maternity leave smA mom-to-be can have a lot to consider when deciding the right time to stop working before the baby arrives. These days, more pregnant women are working right up until a few days, or even a few hours, before they go into labor. Often, that decision is based on economic factors, like how much paid maternity leave you will have.

There's no single answer to the question, “When should I stop working?” but there are health guidelines that can help you planfor your maternity leave. Be sure you discuss the factors related to your work and your pregnancy with your healthcare provider.

Most women can physically handle their usual workload up until about 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. Around this same time, many women are also shifting their mental focus from their job towards being a new mother, and that can affect the decision on when to stop working.

Some types of work can increase the risks for having a premature baby, such as jobs involving heavy lifting, excessive noise, or standing for long hours. Talk with your doctor about obtaining a medical order to alter your work duties. Women who have experienced a previous premature birth may also consider finishing work earlier.

Regardless of the work that you do, there are some common warning signs that it's time to reconsider your plans to continue working.  If sleepless nights are affecting your work performance, or you're worrying about all the baby preparations still to be completed at home, it may be time to think about stopping work sooner.

When sitting and standing are uncomfortable, with swollen legs and feet, backaches, or breathlessness, it can be a sign that you need bed rest. And if you’re having symptoms of early labor, with pain, cramping or spotting, you need immediate medical attention.

With the right approach to handling special work circumstances and support from your doctor for individual health conditions, most women can work through their pregnancies until they're ready to stop or until the baby arrives with no risk to their child's health.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax