3 Healthy School-Day Breakfast Ideas for Kids

3 Healthy School-Day Breakfast Ideas for Kids

Do you have a hard time coming up with healthy breakfast ideas for the kids before they head off to school?

School mornings can be fairly hectic if you’re a parent. However, even though getting your kids on their way to school is time-consuming and challenging, the odds are good you’d still like to provide them with nutritious meals.

The odds are also good you don’t know how you’ll find the time every morning to achieve that goal. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to check out the best meal delivery service for kids. In addition to that option, check out these recipes. They offer nutrients your kids need, they taste great, and you don’t need to spend your entire morning prepping them.

Here are easy and healthy school-day breakfast ideas for kids to start the school day off on the right foot.

Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast parfait made from Greek yogurt and granola topped with fresh berries.

Sure, parfait may not be the first meal that comes to every parent’s mind when they think of kid-friendly breakfasts, but making this option appeal to your children is easier than you might think.

All you have to do is grab a clear plastic cup and fill the bottom of it with honey. Use your judgment to determine how much honey you should use. While you don’t want your kids to consume too much sugar, the sweetness can help you sneak in more healthful ingredients.

One of them is yogurt. Greek yogurt offers a range of health benefits. These include supporting bone health, providing your children with much-needed protein, boosting their gut health, and much more. Add a few spoonfuls to the cup, making sure the honey is thoroughly covered.

You’ll add fruit next. Options to consider include raspberries, blueberries, or banana slices. Finally, top the whole concoction with your child’s favorite cereal.  This is a healthy breakfast idea that your kids will love. 

Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches

An egg, ham, and cheese breakfast sandwich will keep you full until lunch.

True, making your own breakfast sandwiches during busy school mornings might not seem like the smartest idea, but this recipe is still worth considering because you can make these sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. If you have a little bit of spare time on the weekend, set it aside to prep these for the week ahead.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and crack an egg into each muffin mold. Gently pierce the yolk of each. Bake the eggs for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they have set, then gently slide them out of the molds. Next, slice English muffins (one for each egg) and add a slice of cheese (your preference), three slices of ham, and an egg. 

Wrap these in plastic and freeze them. When you’re ready to heat one, remove it from the plastic, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave on 50% power for about one minute. Then, flip the sandwich over to the other side, and microwave again on full power for another minute.

Breakfast Casserole

Make a breakfast casserole in a slow cooker and wake up to a delicious breakfast.

Sometimes, the best breakfast ideas for kids begin in the slow cooker the night before. 

This recipe is worth keeping in mind for two reasons. One, you can make it ahead of time in a slow cooker, so you don’t have to rush to whip up a meal in the morning. Two, it can yield very big servings, making it a perfect option if you have a lot of mouths to feed.

Spray your slow cooker (this recipe is for a 6-quart slow cooker) with non-stick spray. Add half a 30 oz. bag of hash browns. Then, add a half-pound layer of browned and drained breakfast sausage. Next, add a four oz. layer of cheddar cheese and a four-oz. layer of mozzarella cheese. Then, repeat the entire process, starting with the hash browns and using the same measurements. Finally, whisk together 12 eggs, half a cup of milk, and salt and pepper to your liking, drizzling the mixture over the contents of the slow cooker. Cook on low for eight hours and wake up to a breakfast your family will love.

Again, if you’re a parent, busy mornings don’t need to prevent you from feeding your family well. These simple recipes prove it!

Additional recommend reading:

4 Smart Tips To Teach Kids Healthy Eating Habits (From A Busy Mom, RN)

4 Smart Tips To Teach Kids Healthy Eating Habits (From A Busy Mom, RN)

We must teach our kids a foundation for healthy eating habits. Unfourtuanelty, this can be challenging for busy nurse moms, who often struggle to eat properly, exercise regularly, or get enough sleep as it is due to our crazy working-mom lifestyles.

So, how do we help our families adopt healthier eating choices when it seems like life is always getting in the way? Here are a few fun suggestions that have worked for my own family.  I hope they help you too!

Involve children in the meal planning process

4 Smart Tips To Teach Kids Healthy Eating Habits

Teach your kids healthy eating habits by involving them in the meal-planing process.

Kids love to feel like they are a part of things, and they are more likely to want to eat healthy foods if they are included in the food preparation experience. Grant your children some say in which foods you bring into the house.

For example, if I plan to purchase grapes at the store, I will ask my son which color he wants.  When we go to the grocery store together, I let him help me select the produce items that he thinks are the most appealing. Search recipes together for inspiration, so you all can be excited about the meals you will have that week.

I personally love Pinterest and use it as my primary means of saving and organizing recipes. Each child can be allowed to make one or two “special requests” for either a specific food they would like to have or a particular meal they want to eat.

Sometimes it is not realistic to prepare a family meal every single night.  Here is a solution for that:  make double batches when you cook to ensure that you have extra nutritious food that can easily be reheated as leftovers later in the week. When I worked 12-hour day shifts, I would often make a tray of lasagna, enchiladas, or casserole on my days off.  That way, my husband could easily prepare healthy dinners for the family in my absence.

By preparing meals ahead of time, we eliminated the temptation to pick up fast food on the way home when we were exhausted and starving.  

Encourage children to help out in the kitchen

Teaching kids healthy eating habits

Teaching kids healthy eating habits by involving them in the kitchen.

Even young children can make handy kitchen porters. They can help mix, measure, and stir years before they are old enough to be trusted near a hot stove or sharp instruments.

My son picked out a set of miniature set of kitchen tools (a small spatula, whisk, and tongs) for himself, and it makes him feel extra special when he assists me in the kitchen. You may have to do a little extra clean up at the end, but be patient and praise your culinary apprentices for helping! Fond memories and a love of cooking will be ingrained for life.

Additional recommended reading:

Forget the “clean plate club”

empty plate

Teach kids healthy eating habits – don’t encourage them to clean their plates if they are full.

Children are very good at self-regulating their food intake. Telling kids they must finish their food, even if they insist that they are not hungry, can cause them to tune out their innate cues of fullness and may set them up to become chronic overeaters later in life.

Lead by example

Kids are always observing, and you need to practice what you preach.  The nutrition standards you set for them as a parent will go further than anything you say. However, don’t always expect perfection of yourself. Parenting is hard, and some days just getting the kids fed is an accomplishment.

Holiday get-togethers, family dinners, and parties with cake and candy are perfectly fine in moderation.   The point is that if you eat a variety of wholesome foods each day, your children will develop an appreciation for fresh, healthy eating as well.

Additional Information to help teach children healthy eating habits

The American Academy at Pediatrics has an archive of articles with evidence-based advice on healthy eating for children that you can find hereConsult with your children’s pediatrician or primary care provider if you have questions regarding your children’s specific dietary needs.

Cyra-Lea Drummond is a registered nurse with 15 years experience in telemetry, cardiac ICU, cardiac rehab, and home health. She currently lives near Louisville, KY, and enjoys spending her free time playing outside with her husband, son, and their dog Daisy.Content goes here

Additional recommended reading:

7 Essential Items Your Nanny Needs From You

7 Essential Items Your Nanny Needs From You

(This post contains affiliate links.   For more information, please see our disclosure policy.)

Going back to work after maternity leave comes to an end can be a daunting, emotional experience.  Just when you have gotten used to spending day after day bonding with your baby and developing a routine – just like that – you have to go back to work.  Much of the time, many moms aren’t even getting close to a decent night’s sleep, and what they do get is usually fragmented and interrupted at best.

It is hard to trust another person to come into your home and take care of your precious baby.  After all, you know how to care for your child best, where the diapers are,  when they need to eat, what to feed them, where and what time they sleep, and what their favorite snuggle blanket is.  Going back to work is hard, but leaving your baby in the hands of others is so much harder.

The only thing you can do it prepare the best that you can (and remember, it’s probably way harder for you then it is for them!).

Here is the list of essential items your nanny needs from you:

1.  Nasal Aspirator

Moms know that nasal aspirators are a great tool to unplug the baby’s tiny nasal passages.  And nanny’s need to have one available so they too can unplug stuffy noses when mom isn’t there.    Because the infant’s nasal passages are so small, having a stuffy nose affects their ability to breathe, eat, and sleep, which makes the nasal aspirator an especially critical need for the nanny.

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2.  First Aid Kit

Having a First Aid Kit available for the nanny is a no-brainer.  Because you just never know if or when an accident might occur.  Also, let your child’s caregiver know that it is 100% OK for them to call 911 if there is any concern for your child’s safety.    It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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3.  Baby Thermometer

Despite what many caregivers think, you cannot measure a baby’s temperature by feeling their forehead or skin.  You need a digital thermometer to accurately measure a bay’s temperature to know whether or not they have a fever.   An easy thermometer like this one makes it simple for the nanny or caregiver to assess the baby’s temperature correctly.

