It’s going to be a hot day here in Canberra today (32C/90F) and it’s just going to get hotter as the week progresses. I’ve got the new house all locked up in an attempt to trap what cool air is left inside.
Heat is just one of the problems pregnant women face. It always seems so much hotter than it really is, so now that summer’s in full force, I’m finding myself hot an exhausted all the time.
I posted a while ago about how temperature affects printing. Yes, printing is better for the press in summer, just not me when I’m pregnant! (Also, note the last paragraph of that entry – me dreaming of having a new studio. See? Dreams do come true!)
Another big factor that affects pregnant women in the studio is toxic fumes. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started wearing a respirator to block out the fumes. It works exceptionally well, and it’s nice finishing up the day without having a head full of toxic smells. The downsides? They’re hot, and it’s like having a mini steamroom on your face. You can’t sing with it on (which I do a lot of when I print) because of the restricted airflow. And sneezing is like a monsoon. Ew.
There have been studies into the affects of offset printing ink fumes on the unborn baby, and it’s all bad news, so putting up with the respirator is worth it. I also wear an apron and gloves, which is a good idea when printing regardless of who you are.
Morning sickness and constant tiredness have been the biggest issues though. I was one of those unlucky women who gets morning sickness for a few months, and it was the sickest I have ever been. It started at the busiest time for Poppy, too. Now I’m not sick anymore, but the tiredness looks like it’s here to stay. So I’m getting used to limiting what I can do in one setting, and how much work I can take on.
Of course, the most obvious thing I’m dealing with though is the big belly. And it’s already big at 20 weeks. Very cute until you need to stand at the press and reach for the paper while the press is running. Or stretch up to grab the guillotine handle. Or reach across the desk to grab a pen.
I’d love to hear about the experiences of other women who have worked through pregnancy, whether in printing or elsewhere. What restriction did you have? How did you cope?