How far into a pregnancy do women usually work?

Megan - posted on 05/02/2010 ( 111 moms have responded )

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I am 32 weeks pregnant and I don't really know how much longer I can stand working. I am just getting really weak because of the lack of sleep, swollen ankles, and occational dizziness. I stand on my feet all day at my job and walk around a lot. I would like to continue to work longer just because of the financial part.. I don't know if we could really afford me not working yet. I am just worried about it hurting me or even the baby if I push myself to keep working....

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it really depends on your job. I stopped working at 35 weeks because I had a job where I was working 12-14 hour days with little or no breaks. it was a very high stress job and i just didn't want to deal with it anymore. because i could get ei i took off early. if you can get some kind of ei or something then you might be able to take off early

Selina - posted on 05/04/2010

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you can leave work 11 weeks before you due date most people go at about 34-35 weeks although i went at 33 weeks

Melissa - posted on 05/04/2010

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I worked up until my due date! But my job I was not on my feet I could sit down whenever I wanted to... I recommend listening to your body first, everything else will fall into place.

LeeAnn - posted on 05/04/2010

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I injured my back while I was working when I was 20 weeks pregnant, after my back healed, I had high blood pressure problems and my midwife told me I couldn't work anymore. We didn't know what we were going to do, we absolutely depended on both of our incomes and hadn't saved nearly as much as we wanted to before I quit working. It all worked out somehow, just have faith and prioritize, what can you cut back on... cable? phone plans? you'll find places to save money if you keep an open mind! good luck

Melanie - posted on 05/04/2010

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Just try to take it easier at work. If you can avoid lifting things that you have to hold close to your belly, please do. When you get home from work, try to lie on the couch and relax. I'm a cashier at a retail store, I know how it is. Rest whenever you can. I recommend chamomile tea to combat insomnia. I'm a stubborn person, and I had to force myself to relax and take it easy during my off hours. Ice packs and elevating your feet help with the swollen ankles. I even had to deal with my mother-in-law being in the hospital then passing away on Super Bowl Sunday. I hope my tidbits of experiential advice helps.

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111 Comments

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Irene - posted on 05/04/2010

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i worked up until i was 8 and a1.2 months pregnant and when i did stop i didnt have 2 weeks to myself b4 the baby came!

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2010

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I worked until the day I had my baby boy in November last year but I work in an office where I can sit or stand whenever I needed plus I hardly had any prego problems...it was smooth sailing for me. Good Luck as I know that it can be hard at times and remember to do what is best for you and the baby. :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2010

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The job I had when I was pregnant with both my kids involved long hours, backshifts and violent tendacies. I worked with two teenagers with Autism. With my first child, I was only off work for 6 days and with my second I was off work for 12 days. the best thing to do is to talk to you Dr. and figure out was is best for you and baby. It is important to take care of yourself.

Sian - posted on 05/04/2010

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I worked up to 37 weeks and then they asked me to leave. I would rather work as long as I cn,because I didn't enjoy being at home alone.

Ashley - posted on 05/04/2010

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I know the feeling! I work at Walmart and I worked up until a week before the baby. I actually believe that all of the walking around is what made my labor so incredibly easy. Now there were some days that I just thought that that was IT, but I pulled through. I was never medically concerned and if I was I called the dr. I just made sure I rested when I could and drank tons of water.

Victoria Beaton - posted on 05/04/2010

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With my first i was working in a bakery and my back gave in so i finished up at 37 weeks. i was then bed ridden for a week. My second i was just casually working packing shelves at the local supi. I worked the thursday nite and my waters started leaking that nite. i had her on the saturday. ( she was 10 days early) having children has stuffed by back completley. it went again at the 37 weeks with my second. i was like you, kept working for financial reasons. but next pregnancy i'll be at the chiro at 32 weeks and finishing work totally early than i did with the others. we women need to remember we are not superwoman...we need to put our health first to be able to care for the ones we love :)

Melissa - posted on 05/04/2010

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i am 23 and my profession is a chef. my lil boi is now 4mnths old. my doctor told me he would like me to finish work at 32wks but it was my coice to push on. i ended up finishing work at 36wks and had my baby a week earlier than my due date so i was very glad that i did finish work when i did. it really depends on how u feel with ur body and if u feel u can push on but always have a few weeks to urself coz the baby could come early and u really do need a lil time to rest before hand. by the sounds of it u really need a break so0 i would suggest to hand in ur resignation so u can rest ur body for the big event!!! good luck and i hope u have a good labour!