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4.  Diaper Bag

Initially, I didn’t realize that our nanny depended on having a diaper bag as much as I did!  But it makes perfect sense as they need all of the items inside to take care of our child when we were not there:  diapers, diaper cream, wipes, extra clothes, sunscreen, set of spare keys, baby toys, etc.

Our nanny used our diaper bag when we were not there and took it where ever she went with the baby – for a walk or to the park.  This is the exact diaper bag that we have been using for years, and it is still in perfect condition, even considering how much wear-and-tear we put on it.

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5.  List Of Important Numbers

This is peace of mind at your caregiver’s fingertips.  Make sure your child’s caregiver has important numbers they might need in an emergency so they can notify your doctor, pediatrician, or veterinarian in seconds. 

This card includes areas to write your police, fire, doctor, pediatrician, pharmacy, utility companies, your address & phone numbers, emergency contact names, and phone numbers, and an area to write other relevant information.

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6.  Bottle Schedule/Sleep Schedule/Poop Schedule

Who knew that establishing a good eat, sleep, and poop schedule could be so important?  Since your child’s caregiver probably doesn’t spend as much time with your baby as you do, they need a guideline for what your baby does on a routine basis.

Also, it is written documentation for you as well, so you know what happened with your baby when you get back home.  We used this exact baby journal for the first ten months of both of our children’s lives, and it was so helpful!

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7.  Hidden Key Access

If you have a secret key outside of your house, then it would be wise to show your nanny where it is!  We didn’t show out nanny exactly where we hid our spare outside – and on the one single occasion that she locked the keys inside-  she was unable to find (resulting in my husband having to leave work and let her in).  One thing I have learned is that it is important to have at least one backup plan in place.  And that includes having a spare key that our nanny has access to.

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Are there anything other essential items that you would add to this list?  Please leave a comment below!

Additional recommended reading:

diaper bag with essential items for the nanny

Important Emergency Information To Leave With Your Nanny Or Sitter

Important Emergency Information To Leave With Your Nanny Or Sitter

I remember leaving our  10-week-old daughter with a nanny for the first time.  My husband and I were finally going for our first adult evening since becoming parents.   To say I was anxious would be a massive understatement.  I think I texted our nanny at least three times before we even got to dinner!
When we arrived home, our little Zoe was snuggled up and sleeping soundly.  I don’t think she even knew we were gone.
A few months later, I went back to work as an Emergency Room Nurse, two days a week.  I know that may not seem like much, but my shifts at the hospital are about 13 hours a day.  And that is a long time for a mom to be away from her baby!
So, in the spirit of being overly prepared, I made this comprehensive list of important information to leave with the nanny or sitter, including emergency contact information in case something unexpected happens.  It’s displayed right on our refrigerator so you can’t miss it. I wanted to make sure our nanny has easy access to any vital information that she could need in case of an emergency.
Thankfully she has never needed it.  But you never really know when a disaster or other emergency can strike so it is always best to prepare in advance.
nanny with children

Important emergency contact information to leave with your nanny or sitter

General information:

  • Names of all family members (include pets in the house)
  • Names of neighbors, and their children
  • Your address
  • A list of your child’s allergies

Specific contact information:

  • Your cell phone number
  • Information about where you will be while you are out
  • The name and phone number of someone else to contact in case of emergency (if you can’t be reached)
  • Local phone numbers for police, fire, poison control, and emergency services
    • Note – make sure your caregiver knows that it is OK for them to call 911 if they are concerned in any way for your child’s safety.  Always better safe than sorry!

Medical information:

  • A photocopy of your child’s health insurance card
  • The name, address, and phone numbers for your child’s pediatrician
  • The name, address, and phone number of a nearby hospital
  • Information about any medication your child takes (including dosage)

Other Information:

  • A list of the house rules (what kids can or can’t eat, bedtimes, anything that is not allowed, etc.)
  • Homework information, if necessary, to help school-age children
  • Show them where to find the first aid kit, flashlights, fire extinguisher, and any other emergency preparedness items

Do you have your child’s important information ready for your nanny or sitter? Now would be a great time to gather this information and put in in a handy spot in case of an emergency.

