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Work, Travel, Sex, and Baths during Pregnancy

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Work, Travel, Sex, and Baths during Pregnancy

Work during Pregnancy

There is little evidence that continuing to work adversely affects the outcome of the normal pregnancy. However, women with certain medical conditions, high-risk pregnancies, or other complications may need to decrease working hours or discontinue working altogether. In addition, exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace (such as anesthetic gases, aluminum, arsenic, benzene, carbon monoxide, dioxin, formaldehyde, lead, and mercury) may also be unsafe for the developing fetus.

As long as the job is safe, and does not cause significant stress and exhaustion, low-risk pregnant women can continue to work. Job requirements may be modified to allow for less physical workload, frequent breaks, elevation of legs, and frequent position changes. Reduced hours may be allowed in the third trimester as the demands of pregnancy increase.

Pregnant women should learn about their company's specific maternity benefits and leave plans, as well as related local and national laws.

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.

Travel during Pregnancy

Most pregnant women can safely travel until close to their due date. Exceptions include women with medical conditions or high-risk pregnancies. Some guidelines to follow include:

  • The most comfortable time to travel is usually during the second trimester (14-28 weeks of pregnancy). During this time, the body has adjusted to the pregnancy. Women often have less morning sickness and more energy.
  • Select the fastest mode of travel, if possible.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Take snacks along.
  • Stretch legs or walk every hour and a half.
  • Take a copy of your medical records along.
  • Do not ride motorcycles.
  • If driving in a car, plan no more than 5-6 hours on the road with frequent stops.
  • Always wear seatbelts--they do not harm the baby.
  • Bumpy rides do not induce labor.
  • Do not take any medication for motion sickness or traveler's diarrhea without consulting with your health care provider.

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.

Sex during Pregnancy

A healthy woman can have sex throughout her pregnancy, without harm to the fetus. Intercourse will not induce pre-term labor. However, labor may follow intercourse at or near term. Women at risk for miscarriage or premature labor should abstain from intercourse and breast stimulation. In addition, pregnant women should continue to use condoms with partners that have an STI.

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.

Baths during Pregnancy

Women can continue to take baths and go swimming during pregnancy. However, pregnant women should not take very hot baths (such as hot tubs), which can raise the body temperature too high. In addition, pregnant women should not take a bath after their water breaks during labor.

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.


[ || Pregnancy || Informed Choice || Infections and Diseases || Quality of Care || Emerging Issues ]
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