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Pregnancy: Work and School Issues


Many women work or go to school (or both) while they are pregnant. It can keep you active and engaged.

You can probably keep working right up to your due date if there are no problems with your pregnancy. Women who have uncomplicated pregnancies can usually keep working or going to school until they go into labour.

On the other hand, long periods of standing, repeated lifting, or activities that are very tiring may increase the risk of poor fetal growth, pre-eclampsia, or preterm labour.

Talk with your doctor or midwife if you have to stand for more than 3 hours at a time, walk a lot, or be very active at work or school. There are things you can do to help you have a healthy pregnancy.

In general:

  • Don't lift heavy objects, stand on ladders, or use or be near machinery that vibrates.
  • Avoid harmful substances, such as hazardous chemicals, fumes, and X-rays.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.

You may need to cut back on or stop working at some point in your pregnancy if you have an issue such as:

  • Risk factors for preterm labour. These include having a short or dilated cervix before 36 weeks of pregnancy or a history of giving birth before your due date.
  • High blood pressure or other signs of pre-eclampsia.
  • Signs that the baby is growing more slowly than expected.
  • Twins or more (multiple pregnancy).
  • A problem with the placenta, such as placenta previa.
  • A chronic illness or other problem that isn't responding well to treatment.


Current as of: November 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology