks. Standing for long periods of time (e.g. a teacher) can put strain on your back. Take a break by either sitting down or walking around. If you sit down (or if you work at a desk), flex your feet and rotate them in circular movements and stretch your calf muscles. Moving the muscles helps push fluid out of the feet and legs and back up to the heart to be recirculated.

2. If you spend most of your time sitting, especially if you have a desk job, take a stroll around the office about every two hours. This will help reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles. Try some shoulder rolls, and waist twists to stretch your upper torso and back too. 

Also read: Pregnancy and exercise: Here's all you need to know

Dress smartly

1. Wear comfortable shoes. There are plenty of gorgeous flats around and you can look just as smart in a good pair of low heels. Remember that you may go up half a shoe size while you’re pregnant, so try shoes on and make sure they fit properly. You may want to try a pair of maternity tights or support hose to help ease swelling and prevent varicose veins.

2. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Look for tunics, empire line dresses, and long, loose shirts and pair them with classic black or neutral maternity pants to stay cool and comfy. 

Also read: How to embrace your bump: gorgeous maternity fashion

Drinking and eating

1. Drink plenty of water. It's important to remain hydrated and it will also help ease the swelling. Keep a jug of water at your work station. You may be running to the loo more than usual but that's a good way to get some exercise in!

2. Keep nutritious snacks on hand and eat something every few hours. Regular snacking helps prevent drops in blood sugar. Select some fibre-rich goodies to ease constipation. 

Also read: 7 superfoods to help you during pregnancy

Office etiquette

Remember this is a very special time in your life, but not necessarily in your colleagues’.

You will certainly have moments when you are feeling tired, uncomfortable and even absent-minded at work. This is all normal, but choose the person you want to share these feelings with carefully. The whole office doesn’t need to know your breasts are sore, or you’re perspiring in places you never knew you had. If you want to maintain a professional demeanour, keep some elements of your pregnancy private.

If you can, take a few moments of privacy during the day to daydream, worry and wonder, but be prudent when you’re among your co-workers. If some have been through this, they’re probably the right people to chat to about your pregnancy from time to time.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a workplace where there are other mothers of young children or other pregnant women, seek out their support and counsel when appropriate, and when other co-workers aren’t around.

Do you have any tips for working pregnant moms? Share your tips and comments by emailing us at and we may publish them. 

Read more:

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24