Sarah - posted on 05/04/2010

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i planned my maternity leave to start at 34weeks... however due to being in soo much pain before hand .. back ache, braxton hicks, pelvis ache the like i ended up leaving at 32 on the sick.

April - posted on 05/03/2010

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I am a CNA and I worked till 3 days before I had my baby.. I felt fine and thought I could do it so my DR said it was fine just to not do more than I thought I could. It all depends on what you want to do..

Kimberly - posted on 05/03/2010

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working is actually good and helps out alot when you start to deliver.. Just do over due it.

Kimberly - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked one day after my due date. Your bady can tell you when to quit. Youll feel when its time to quit. Unless you are doing heavy things and things that will harm yur baby then stop a few weeks before.

Callie - posted on 05/03/2010

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I would bring it up when you visit your doctor. When I was pregnant (I was still in school) I told her how I was getting to where I almost didn't fit into a school desk and before I left she said I was on early maternity leave.

Valerie - posted on 05/03/2010

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you dont have to worry about it hurting the baby by working unless your docto tells you otherwise, i worked until 2 days before i had my last child and he is fine.. health and growing fast.. work until you cant work anymore is my motto lol

Tabatha - posted on 05/03/2010

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with my second child i worked up untill i had him.. but every pregnancy is different. I have had three children and none of them were the same. you just have to listen to what your body is telling you. it will be over soon :0

Melissa - posted on 05/03/2010

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i know how u feel i worked right up until then end i finished exactly a week before my little man came along. i was on my feet all day to, it really is up to you how long u work, i to pushed myself because of money and my little man was perfectly healthy

Tabatha - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked until i was 33 or 34 week i cant remember, but i was a STNA...so i was lifting more than 25lbs and i never got a chance to sit down. My doctor told me to just try to move at at slower rate and make sure i used good body mechanics. He took me off because he was worried about the swelling in my lower legs and feet from being on them all day so i would double check with yours to make sure its not a problem...My body told me when i had had enough, i would sneak breaks and sit in residents rooms and talk for longer than suggested..But i would just weigh your options...Money being tight is better than not being safe....Good Luck!

Lisa - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked my whole pregnancy and i was a waitress. i stood on my feet the whole time carried trays and everything. i worked until 8 days beore i gave birth. i was fine. no swollen ankles nuthing. just got really tired when i got home. but u should defintely talk to ur doctor. they can usually tell u when to stop working. If its getting to hard for you.

Heather - posted on 05/03/2010

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Everybody is different depending on their health, how the pregnancy has gone, type of work they do, and/or personal preference. Definitely talk to your doctor about it if you're feeling too tired and weak to continue working. Maybe you can even see if your employer can temporarily place you in a more sedentary position for the time being. I had a great pregnancy but started to feel much more tired in the last couple of weeks of it. I have a desk job, but it is extremely demanding and highly stressful. I was worried that the mental stress would hurt my baby, so I talked to my doctor and she said I could keep working with no worries. I wanted to take a week off from work before my baby was due on August 20th just to relax and finish up some last minute things at home, but she came a week early, so I actually worked right up to the day I had her. My last planned day at work was Aug. 14th but she started making her way into the world early that morning :). Good luck with your bundle of joy and whatever you and your doctor decide is best!

Cassandra - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked clear up until the day I had my daughter. On my feet 8-12 hours a day. it sucks but you have to do what you have to do. I just stayed hydrated and took short sit down breaks.

Amber - posted on 05/03/2010

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I firmly believe that a woman should work only up until she feels she cant. I dont think there should be a set time. I myself worked past my due date but I had an easier pregnancy. Just remember that if you "push" yourself to do anything right now you can potentially hurt yourself and the baby! Keep yourself happy and healthy. Everyones body is different. Everyones pregnancy is different. Just listen to your body!

Ana - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked until the day before my son was born, but in the Army they give you time to recover AFTER the baby is born, not before.

Talk to your DR and see if he/she can give you something saying you cant work. GL mama

Danielle - posted on 05/03/2010

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I also think it depends on the person. I too worked on my feet all day and was constantly on the move. It didn't bother me too much when I couldn't get a chance to sit down, I really didnt mind it at all. I worked all the way to the end, I went into labor at 1 am and I had work at 10am that same day!!! My daughter ended up being 13 days early.

