As much as pregnant women may act like heroes, some even working at the office every day right up to delivery, this is a sensitive time for them and their babies.
During pregnancy, women's bodies are pumping 40 to 50 percent more blood than usual -- their hearts working 30 to 50 percent harder -- and they can feel tired and uncomfortable, according to the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Continuing Education.
But the fact is, many pregnant women work for a living, some of them putting in long work hours and standing for extended periods of time. That toiling can put extra stress on a pregnancy, possibly interfering with fetal growth and full-term delivery. Other contributors to pregnancy stress are exposure to harmful chemicals (in factories for example, or while cleaning the house) or lack of emotional support from family and friends.