Additional Recommended Reading:

Maternity Leave For Nurses:  How To Financially Prepare

Maternity Leave For Nurses: How To Financially Prepare

(This post about saving money for maternity leave as a nurse may contain affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

As a new mother, it is your legal right to take maternity leave.

Maternity leave is so essential for a new mother for many reasons:

Unfortunately, many women in the US only get six weeks of maternity leave (8 weeks if you have a c-section).  And if you are a per diem employee like me, none of that time off is paid.  For that reason, I worked right up until my 9th month of pregnancy while working as an emergency room nurse at a level 1 trauma center (thank God for pregnancy compression stockings!).

Nurses work extremely hard to care for patients like they would care for a family member, yet when they have a baby of their own, they often have very little time to bond with their flesh and blood.  Add the financial strain into the mix and it can become very stressful and overwhelming.  So what is a nurse who is also a brand new mom to do?

Well, I have half-glass full mentality.  So for the sake of finding solutions to this conundrum that so many women find themselves in, I compiled a list of ways for mothers to plan financially far in advance of baby’s arrival.  You must take care of yourself first!

Pregnant nurse at work

The average paid maternity leave in the USA is only six weeks for a vaginal birth and eight weeks for a c-section.  And if you are a per diem RN then chances are that you will not be paid at all while you are on maternity leave.

Saving for maternity leave is crucial for moms so they can spend more time baby bonding and less time worrying about money!

Unpaid maternity leave for nurses: you need to save up in advance!

After my daughter was born in 2015, I went back to work as a per diem nurse (higher hourly rate and more flexibility, but no benefits – including disability or paid maternity leave).   Therefore, eighteen months later when I went on maternity leave with my second baby, I had a completely unpaid maternity leave.  It made the whole situation much more stressful for me.  Thankfully I planned well in advance to minimize the financial burden.

Here is how I managed to save up an additional 20K for my second maternity leave:

#1.  Open a new savings account dedicated to maternity leave.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to pay yourself first. When you set up direct deposit for each paycheck, you make saving much easier. That way, you don’t even see the money hitting your checking account. Liquid cash is good, so you can use it when you need it.

Suzie Orman (one of my all-time favorite financial gurus) says that you want to have as much money saved up for as many months as you plan to take off, as well as an eight-month emergency plan. You never know when an emergency can strike, for example, a medical emergency, a job loss, or worse. The faster you can start saving into an account dedicated to maternity leave, the more prepared you will be when it comes.

#2.  Make a budget and stick to it.

I prefer more of a no-budget budget strategy. I decide how much I want to save each paycheck and immediately transfer it into an online savings account as soon as payday comes.

I am aware of everything I purchase and review it each month by using a program called Mint to track my expenses. If you aren’t using this, you should be. Since I have started using Mint I have watched my savings rate take off farther than ever. It is incredible how much you can save when you know exactly where your money is going!

I’m always surprised by how many people I talk to who have no idea what they spend in a month. Needless to say, this is a poor strategy for preparing for an unpaid maternity leave. You’ve got to have a plan.

#3.  Make more money now or take on extra work.

If you are currently pregnant or even just thinking about it, now is a good time to take on extra hours at work. Especially if you can get overtime pay.

As a nurse, anything over 40 hours of work a week is considered overtime at my hospital.  I don’t work overtime anymore now that I have small children, but I did it during my pregnancies just to add a little more to my savings.

Also, some holidays pay time-and-a-half rates. Therefore, I have been known to pick up shifts on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but my family handles it by celebrating these holidays on the day before or the day after the actual holiday. When children are young, they don’t know what day it is anyway, so this strategy has worked particularly well. It adds up quite a bit when you are saving to be out for a few months.

Maternity leave savings plan for nurses

Nurse maternity leave: how to save up in advance

#4.  Cut all recurring expenses that you aren’t using or don’t need.

Look at your monthly expenses and see if there is anywhere that you can reasonably cut. Are you using the 100$ a month gym membership? Or does it make more sense to take daily walks and do online yoga classes at home?

My husband and I talk about money often and try to be responsible about our spending. Saving money is all about establishing priorities and having set goals. This has kept us in good financial health and kept us on the same page with our spending habits.

#5.  Look at the easy ways to cut back.