Becky - posted on 05/03/2010

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it depends on the person and the pregnancy. I worked the day i went into labor with my oldest, she was on time to. With my oldest son i stopped about three weeks before, he was late. My youngest son was a week early and i was able to stay at home starting when i was about five months, i would have loved to work. talk with your doctor

Becca - posted on 05/03/2010

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i worked until the week of my due date because of financial reasons also and i too was on my feet all day and we didnt even get lunchbreaks. i knew i was pushing it but i needed the money at the time i remember being scared i was going to go into labor at work. i ended up going 4 days past my due date. i think most job related activities are usually fine its just the heavy lifting and stuff like that thats dangerous, but for mom its just uncomfortable. if you feel that uncomfortable and overwhelmed i would ask your doctor.

Michelle - posted on 05/03/2010

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I work at Target and worked up to the day before I went into labor! I was on my feet all day and pushing product out onto the floor not if it was over 25 lbs though ... I was EXHAUSTED but I am so happy I did that cuz if I didn't I would have had to use my maternity leave and or vaca before that and I am so glad I saved it for when I had her!!!

Angela - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked up until the day I had my son. It was a job where I was on my feet all day, but the further along I got my doc put me on light duty and the company had to find a job where I could sit more. I also had to go to 1/2 days. It depends on the job wether they can find a place for you to sit down more. But everyone's right talk to your doctor, if you need to stop working for you and your baby's health you may still be able to get paid (at least 60% or so)

Erin - posted on 05/03/2010

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Hi Megan, I'm a beauty therapist and spent all day on my feet too, had the same problem with swollen ankles and tiredness.it's bloody hard! And because I was casual I needed to work for as long as I could cos there were just too many bills etc. I finished work at 36 weeks, which was perfect. Hold off as long as u can! I did my absolute head in being at home lol it was great for the first 2 weeks but then u get so bored waiting. Is it possible to shorten your days or do less hours? Good luck with everything!! Ohh and also you'll most likely be late. I was 1week over before I was enduced. Xx

Jamie - posted on 05/03/2010

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I'm sure it depends on your job. I worked my whole pregnancy, but I was working at a daycare, with women who completely understood my situation. I also had morning sickness throughout the whole time among other things. If I needed to take a break, I was able, etc. We were always on our feet as well, so I know it can be tough. Good luck!

Airell - posted on 05/03/2010

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I left work at 37 weeks. I was a busser/hostess and was always running around and on my feet. But I think if your body is acting like that you should consider taking your leave. Your body is obviously trying to tell you something. You should listen to it.

Laura - posted on 05/03/2010

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I am a nurse and am on my feet for 8+ hours a day. With my 1st I was due on a Sunday, worked the Friday before my due date, & delivered teh Monday after. He was 9.8lbs. I was exhausted most days & my feet killing me by the end of the day but it was worth it to be able to stay home 8 weeks after he was born. With my 2nd, I was also due on a Sunday, 2 Friday's before I was due I told my co-workers I wouldn't see them on Monday because the baby was gonna come that weekend. Sure enough she was born that Monday, 2 weeks early & was 7.11lbs. I planned on working until I gave birth & did just that.
I think it made for an easy delivery with both kids. 16 hours including 30min. of pushing, & almost 2 days with only 6min. pushing.(The 2nd was early labor for almost 36 hours than 5 intense hours of labor.) When we're ready for #3 I'll do the same unless I'm told otherwise.
Enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy.

Patricia - posted on 05/03/2010

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Yea well only you know what's best for you i am only 15weeks and i am working two jobs and both of them i am on my feet and i really need the money cause i have 3 other kids but i don't even know how how long i can stand it but you don't want to do anything that hurts the baby cause you might can do it but in side your baby is feeling a littile ran down so i hope everything goes well for you and i wish you all the luck in the world.

Michelle - posted on 05/03/2010

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Then you should talk to your doctor. I would say you can work as long as your body can handle it. I know people who work until they go into labor. It sounds to me though like your body is tired. You may need to call it quits until after the baby comes. You need all the rest you can get. Take care hun! Hope you get to feeling better :)

Sacha - posted on 05/03/2010

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I finished working at 16 weeks as I was working as a blood collector in a hospital and just got too freaked out having to go to infectious disease ward and the mental health ward and had a couple of days where I was that close to jabbing myself while patients were just not with it. To me, I felt it was not worth it if anything were to happen to much waited for baby. I wasnt entitled to maternity leave because I was going to be a few weeks off beig able to get it. Their rule is that you are not allowed to work less than 6 weeks before your due date.

Veronique - posted on 05/03/2010

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With my 1st pregnancy i worked till i was 38 weeks pregnant. With my second i was so tired from taking care of my 1st child that i stopped at 34 weeks. I'm a secretary so i have the advantage of sitting or getting up and walking around if i got to sore. If you are really feeling this way i would speak to your doctor and see if you can go on preventive leaving. Do not push yourself till something happens to you or your child.
Good luck!

