Nursing while pregnant can be a challenging experience. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some important points to keep in mind as you work during your pregnancy as a CNA. Follow these 16 tips to ensure that you’re safe and prepared for what could come next!
1. Make sure to communicate with your coworkers
Working as a pregnant CNA, Some days may be more difficult than others for you physically, and it’s important that other staff members are aware of this so they can assist or replace you if necessary. It is also good practice to let them know about any situations where patient care might become challenging due to pregnancy limitations; before the situation becomes serious and potentially dangerous.
2. Don’t walk around alone
Don’t walk alone, especially at night. Pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and nausea may make you more susceptible to falls or other accidents that could result in injury. Stick with your coworkers when possible; if not for safety then to have someone readily available who can help should an emergency arise! If you’re working in a specialty area such as oncology, you should also be aware that chemotherapy and other medications may affect your pregnancy.
3. Always let someone know where you are
If something happens at work that requires emergency assistance (for example a patient falling unconscious) it’s important to have someone know exactly where you are. Make sure your coworkers and manager have access to the information they need in order to provide assistance should it be necessary!
4. Get help with lifting heavy objects
Many people assume that you can’t lift anything while pregnant, but it’s actually OK to help a coworker with lifting objects or moving equipment as long as it doesn’t exceed your physical limits. If possible, try not to do any heavy lifting by yourself and make sure someone nearby is standing by in case of an emergency where more assistance is necessary!
5. Make sure to take frequent breaks
You should be getting up and walking around often during work hours. If you’re having trouble standing or sitting for long periods of time, make sure to tell your manager so they can accommodate any necessary changes in schedule (for example by allowing more frequent bathroom/lunch breaks).
6. Bring healthy snacks
It’s easy to get tired or even nauseous while nursing, so make sure you have snacks with you when possible. It can be hard for your body to keep up during these times if you’re not eating well!
7. Keep hydrated
Dehydration can happen quickly when suffering from nausea or other pregnancy-related physical limitations, so make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout each day.
8. Be careful with medication use while nursing
Some drugs can cause harm to the unborn child or might even result in birth defects if taken during early stages of development. If possible, avoid taking any new medications unless absolutely necessary. If you have to take a new drug, check with your doctor immediately and look it up online for side effects related specifically to pregnancy.
9. Be aware of medical equipment
Be aware of the possibility of radiation exposure from diagnostic testing or x-ray machines at work. Radiation emitted from these devices can harm an unborn child so avoid them as much as possible if you know they are being used.
10. Be aware of the possibility of blood or body fluid exposure
You may have heard that you can’t do anything involving bodily fluids while nursing, but this is not true! It’s still safe to clean up after a patient who has soiled themselves as long as they haven’t been toilet-trained, but you should avoid anything involving blood or other potentially infectious materials.
11. Avoid standing for long periods of time
Standing is difficult when suffering from pregnancy-related physical limitations such as swelling or fatigue. If you’re working in a specialty area where it’s important that you remain on your feet (such as nursing care unit) consider purchasing anti-fatigue insoles for your shoes to reduce pain and discomfort.
12. Avoid stressful situations at work
Pregnancy is a time of feeling overwhelmed and anxious in many different scenarios. Try to avoid or limit working with difficult patients, aggressive behavior from coworkers or staff members, and stressful situations that might become dangerous for you if they escalate unexpectedly.
13. Offer to help others
You may not be able to do everything that your coworkers can due to pregnancy limitations such as fatigue and nausea, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer! It’s possible for a pregnant CNA to make an excellent mentor by helping others with their work and offering advice when necessary.
14. Keep an open line of communication with your doctor
Your OB/GYN will likely have information about the workplace and your rights as a pregnant employee in different scenarios that may come up during work hours. They can also provide guidance on when you should avoid certain tasks or whether it’s safe to continue working despite various limitations brought by pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue or nausea.
15. Listen to your doctor
If at any point your doctor tells you not to work during pregnancy heed their advice! You should always follow your doctor’s instructions about when to avoid certain tasks or situations for your own health and safety.
16. Don’t put your personal health at risk
If you notice pregnancy symptoms such as severe morning sickness, excessive tiredness, vaginal bleeding etc., contact your doctor immediately and stop working until the issue is resolved with their guidance. It’s not worth jeopardizing a healthy baby to continue on with normal work duties! Above all else, keep yourself and your baby safe by listening to what your body is telling you.
Although many pregnant CNAs may find themselves in difficult work environments, it is possible to keep yourself safe by following the above tips! Pregnancy should be a time of joy and excitement, not fear or anxiety towards working conditions. As long as you remain open with your manager or coworkers about any limitations you might have, most of these issues can be resolved to ensure a safe working environment.