Signs to Stop Working During Pregnancy

Getting pregnant is often an equally rewarding but stressful experience for women. While enjoying the new feelings of fulfillment that come with it, there are also a lot of concerns and extra precautions one has to take so that there are no complications in the future for the child and the mother-to-be. pregnancy is a natural process. It should not interfere with your routine activities. However, one has to be self-aware about when to pull the stops for the health of themselves and their baby. Today, we have come up with a list of 7 seven signs to stop working during pregnancy so that you experience a healthy and comfortable pregnancy without any health risks to you or your child.

When to Stop Working When Pregnant

When to Stop Working When Pregnant

Pregnant women of the modern age do not treat pregnancy as an unusual condition and try to keep their lives as consistent as possible. This can lead to them overdoing it while pregnant and putting extra pressure on themselves. They struggle with finding the right parameters of when should pregnant women stop working and what exactly are the signs of overworking while pregnant.

The first and obvious idea to remember here is that if, for any physical or psychological reason, you feel like not wanting to work during pregnancy, follow your instinct and cut yourself some slack. Carrying a child and nurturing it in your body is a major task on its own and if other activities are hindering your well-being, it is wise to prioritize yourself over tedious tasks.

Another factor to consider here is that each person has a different nature of work in their life along with a different work ethic. The advice, in this case, would be varying from person to person.  If you mostly do housework, you can feel free to free until the process of labor begins. But if you do not feel up to it you can start resting at any time in your pregnancy. So, during pregnancy when to stop work could be totally up to you if you are your own boss.

But, a woman working in an office or having a job in the corporate sector would have different circumstances regarding the issue of when should pregnant women stop working. This is because there are different laws about maternity leaves in different countries and when to stop working when pregnant is directed according to those government and company policies.

7 Signs to Stop Working During Pregnancy

Pregnant women working

We have compiled a list that would help you identify the signs you should stop working while pregnant, and how crucial it is for your and your baby’s fitness.

1. Backaches

If you find that any part of your back including, but not limited to your shoulders or waist, keeps hurting more than usual, it could be a hint that you have been over-exerting yourself and your body is no longer able to keep up. So, pain in the back or near the spine could be one of the reasons to stop working during pregnancy.

2. Swelling

If you are looking for signs to stop working during pregnancy, take a look at the physical state of your limbs, especially your legs and feet. If they appear larger in size than usual, then it is possible they have swelled up. Swelling indicates tiredness and it is a sign of when should you stop working when pregnant.

3. Struggling to Breathe

Pregnant women often feel exhausted or out of breath after even little tasks. But if you are in this state for the majority of the time and even when you are resting, then this is concerning. If you ask yourself the question: when should I stop working during pregnancy? Constantly experiencing breathlessness might be the answer for you.

4. Possibilities of Difficulty During Labor

If you see any possibility that you will have difficulties during the period of preterm labor, then the right course of action would be to take a break from working. The signs of complications with the approach of preterm labor could be:

  • Pain or cramps in the pelvic region
  • Frequent light bleeding or spotting
  • Sensitivity in the uterus or Braxton Hicks contractions
  • High blood pressure
  • Any indication that you are dilating. (showing of blood or mucus plug)
  • Water breaking or leaks

5. High-Risk Pregnancy

Not every pregnancy is the same. Some women are blessed enough to find it a piece of cake but others could be having a high-risk pregnancy where they have certain compromising situations that could be hazardous for their own and their baby’s health. Part of this could be having a medical condition beforehand or developing one while you are pregnant. If you are struggling to work while pregnant in a risky pregnancy, be cautious and go for the safe route. 

The elements of high-risk pregnancies are related to doctors’ orders of bed rest. Failure to obey these orders can cause preterm labor and increase risks in your pregnancy

6. Physically Demanding Jobs

There are some jobs which require physical efforts. This could include duties that entail standing for long hours, lifting heavy weights, rapid and continuous movements, or extreme exercise. Standing for long periods of time can have a negative impact on your blood circulation and result in preterm labor. Lifting bulky objects add the chances of getting injured. It can also lead to labor starting before its due time or miscarriage.