Families dropping from a dual income to a single income usually need to trim expenses somewhere. Make a list of everything you are spending money on, and be honest with yourself about what is an actual need. Here are a few ideas to throw on the table:

  • Nix the coffee cart habit = save $4 a day
  • Pack your lunches = save $12 a day
  • Cancel the cable you are barely using anyway = save $80 a month
  • Cook your meals at home instead of ordering take out = potentially $100’s in savings per month (if you eat out a lot)
  • Go on a 3-6 month spending freeze on things that are not an actual “need” =  $$$

Do you see my point here? There is A LOT of money to be saved if you just pay more attention to what you are spending money on.

I do consider myself somewhat of an expert on “trimming the fat” on my own spending habits since paying off a large amount of student loan debt in a short amount of time.  Saving money for maternity leave as a nurse was a very similar experience.

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#6.  Don’t fall for the baby registry trap.

There are so many items that I was told I had to have for baby #1. Many of them are “nice to have items” that I barely even used (I’m looking at you grocery cart baby cover I only used three times!). Many of these supposed “must-have items” from my baby registry are currently being stored away in my garage and will, at best, find a new home in our local Goodwill.

I remember looking through Pinterest at lists of “must-haves” for the new mom. They are long and mostly unnecessary. Stay away from those lists!

For example, I was told that I “needed” the newborn insert for our stroller. But for the first few months I was using her car seat in her stroller. By the time I went to use the insert, she has already grown out of it.   Same went for the ergo baby newborn insert- I didn’t even need it until she was too big to fit in it anyway.

If you need something, then go ahead and get it. These are just my thoughts as a second-time mom with a lot of baby registry regret. Except for a double stroller and a crib, I can’t think of any other BIG items I will need for our new baby.

#7.  Consider the extra expenses that come with a new baby.

There will be some extra expenses after the baby is born. Some of the big ones for us are diapers, wipes, food, and additional childcare.  None of these things are cheap, so it’s good to be prepared for the expenses in advance.

You could always decide to go the cloth diaper route. I know people who have done this and it does save quite a bit of money. That, however, was not in our savings plan. Some things of convenience are worth the money, and that was one for us.

Other significant expenses include childcare enrichment classes (MyGym, recreation classes, music classes, etc.) if that is something you are interested in.

Childcare is our single biggest expense besides housing.  In fact, if I didn’t have a higher hourly rate that I get from being a per diem nurse, it might not even make financial sense for me to work as an RN.   We have a nanny that comes every Monday and Wednesday, so those are the days that I work at the hospital (plus one day on the weekend when my husband is home to watch the kids).  If you have family that can help on days you work, that would be a huge financial saving.

I have read that the average baby costs their parents $300,000 from the time they are born until the time they turn 18. And that doesn’t even include a college education! I don’t know about you, but that makes me think about how we budget our money. (We have college funds set up for both of our kids, which started the day they were born, but we are still going to encourage them to achieve scholarships!)

#8.  Think about the big picture.

Having a baby is one of the most amazing human experiences I have ever had. I love being a Mom. However, it can also be stressful at times, even with the most thoughtful preparation.

At the end of the day you can only do the best you can. Saving for unpaid maternity leave is just one of the things I did to try and ease the financial loss that comes with having a baby.  It is wise to try and eliminate as much stress as you can so you can joyfully relish in the awesomeness that comes with having a new baby.

Now, if only I could invent a healthy way to live on increments of 2 hours of sleep or less, I would be golden!  Best wishes to you and your growing family.

Are there any other tips on saving money for maternity leave as a nurse you would add to this list?  Leave a comment!

P.S.  HEY, NURSES!  Remember to sign up to receive your FREE E-BOOK “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care”  in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)

Additional Recommended Reading:


9 Tips for Working As A Nurse While Pregnant

9 Tips for Working As A Nurse While Pregnant

*This post may contain affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here. *Post updated on 11/20/19

Nursing is a challenging career, and working 12 hour shifts as a pregnant nurse is no exception.  In fact, most pregnant nurses are concerned about occupational precautions as well as the health of their unborn babies at some point during their pregnancies.

Some of the questions I asked when I was working as a pregnant nurse were:

Was I going to be able to tolerate being on my feet all day? 

What is the best way to prevent dehydration as a pregnant nurse working 12 hour shifts?

And most importantly, how am I going to keep my energy up for my entire shift?!

But by taking proper precautions and always putting safety first, working as a nurse while pregnant is possible. In fact, many nurses work all the way through their pregnancies until a few weeks or days before they give birth.   This information is intended to help you thrive while working as a nurse while pregnant.

