For most women, it is completely safe to keep working, though changes may be required as your pregnancy develops. We recommend no heavy lifting (greater than 20 lbs); your back and abdominal muscles are already under strain and you are more likely to cause yourself minor injury by doing any heavy lifting. When you lift or strain you are pushing against your cervix, and while we have no evidence this will have a negative effect on your cervix, it’s probably best to avoid it.

Take Time to Nap

As pregnancy progresses, you may find yourself getting more and more tired. Sleep patterns are disrupted as you get up more often to pee and your growing belly can make it difficult to find a comfortable position. Pregnancy itself can be taxing, both metabolically and physically, and taking time off during the work week to catch up on extra sleep, or reducing your activity may be helpful.

I never recommend bed rest for women. There is no good evidence that bed rest has any real benefit in pregnancy and it is not proven that it can prevent such pregnancy complications as miscarriage, preterm birth or pre-eclampsia. It does, however, increase the risk of bone loss, fatigue, boredom, muscle weakness and blood clots in your legs.

Modify Your Routine

Women whose jobs require prolonged standing, jarring movements or excessive hours, are highly stressful or expose them to harmful substances, will need to make some modifications to their daily routine. And of course, there are times when stopping work early is certainly appropriate or medically necessary. We are fortunate that many women are eligible for a whole year off for maternity leave, which can start before you actually deliver, as early as 34 weeks gestation.

Contact your insurance company or refer to Service Canada for more information.