Post # 1
So I know I’m jumping the gun a little here, but DH and I are TTC and I’ve been thinking about the future in my job. I’m a vet tech at an emergency equine hospital and so Ive got some hazardous conditions that I’m slightly worried about. I deal with quite a few medications and chemicals that even normal people must be cautious about (wearing gloves etc), radiology, being on your feet for hours during colic surgery, and just the rough and tumble life of dealing with scared/young horses. I had a coworker who was pregnant but she was only in her first trimester when she moved away. At that point she had been avoiding the hazardous treatments and didn’t help with X-rays anymore, but what about when the baby is bigger and less protected? Is there a point in a physical job like this where you’re showing too much to do your work? how do you know when to stop?
also, since you’d have to tell work right away you don’t really get that grace period of waiting until the miscarriage risk is over. Do you tell your family before You tell work?
has anyone else dealt with a pregnancy in a hazardous work environment? How did it all go?? (Or dealt with a pregnancy around horses in general!)
Post # 2
Equine_Breeder: My work environment was not hazardous with any chemicals but it was “rough and tumble” wih lots of physical activity. I coach youth alpine ski racing so obviously I was skiing everyday (plus we workout with the kids) and we do lots of set up for races and stuff with heavy rolls of net, 40 pound bags of salt, bundles of gates, etc. There is a lot of standing around as well. I was not too worried about the physical activity part, I read a lot of stuff about physical exertion during pregnancy and it seemed fine. Also the embryo and fetus is SO well-protected in the uterus, especially in the first tri and into the second. I told work at 13 weeks and when I finished the season in April I was 27 weeks and still able to do my job just fine (although I was tired of squuezing into my ski pants and my feet had gotten wider, making my boots pretty uncomfortable). The hazardous chemicals/radiation, however, is a whole different ballgame, and I would be very cautious about that. I would think you’d need to tell at least your boss right away so you could adapt your work environment. I would also talk to your OB or midwife about what things are important to avoid, because some things might be harmful even during the TTC phase. Good luck! I’m sure there are more horse people on here that will be more helpful than I was!
Post # 3
Equine_Breeder: I worked in a medical lab while pregnant, did not work with radiation at the time but did in the past. I was greatly concerned about the safety of my baby so I contacted the safety department and notified my supervisor after I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t like telling people so early, but since I worked with harmful chemicals, it was necessary. The lab safety department sent someone to the lab and they inspected the lab to make sure proper protocol was taking place and that there was proper ventilation. She also had a monitor to see the amount of exposure I would encounter doing certain tasks. Everything passed but I still avoided certain tasks when possible. As for the radiation, there is a limit to how much exposure you can safely have during your pregnancy, I do not recall what it is. We had a radiation safety presentation and was told I need to alert them if I ever become pregnant. They had a monitor I would have to wear to keep track of how much I would have been exposed to. Hope this helped and made some sense. My son is sleeping on me so I had to type this one handed.
Post # 4
Radiation is important to avoid more in EARLY pregnancy when the organs are forming. That’s when the greatest concern is, not later in pregnancy.
Post # 5
I’m a little worried about this too. I work in surgery where X-rays are VERY common. I wear a leaded apron/thyroid shield every surgery. However, logistically it just doesn’t make sense for me to leave the OR every time they shoot. It would hold things up. So my plan is to wear a lead skirt and a lead apron (double coverage) whenever I get pregnant. You really can’t hide it for 13 weeks since you need to be safe. Oh well. Better safe and have people know I’m pregnant. I’ll step out of the room whenever possible though… still just in the TTC stages. Although I’ve found myself extra cautious during the TWW too. I try to get further away from the machine.
Post # 6
Well yeah, of course I would say something right away to them. And not do X-rays/dangerous chemicals anymore. I guess, thinking my question over again, im worried about the physical part more. I was stepped on and squished against a wall just last week by a young horse and I imagined it going badly with a big pregnant belly!
But youre right, id rather have people know im pregnant than be unsafe. And I’d want my family to know first so I guess I’d just tell them right away and hope for the best
Post # 7
I’m a nurse and yeah we deal with a lot of drugs, chemicala, fluoro, combative patients, etc. Honestly that’s just life in health are. When your pregnant you just have to be super carefuL, have ameone else handle materials that are too risky for you to deal with. In this case Ita pronablu beneficial for your employer to know ASAP. Whenever they would use fluoro in procedure I just wore lead and stood behind lead shield, but I skipped out on procedures unless it was vital I be there.
Post # 8
Not sure if it would be the same but I work in a research lab. We are told to inform our Health and Safety Officer when we are TRYING to get pregnant. They will then go through what activities we do and which ones to avoid in order to not hinder our chance of conceiving (handling of certain chemicals and such). You might want to feel around and see if this is the same for you.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2013 - Rustic mill, historical site
I don’t work in the same type of environment, but I paint cars, so from the moment I drive into the lot I’m at risk, LOL. I miscarried in December, so I was terrified to tell anyone about my pregnancy shortly after, I found out before 4 weeks and waited till 7 weeks to call my doctor and he wasn’t very happy with me. He pulled me out of work, the government here doesn’t allow people with my type of job to work because of how toxic everything is (chemicals, solvents, vehicle fumes, heavy parts, working under cars… you name it). I told work before we told the rest of the family a few weeks later. It was hard to keep the secret but I was so scared to lose this pregnancy too and have to explain to everyone that I had lost it.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Equine_Breeder: I’ve thought about this too… we’re not TTC yet but when we are, it’ll be an issue at my job as well. I ride an ATV a lot, hike long distances, etc. I think it makes the most sense to tell your boss/employer about the pregnancy pretty early and ask them to keep it quiet until you’re ready to make an announcement.
Post # 11
I work in health care and told some of my nurse co-workers earlier than I would normally prefer. We have some combative patients, so since the nurses knew I was pregnant they were more available to help me when working with these particular kids. I have even had a few docs send certain kids to other locations for blood draws so I wouldn’t be at risk of being kicked or anything. In general, if you’re honest and up-front, accommodations can be made (within reason, of course).
Post # 12
So most of you told work and then kept it from your family a while longer?
Post # 13
I don’t work in a dangerous field, but I rode horses for 20 years and have worked in a lab, so I do know the risks! I would tell my family right when I find out, even if I don’t have to tell work. I figure that I would tell them if I miscarry, so I might as well tell them when I get pregnant. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to keep the secret from my mom! She lives across the country, but we talk every day. Anyway, I would tell my family and then probably just see how things go at work and if I’m put in an uncomfortable situation, I would tell them I’m pregnant and don’t feel comfortable doing that. If it didn’t come up sooner, I would probably tell them at 10 weeks or something.
Post # 14
I don’t work with dangerous chemicals but I am a correctional officer in a mens facility. I just found out I am pregnant and i had to tell right away. I wouldnt want to put the baby at risk even though it’s causing a lot of confusion at work. They really had no plan on what to do with someone who is pregnant even though they have duty to accomidate. So I would talk to your employer and find a way to reduce the risk
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
I would tell work as early as possible. The early stages are crucial fo fetal development and all that.
I teach 16, 17 and 18 year olds. Is that considered hazardous? Can I have a doctor’s note to beg off work for a few months?