Nursing is a hard job, and working 12-hour shifts as a pregnant nurse adds to the stress. At some point during their pregnancies, most pregnant nurses are worried about safety at work and the health of their unborn babies. As long as the right precautions are taken and safety is always the number one priority, working as a nurse while pregnant can be done. 

Indeed, a lot of nurses stay at work during their pregnancies, sometimes even until just a few weeks or days before they give birth! In this article, you will find information that will help you do well as a nurse while you are pregnant. 

Here are seven things that pregnant nurses should keep in mind when they work: 

Make sure you have compression stockings or socks in your medicine bag or purse

The compression stockings and socks you wear as a pregnant nurse can help you keep your legs healthy. When a woman is pregnant, her blood volume increases by about half. For 12 hours a day, you're on your feet. That means a lot of fluid has to move through your body. 

The reason for this is that many pregnant women have varicose veins. The best time to buy compression socks if you are a pregnant nurse is now. Because many people spend a lot of time on their feet, they don't know that compression stockings can be used as a way to avoid getting hurt. During a 12-hour shift, compression stockings or socks are very important. 

Make sure you have the right shoes on. 

Pregnant nurses need to wear supportive shoes to help their bellies grow. For a 12-hour shift, good shoes are very essential. However, the benefits of good nursing shoes during pregnancy are much more important than the benefits of good shoes. The extra 25-35 pounds on your back will make it hard for your feet to keep up. 

The pain in your feet will be worse when you become a nurse than when you were pregnant. The size of your feet will get bigger during pregnancy, so be on the lookout for this. 

Drink and eat 

As a nurse who is pregnant, you need to feed your body healthy foods to keep your energy levels up while you work! You probably already know that staying hydrated is important, even if you aren't having a baby. During pregnancy, drinking enough water is even more important. After all, drinking enough water can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive edema, urinary tract or bladder infections, as well as premature or early birth, so it's important to drink enough water. 

Carry your own food and snacks to work whenever possible. Taking this step will make sure that you and your child get all the nutrients needed. You'll also be able to satisfy any cravings you might have. 

Try getting to bed early. 

Nurses who are pregnant need to take a break. As soon as you're having a baby, you can't go to sleep too much. This is true. Make sure you get as much sleep as you can every night so that you have the energy to work 12-hour shifts while pregnant. 8 hours would be ideal. 

Do light exercises.

The goal is to do 30 minutes of physical activity every single day, no matter how busy you are. Women who are having a baby can benefit from prenatal yoga to help them deal with stress while they're having a baby. 

Pregnant women who exercise will have more energy to get through a 12-hour shift at work, even though it might seem like a bad idea. Regular exercise during pregnancy also helps to keep gestational diabetes and hypertension from developing. 

Think and decide on night shifts.

Nurses who are pregnant might find it hard to work the night shift. You might want to work the day shift instead of the night shift. There is enough stress in being a nurse on its own, but then having to work 12-hour shifts on top of that. 

Adding pregnancy to the mix may make you even more tired than you were before. Consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to keep working night shifts. In case you have special health needs during your pregnancy, make sure to talk to your boss about them! 

If you are having a baby, you might want to think about only working during the day while you are pregnant. You should talk to your boss about the possibility of doing less work. There are a lot of hospitals that will let pregnant nurses who can't stay on their feet all day get a reduced job. 

Try and have your job schedule changed. 

For nurses who work in hard places, like the emergency department, this is even more true. Consult with your supervisor to see if there are any other jobs you can do, like working at the monitor, sorting papers, or reviewing patient charts. In this case, you might think about taking shorter shifts or working two days per week instead of three if these options don't work for you at this time. 


As a nurse, it is your job to help your patients stay healthy; as a mother-to-be, it is your job to keep yourself and your unborn child healthy. Working as a nurse while pregnant is no easy task, but many nurses do it every year and have healthy, happy babies as a result. Using these tips can help you stay safe and comfortable while you're at work. If you think your job as a nurse is hurting you or the baby, talk to your doctor about how to solve the problem.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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