Is It Safe to Stand All Day While Pregnant?

Kicking back with your feet up sure sounds nice, but mama's got stuff to do. Learn how to care for your body when standing for long periods.
profile picture of Jenna McCarthy
ByJenna McCarthy
Updated
May 2017
pregnant woman standing

Have you heard about the  runner who went into labor just minutes after she crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon? If she can train for and complete a 26.2-mile run, you can assume that standing isn’t going to harm baby. That said, nobody’s promising it’s going to be comfortable.

“Some pregnant women who stand for long periods of time, especially during the last trimester, will experience back pain and swelling and  discomfort in their legs,” explains Hilda Hutcherson, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and the author of What Your Mother Never Told You About S-e-x. “But it’s not going to hurt baby.”

If your job requires a lot of vertical time and you experience discomfort or swelling, try taking frequent breaks (sit or lie with your feet elevated), consuming plenty of fluids (10 cups a day), staying active, wearing compression stockings (even though they’re not so cute) and avoiding crossing your legs when you do sit. Sleeping on your left side at night may also help reduce swelling and alleviate pressure on the inferior vena cava, the vein that pumps blood from your lower extremities to your heart.

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