It is not just standing or running around that is the problem. Jobs where you keep sitting in one seat for many hours are also not healthy as inactivity for a long time in a seated position leads to clots forming in your blood which could be highly problematic. Moreover, if you work with young children or sick people, there is also the danger of contracting viruses or contagious pathogens from them that could cost you your pregnancy.

To solve this issue, try to change the environment you work in. if that is not possible, then leave work altogether until you regain your health and zeal back after delivery.

7. Mental Illnesses

The symptoms that come with pregnancy are bothersome for many women. The constant feeling of being tired and deprived of sleep along with an aching body makes it hard to keep up with the pressurizing demands of the workplace. The workplace challenges a person. You have to meet deadlines and show competence in a highly competitive environment. When you are unable to adjust to this pace due to your symptoms, it feels like you are struggling to work while pregnant. This could put an individual under high amounts of stress and pressure.

Pair that with a history of anxiety or depression, the symptoms of which could re-emerge faster and stronger while you are pregnant. All of this could get very overwhelming for not just the mother but the baby could get hurt too. The possibility of premature babies or light birthweight babies increases significantly in situations like these. Therefore, it is natural to stay in an environment that nurtures and relaxes you so you to give optimal surroundings to your baby.

Explained By Dr Neil Wallman

Reasons to Stop Working During Pregnancy

Some women might not be able to successfully pinpoint the signs to stop working during pregnancy and feel like they don’t deserve a break from their hectic lives even in such a special time of their life. For mothers-to-be looking for reasons to be taken out of work while pregnant, here are some pointers.


The state of feeling like you are about to throw up most of the time starts early on in pregnancy for most women. This could be seen in the form of morning sickness specifically, where women find themselves nauseated and vomiting for a great part of their morning. This could not only make them late for work or important meetings but also disrupt their workflow as they have to keep rushing to the restroom every hour because of this issue.


Even when you assume that you are at rest or ‘doing nothing’, your body is working hard nevertheless to sustain not one, but two lives. So, feeling like you are tired all the time is normal. Although, fatigue does not only come in the form of tiredness or exhaustion. It could also be feeling very weak, fragile, or ‘drained out’. This is your body’s way of asking you to step down from unnecessary responsibilities and kick back for a while.

Lack of Extra Support

In some cases, pregnant women find it more convenient to use apparatus that facilitates them in their work environments. This extra help and support are much needed and very appreciated. Ranging from the reassurance of a cooperative manager to a pregnancy support weight that helps carry some of your burden, these helpful features make a huge difference. Similarly, the absence of these could be a nuisance too, and a very justifiable excuse to quit work while you are pregnant.

Risk Factors When Working During Pregnancy

Beautiful Pregnant Women

As we mentioned before, high-risk pregnancies are a sensitive matter. While every pregnant woman is entitled to make her own decisions, it is suitable to be well-versed on the topic to make informed decisions. To help with your research we have compiled a list of situations that could be observed in high-risk pregnancies:

  • Being pregnant with more than one baby
  • Maternity diabetes
  • Developing hypertension during pregnancy.
  • Iron deficiency
  • Inducing labor earlier than usual
  • Issues with placenta
  • HEELP Syndrome

These are all serious matters and must be dealt with under the consultation of a doctor or a qualified midwife.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, pregnancy is a beautiful time of your life. Remember that ambitions will lead you where you want to be and pressing pause in a time like this does not make you any less of a woman! So be aware of any signs your body tries to give you and discuss these with your doctor or midwife as well to get a better form of guidance specified according to your situation.


Can Overworking Affect Pregnancy?

Yes, working more than your body can endure can lead to a miscarriage, preterm labor, or injury during your pregnancy

How Many Hours Should a Pregnant Woman Rest?

Sleeping properly is essential during pregnancy. Therefore, a well-rested, good night’s sleep of 8-10 hours per day is recommended. 

How Many Hours Can a Pregnant Woman Work?

For a normally paced work setting, working 4o hours per week is the safe parameter. Exceeding that limit can create problems for your mental and physical well-being during pregnancy.

How Does Stressful Pregnancy Affect the Baby?

Being under intense amounts of stress frequently can cause cardiac problems or irregular blood pressure. Such undesirable consequences in pregnancy could make matters worse and result in the premature delivery of your child, meaning the baby could be born before 37 weeks; or your baby being born underweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces).

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