Delana - posted on 05/03/2010

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I managed to work up to the day I went into labor. Had my contractions not have been every 10 mins apart and started at 3 am I probably would have gone into work. And I worked ata job where I was on my feet all day and walked a couple miles a day. So talk to your doctor and put your feet up when you get home.

Danika - posted on 05/03/2010

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with both my pregnancies i work right up until i had the babies. both my jobs were in sales so i was on my feet and had no lunch breaks and such. i would of liked to leave earlier but couldn't afford it. my first pregnancy i was induced at 37 weeks the day before i had to work what was going to be my last shift. and the second the same thing happened. but now i am pregnant again i will try to work alot less, it was hard and i had pre-eclampsia so i had alot of swelling and it wasn't good for my blood pressure. financially its hard but you have to think about whats best for you and your baby. if you can get shorter hours and less day then try for that otherwise don't do anything that is causing you pain or alot of discomfort. my doctor didn't want me working at all from 32 weeks and i tried to stay away but needed to money so my boss allowed me to work only 3 hours a day a few days a week just to help with the bills.

but really i shouldn't of as my blood pressure went to 180/115 and i was rushed for a c sec after the induction didn't work. listen to your doctor.
good luck and best wishes

Jaimie - posted on 05/03/2010

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i was just like you. i was constantly on my feet and wasn't able to sit. some days were harder than others but I worked through my entire pregnancy. My water broke an hour after i got home from a full shift. (the following day was supposed to be my last day)

Anna - posted on 05/03/2010

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I worked until 5 days before my due date, and i'd have been there even longer but they were worried i'd pop at work. As long as you're comfortable then stay. When it becomes uncomfortable to work your body is telling you enough is enough x

Jenna - posted on 05/03/2010

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talk to your doctor about whats safest for your situation. with my first baby, i worked as a cashier standing for 40 hours a week until my water broke (which thankfully happened at home, lol). it was pretty painful on my cervix though, but my doctor said that the standing couldnt do harm to my baby so i kept working.

Darliss - posted on 05/03/2010

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Talk to your doctor and also talk to your employer about doing light duties. Thats what I did. Most employers are very understanding and will work with you to ensure that you can work as long as possible.

Jackie - posted on 05/03/2010

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It all depends on what you and your doctor think. I worked until 2 weeks before I had my first but that was because I was dialated to a 4 so I had to quit. I moved from one state to another with my second at 7 months so I didnt even bother looking.

Tamara - posted on 05/03/2010

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it all depends on the person. some people can do it, while others cant. i worked with race horses, so my job was very physical, but i worked right up to the end with both of mine. i found it alot harder with the second one because he was alot lower. if you talk to your employer, they can work something out with you, so that you can sit for a few minutes. mine had an office that i could sit in for a few minutes if i had to

Suzi - posted on 05/03/2010

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i worked until the day i delivered...i was at a desk job though. still mierable and my boss sent me home early every day

Tanisha - posted on 05/03/2010

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Do what feels comfortable to you. No one can tell you that you should still be working, no one can tell you that you can't. I went on mat leave at 30 weeks because that felt good to me, I wanted to enjoy the last bit as much as I could and I liked being at home. Talk to your doctor and your significant other if you have one and do what feels right!!

Karianne - posted on 05/03/2010

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i would stop working, i worked till august 1st and i was due sept 21st. its a good thing i did because i ended up having the baby early, you could also have high blood pressure i did and i was sorta the same way so jus be careful!

Tina - posted on 05/03/2010

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It's different for everyone. With my first son I worked until the day I went itno labor. I worked the whole day I was in labor timing my contractions... A couple hours after work I headed to the hospital and had him 7 hours later.... With my second son I cut down my work schedule but I did work through the whole pregnancy. I am 26 weeks pregnant with my 3rd son and I guess I'm not sure if I'll end up cutting my hours back.
If you feel like you can't work anymore, then you shouldn't. Your body will let you know! :)

Elizabeth - posted on 05/03/2010

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i orked through my entire first pregnancy, and due to the conditions of the job i had while pregnant with victoria i had to leave. but i would have worked throuh the whole prenancy if my doc said it was ok.

Rosa - posted on 05/03/2010

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Talk to your Doctor especially if your job requires you to be standing alot or doing anything that puts too much stress on your body. But other wise I worked until the week before I delivered.

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