Talk to you OBGYN about your concerns about working as a pregnant nurse

First off, it is always important that you talk to your doctor to discuss any occupational concerns you have during your pregnancy. Continue the dialog at your prenatal appointments as you move along your pregnancy.  If you have questions in between your appointments then contact your doctor.

It is also crucial that you communicate with hospital management and your charge nurse about your pregnancy.  They cannot help you avoid potential pregnancy hazards if they don’t know that you are expecting.

Physical challenges of working as a nurse while pregnant

The physicality of working as a pregnant nurse can be very difficult for some women, especially for those working on high acuity floors such as the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.  However, many hospital units are able to offer modified duty for pregnant nurses who have instructions from their doctors to stay off their feet.

However, there are still a few physical challenges that pregnant nurses should consider during nursing shifts:

  • Stress
  • Working night shift or rotating schedules
  • Heavy lifting
  • Exhaustion
  • Standing and walking for long periods of time
  • Managing nausea during shifts

Additional pregnant nurse precautions and occupational hazards to consider

Nursing is unique to many other professions because there are a lot of additional occupational hazards to consider, especially for the pregnant nurse.  Working as a nurse while pregnant can be dangerous for both mom and fetus, therefore it is always important to wear the correct protective equipment or even possible refrain from working with some patients with highly infectious diseases.

Here are a few pregnant nurse precautions to consider:

  • Radiation from diagnostic imaging
  • Standing and walking for long periods of time
  • Working with chemo or other teratogenic medications
  • Risk of infections such as c-diff, tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus, and influenza
  • Physicality of working as a pregnant nurse (such as pulling patients up in bed)
  • Increased risk of varicose veins due to standing for long periods of time
  • Working with violent patient

pregnant nurse talking on phone during a 12 hour shift

Here are 9 helpful tips for pregnant nurses:

1.  Invest in compression stockings or socks

How compression socks help prevent varicose veins

Compression socks and stockings help pregnant nurses by preventing varicose veins due to standing for long periods of time.

During pregnancy, a mother’s blood volume increases by almost 50%!  That’s a lot of extra fluid to be circulating through your body when you are on your feet for 12 hour shifts.  This is also why many pregnant women develop varicose veins during pregnancy.  If you are a pregnant nurse and haven’t invested in compression socks yet, its time to get a couple of pairs ASAP.

Compression stockings are often overlooked as a proactive way to prevent some of the chronic issues that come from working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours.  Pregnant women especially benefit from wearing compression stockings or socks during a 12 hour shift for a few reasons:
  • Prevention of varicose veins
  • Improved blood flow and decreased risk of blood clots
  • Decreased swelling of ankles and feet

I was able to continue working as an emergency room nurse up until the beginning of my ninth month of pregnancy because I invested in a few quality pairs of toe to waist compression stockings.  I wouldn’t have made it past my 6th month without them!

2.  Wear good shoes

NIKE shoes for nurses

Pregnant nurses must make sure they have great shoes to support their growing belly’s.

Every nurse needs a great pair of shoes to get through a 12 hour shift.  But the benefits to wearing quality nursing shoes during pregnancy it is even more important.  You will be carrying an extra 25-35 pounds and your feet need support to carry that extra weight.  If you thought your feet hurt working as a nurse before pregnancy, wait until you are pregnant! Keep in mind that your feet will swell a little more during pregnancy.

Things to look for in a great pair of nursing shoes.

  • Comfort
  • Support and stability
  • Slip resistance
  • Work function
  • Price and warranty

You can read more about the best shoes for nurses here!


3.  Pack healthy and energizing snacks

Almonds: a healthy nurse snack!

Working as a nurse while pregnant requires that you fuel your body with healthy nutrients to keep your energy up!

During my first trimester I struggled quite a bit with nausea and an overwhelming feeling of hungover-ness (without any of the fun the night before).  I was also training to be an ER nurse, so it was more important than ever to be alert and focused.

By packing a lunch with nutritious snacks everyday I was able to keep myself energized as well as fend off nausea enough to get through each shift.  I just couldn’t go more than 2-3 hours without refueling myself with something healthy to eat.

Admittedly, when I forgot to bring food with me I would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the stash we gave our patients.  Although they were nothing special, for some reason they tasted amazing.  Never underestimate the hunger of a pregnant nurse!  I felt so much better and able to continue working afterwards.

