Carrying a baby is no small feat. Carrying a baby while working as a nurse? That’s the work of superheroes.
Follow these tips to make those nine months go as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
Treat your feet like gold
Find someone to give you a foot massage. This article, published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice, says that women in late pregnancy who received foot massages for 20 minutes daily had significantly decreased leg circumference.
Stop and smell the essential oils
Lavender and peppermint essential oils, when inhaled regularly, can decrease nausea and vomiting symptoms for women in the early stages of pregnancy. The subjects in this study were instructed to inhale the oils twice a day, before napping or sleeping. After three days, the women reported improvements in nausea and vomiting, as well as a decrease in fatigue.
You know the drill: Drink your water. Decrease your sodium content. Put your feet up. Now the trick is to actually follow those directions regularly. Put your feet up whenever you’re able to at work and at home, limit your processed food intake, and keep the H2O coming. (No matter how many times you need to use the bathroom!)
Go for a swim
Floating in a pool can provide some great benefits. Water is the one place you can enjoy a feeling of weightlessness and swimming can be an effective non-jarring workout. And it can even ward off pregnancy brain. Research shows that swimming while pregnant can encourage cell proliferation in the hippocampus, resulting in decreased memory loss. OK, so the study looked at expectant rat mothers, but you never know, it could work for you, too!
Wear compression stockings
Compression stockings help fight fatigue and lower extremity edema. They also help prevent DVTs, which pregnant women are 4 to 5 times more likely to develop.
Advocate for yourself
At the end of the day, this is your body and your baby. If a work situation is uncomfortable for you, you need to speak up. Of course you need to be reasonable — pregnancy isn’t a free pass to neglect your work duties. But if you have concerns for your health or safety, you have the right to make them known.
Are you pregnant and working as a nurse? What are your biggest challenges? How are you holding up?