Managing Stress During Pregnancy: Strategies for Pregnant Working Mothers

balancing work pregnancy woman
A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 54% of working mothers reported experiencing stress related to their work-life balance. This stress often starts from as early as pregnancy. In a 2015 study, a staggering 80% of women expressed concern that pregnancy would dent their professional image and people’s perception of their competence.

Balancing the demands of pregnancy and work can be challenging on its own, but when you add pregnancy discomforts and complications, overfull calendars, unrealistic deadlines, and workplace discriminations or bias into the mix, it can create overwhelming stress! On top of all that, there’s the added pressure to always appear in control and never be seen as ’emotional,’ ‘weak,’ or in need of assistance. It’s no wonder many pregnant women find it difficult to share their experiences or ask for help and are left feeling increasingly isolated. No wonder, balancing work and pregnancy feels like such a tightrope walk to so many women.

In this article, we’ll explore some effective techniques for managing stress during pregnancy, providing guidance to help expecting working mothers maintain a healthy balance.

Foster Open Communication during pregnancy

Start by having honest dialogues with your employer. Clear communication is key to establishing a flexible and understanding work environment. Understand your rights and communicate your needs clearly. If you find yourself in stressful conditions, discuss potential accommodations and strategies with your manager to make your work life more manageable. By opening up clear communication channels, you can reduce misunderstandings and gain the necessary support from your work environment.

Understand your rights as a pregnant employee

Begin by reading your employee benefits handbook to get a preliminary understanding. Then, seek advice and tips from your peer group of working moms within the company. They can provide insights into their experiences and shed light on company policies and benefits. If you need more information, set up a discussion with your HR business partner for further clarification. Do this preemptively and early in the pregnancy. You will get busier with handover at work and prep to welcome the baby at home as the due date draws near.

Delegate and Collaborate

Remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Delegate tasks at work and home where possible, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Collaboration lightens your load and allows others to contribute, creating a supportive environment. Reach out for support from colleagues when you need it. They’d do the same for you if they were in your shoes. Seek support from your spouse throughout your pregnancy process and ensure you get the support you need from your larger social circle as well. They are all here to support you and could do with clear instructions on what you need from them.

Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

What you eat directly impacts how you feel. Consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients provides the energy needed to tackle the day effectively. Make sure your meals include lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Hydrate regularly and limit your caffeine intake. Prenatal nutrition affects long term health of both baby and mother. Read more here for detailed information on nutrition during pregnancy.

Create Boundaries & Flexibility

Balancing work and pregnancy requires both setting boundaries and being flexible. Prioritize tasks, learn to say ‘no’ when necessary, and disconnect from work during personal time to reduce stress and prevent burnout. At the same time, be adaptable to the unique needs of your pregnancy. Remember to prioritize your well-being and that of your growing baby, making changes to your work life as needed to effectively manage both.

Seek Pregnancy and New Mother Support Systems

Explore resources and support systems available to pregnant employees within your workplace or community. Employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives, or support groups designed for working parents can provide valuable guidance, assistance, and emotional support throughout your pregnancy journey. So utilize these resources to help you manage your stress better. Put together a pregnancy support team for yourself so that you have someone to reach out when in need of help or support.

Plan the logistics from pregnancy to postnatal

Sometimes it is the logistics of the prenatal appointments, the shopping, the hospital tour, and many dozens of small to-do’s that can crowd your checklist and create an invisible burden. Take a proactive approach by considering various aspects of your work and personal life. Create a schedule or calendar to prioritize tasks and allocate time for work-related responsibilities, prenatal appointments, self-care, and personal commitments. Share the logistical juggling with your spouse or enlist the help of extended family and friends.

Prioritize Self-care

Self-care is paramount during pregnancy. Take care of yourself by getting ample sleep and rest, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in light exercise. Listen to your body and respond to its needs, whether that means an extra hour of sleep or a nutritious snack between meals. Spend time outdoors, practice mindfulness, and reach out to connect with loved ones. Prioritizing self-care increases resilience, promotes holistic wellness, and protects you from burnout.

Include gentle Physical Activity

Exercise is a proven stress reliever and a crucial part of prenatal care. Engaging in gentle pregnancy exercises such as prenatal yoga, swimming, or walking can improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and enhance your sleep. However, always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen during pregnancy.

Let Small Things Go

Pregnancy is full of changes and challenges, and your body is working hard even when you’re sitting at a desk. Be kind to yourself and choose your battles wisely. Let the small things slide, allowing you to conserve precious energy for the things that truly matter. Take stock of your priorities and keep them at the forefront of your decision-making process when determining where to invest your time and energy.

Attend a Pregnancy Support Group

Support groups provide a safe space to share experiences and connect with others facing similar challenges. These groups can be empowering and comforting sources of community, information, and empathy.

Leverage Virtual Support

Joining online communities for expectant working mothers can provide invaluable support. Platforms like Veira Life offer advice, comfort, and a sense of camaraderie. The journey of pregnancy can look different for each woman and therefore needs personalised support. With services like maternity coaching from experienced professionals ready to assist, Veira Life ensures you’re not alone on this journey. Balancing work commitments while navigating work might seem daunting, but with the right strategies and support systems in place, it can be a fulfilling and empowering experience. Bear in mind, you’re never on your own. The experience of stress during pregnancy is a common occurrence among women, and numerous resources are at your disposal to provide assistance. With the proper support system in place, striking a balance between work and pregnancy is entirely achievable.

How can Veira Life help you?

If you find yourself in need of further assistance and guidance, the option to schedule a one-on-one session with a Veira Coach might be exactly what you need in this time. Our pregnancy support services team includes certified and seasoned maternity professionals ranging from doulas, prenatal and childbirth educators, nutritionists, midwives, to lactation counsellors and more, all working on a personal level with our users. These coaches are fervently dedicated to delivering customised support meeting the unique needs of women, effectively addressing your concerns and allaying any apprehensions. A Veira Coach’s aid in managing stress during pregnancy includes the following benefits:
  • Providing you with research backed and reliable information and resources to answer all your questions and address any concerns
  • Equipping you with effective tools and strategies to handle stress
  • Assisting you in identifying your stress triggers and creating a plan to control them
  • Providing a steady flow of support and encouragement
Should you find yourself grappling with stress during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to Veira for assistance. At Veira, our core passion lies in delivering top-tier, customised support in the comfort of your home, enabling you to relish every moment of this incredible journey.


To manage work-related stress during pregnancy: prioritize tasks, practice self-care, communicate openly with your employer, seek support, and consider professional counseling if needed.

Yes, stress at work can potentially affect pregnancy. Chronic stress may lead to physical and emotional health issues that could impact the development of the baby.

Pregnant women can work 40 hours a week if conditions are safe. Excessive hours and stress can be harmful to their health and their baby’s.

A pregnant woman can work until the start of labor, but it’s a personal choice. Some stop a few weeks before the due date, while others work even during early labor.

Working excessively can impact pregnancy due to increased stress levels. It’s crucial to manage workload, prioritize self-care, and seek support to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

In a desk job, the best working position for a pregnant woman is sitting ergonomically at the workstation with adjusted chair height, relaxed shoulders, and lumbar support. 

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