Here are a few easy, fast, and high energy snacks to help your pregnant body stay energized through your 12 hour shifts:

  • Trail mix
  • Energy bars
  • Almond butter and apples
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Greek yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Edamame
  • Veggies and hummus


4.  Go to bed as early as you can.

To be a healthy nurse you must get a good night's sleep.

Pregnant nurses need their sleep!

You simply cannot sleep too much when you are pregnant.  This is a fact.

Here is a sleep secret that got my through 12 hour shifts during my pregnancy.  I would go down to the hospital meditation room during my lunch break, find a comfortable chair and literally pass out for 45 minutes.  I set my phone alarm to make sure I was back to work on time.  When it when it went off I was so deep in REM sleep that sometimes I didn’t even know where I was when I woke up.

The only way you are going to have the energy to make it through your pregnancy while working 12 hour shifts is to make sure you get as much sleep as you possibly can every night.  8 hours would be ideal.

5.  Aim for 30 minutes of exercise everyday

women practicing yoga

Prenatal yoga can help pregnant nurses deal with stress throughout their pregnancies.

It seams counter intuitive, but exercising while pregnant will actually give you more energy to get through a 12 hour shift. In addition, exercise during pregnancy prevents gestational diabetes and hypertension.

(It is important to talk to your doctor about starting any exercise routine during pregnancy.  There are rare circumstances when your doctor may not want you to exercise while pregnant.)

Non-impact exercises for pregnant nurses include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Hand weights
  • Low impact aerobics


6.  Reconsider working the night shift

Nurse playing with daughter and examining eyes

Working the night shift can be especially challenging for nurses during their pregnancies. Consider switching to day shift.

The rigorousness of working 12 hour shifts as a nurse is exhausting as it is.  Add pregnancy into the mix and you might find that you are even more tired than ever.

Some pregnant nurses who have already been working night shift continue with that schedule and do just  fine.  However, those who have rotating day and night schedules might find it especially hard to switch back to the night shift once they become pregnant.

Talk to your doctor about whether it is safe for you to continue working night shifts.  Communicate with your manager about your specific health needs during your pregnancy. You may want to switch to a day shift only schedule for the duration of your pregnancy.

7.  Talk to your manager about modified duty

Pregnant Nurse at work

Many facilities are able to offer modified duty for pregnant nurses who can’t be on their feet all day.

As a pregnant nurse it may be necessary to have a modified work assignment.  Especially for nurses who work in rigorous units such as the emergency department.  The physical demands of pregnancy might be too much for pregnant nurses already struggling with fatigue, nausea or having to carry so much extra weight.

Talk to your manager to see if there are alternative assignments you can have such as working at the monitor, organizing paperwork or auditing patient charts.  If these options are not available consider the possibility of working shorter shifts or working two days a week instead of three.

Remember, always ask for help if you need it!

8.  Communicate with management about your intended time to go on maternity leave

It is important to keep open communication with administration about when you intend to go on maternity leave.  As a pregnant nurse, you cannot predict the future.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had every intention of working up until my 38th week.  But when I had my appointment at 31 weeks my doctor thought it was best that I didn’t work on my feet for more 6 hours a day.  While 6 hours seems like a lot in most professions,  it’s not much for a hospital nurse.    Sometimes we are on our feet for 10-12 hours a shift!

Yet, I still didn’t want to go off work because for some reason I felt like I was taking advantage of the system.  I thought I had the grit to work all the way through.  So, I waited for two weeks before I finally presented my doctors note to my manager.  When I finally did, I gave it to him with tears in my eyes because I knew he would have to put me on disability at that time.  My maternity leave started at that moment.

It was a good thing in the long run because I suffered a placental abruption and had an emergency c-section 7 weeks before my due date.  It is wise to listen to your doctor’s advice!

9.  Enjoy your pregnancy

pregnant women's belly

Enjoy your pregnancy, nurse!

Pregnancy can and should be a beautiful experience, even when you are a nurse working 12 hour shifts.  Far too often many pregnant nurses focus on the inconveniences and difficulties they face at work during their pregnancies  But with proper precautions it can – and should – be a time filled with good health, gratitude, abundance and most of all, joy.

Recommended reading for the nurse mom:

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pregnant nurse at the doctors office

Pregnant nurse tips: Working as a nurse while pregnant