Pregnancy may require you to make a few changes, and prolonged standing may be one of the things that you may have to avoid too. Are you in a job that requires longer standing hours or are you generally on your toes all day long? Whatever the case may be, standing for longer durations may have an impact on you and your unborn baby.
Is Standing for Long Periods During Pregnancy Safe?
If you’re wondering whether it is safe to stand for long periods during pregnancy, the answer is yes; you may stand until or unless you have been advised otherwise by your doctor. Your doctor may restrain your movement or advise you against standing for long durations in case you have a high-risk pregnancy. In a study, it was established that women who stand for long hours during pregnancy are not only at a higher risk of having preterm delivery but it may also hamper with the baby’s optimal growth and development. So if you are wondering how long should a pregnant woman stand on her feet, well, it majorly depends on her health and whether or not she is undergoing a high-risk pregnancy.
How Does Standing for Long Hours During Pregnancy Affect You and the Unborn Baby?
It is important for a pregnant woman to understand that she is pregnant and not sick. The various precautions that she needs to exercise are only because pregnancy tends to make her body more fragile. Therefore, you have to be careful but not scared, and the same applies to standing for long hours. In case you stand for long hours, it may affect your baby is the following ways:
1. It May Lead to High Blood Pressure
Prolonged standing may lead to high blood pressure in pregnancy and together both these conditions may lead to fatal complications during pregnancy and should be strictly avoided.
2. It May Affect Foetal Growth and Development
Standing for longer periods may have an adverse effect on the foetal growth and development. It is observed that women who stand for 25 hours or more in a week, had babies with smaller heads and lesser birth weight in comparison to the woman who did not do so.
3. It Causes Lower Back Pain
If you are spending too much time standing in a day then you may not only feel extreme discomfort, but also experience lower back pain while standing during pregnancy. Apart from lower back pain, you may experience leg pain too.
4. It May Lead to Pain in the Pubic Area
A pregnant woman may suffer from SPD or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, a medical condition that may cause extreme pelvic pain. Standing for longer periods may aggravate this condition.
5. It May Aggravate Oedema
It is very normal for a pregnant woman to feel swelling or pressure while standing during pregnancy; this condition is known as oedema. This condition or swelling in the feet may become more pronounced in case you keep standing for long periods of time.
6. It May Lead to Premature Labour and Birth
It is seen that if a pregnant woman spends most of her time standing, then it may increase her chances of going into preterm labour or delivery. Both these conditions may sometimes lead to fatal medical complications.
7. It May Lead to Low Blood Pressure
Where in some women standing for longer durations may lead to high blood pressure, the others may experience low blood pressure. Well, both of these conditions are not good during pregnancy and may lead to various complications. If you suffer from low blood pressure, it may make you feel light-headed and may even cause fainting, which can be very dangerous.
There are many women who may have to stand because their job demands it, such as being a teacher, cashier in the bank, child care-taker etc. If you have to stand for longer durations, then it is recommended that you adopt various measures to minimize your risks.
What Measures Can Be Taken to Minimise the Risks?
Here are some ways that you may reduce your risks by standing for longer durations:
- If you are in a job that required prolonged standing, talk to your employer and request for a desk job instead.
- Keep moving instead of standing, to keep the blood moving in your veins and to prevent the blood from clotting and oedema too.
- Drink water and other healthy fluids to stay hydrated. However, stay away from caffeinated beverages as they can further dehydrate you.
- Wear shoes that provide good arch and heel support for a better and comfortable standing position.
- It is recommended that you sit for 15 to 20 minutes after standing for an hour. Refrain from sitting cross-legged.
- Manage your stress levels effectively; doing some yoga and meditation may help.
- Wearing compression stockings is a great idea as it promotes better blood circulation, and gives better support to the legs.
- Taking an occasional walk in between the standing periods really helps.
There is nothing to worry, in regard to standing for long periods during pregnancy, but it is always better to exercise caution. Get in touch with your obstetrician and know how you can effectively manage to stand for longer durations if you have to.