Post # 1
Any bees out there work in an environmental lab? I wanted to hold off from telling my employer/coworkers about my pregnancy, however I am having a hard time figuring out which chemicals I should avoid completely. I always wear gloves and and do have a hood for mixing/pouring solutions with strong odors. Just not sure if I should take further precautions. Based on my LMP I am 5 weeks today. One girl was pregnant there about a year ago, but she was on bed rest for most of her pregnancy so I can’t base much off her. Before that its been like 20 years and we are a very small company so I doubt anyone will have much more insight for me :/
How soon did you tell your employer?
Post # 2
MandasAnnie: I would talk to your doctor first and say what he/she says about the chemicals that you work with. I know a lot of women don’t tell their employer until second trimester, but I’m willing to bet that your doctor will want you to tell them ASAP.
Post # 4
I did talk to my doctor when ttc, however she is not familiar with most of the stuff that I work with and said she would provide a letter to say I couldnt work with anything I didn’t feel comfortable with. MSDS sheets are mostly inconclusive. Might just have to tell.
Post # 5
I too work in an environmental lab (very excited to meet someone else here who does too!). However, I have never been pregnant so I have no firsthand advice for you. In the past a few of my female coworkers have waited to make a general announcement but i assume that our supervisors knew earlier as some of their research did change. For example, one woman worked extensively with radioactive tracers but suddenly her project was restructured and she stopped working with anything hot. Because it was such a big shift i assume that our boss was aware early on. It did also make me suspect, although I doubt the men we worked with were so observant lol.
I would second pp and consult with your Dr. but it may be the case that, at least your supervisor, will need to be made aware depending on the nature of your research.
Best of luck andcongratulations
Post # 6
if you feel unsafe for any reason, i would tell your supervisor. you can ask for discression.
i told my supervisor when i was going through infertility treatments. then i told her pretty early on that i was pregnant. she kept it secret and i didn’t tell my coworkers until i was 14 weeks.
Post # 7
My friend works in a lab, not sure which kind, and she told her boss immediately to avoid certain tasks that weren’t safe. I would tell your supervisor right away. They may also be more knowledgable on which chemicals you need to stay away from. If they aren’t, I’d start doing some research ASAP on that so you know. My friend told her supervisor, but only him, until she was ready to announce to everyone else. Safety is the most important thing!
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
MandasAnnie: our micro lab manager is pregnant. She told our section leader as soon as possible and was kept from doing certain lab tasks. I would speak with your supervisors as soon as possible. Rather be safe than sorry. I work with our microbiology, parasitology and virology labs and our microbiology manager stayed mostly doing office work rather than lab work during her pregnancy and we shifted a lot fo the media prep, sample colleciton, and slide reading to our techs so she was kept out of the labs as much as possible and was only in there when needed. Although this was her choice and preference and she was very very cautious. I don’t think it would be necessary to go as far as she did but she did what made her comfortable and we accomodated it with no problem, you should do the same and do what makes you feel safe.
Post # 9
Thanks for advice everyone! I have decided I will tell my manager tomorrow.. Telling my parents tonight 🙂
Post # 10
I worked at a university that had an environmental safety coordinator. I would find your office’s equivalent and tell them. They would know what chemicals you need to stay away from. Some places even require that you inform them. If you have an employee handbook it would be worth looking into.
Post # 11
I was in grad school working in a chemical lab during my first pregnancy. I told my supervisor about the pregnancy right away, but I wasn’t that concerned. I worked with a lot of acids and bases but used the hood all the time with gloves and arm protection, and I felt safe. The only change was that my research at the time involved HF which is a REALLY nasty acid, so my supervisor had me avoid working with it directly. As far as other chemicals, anything can be dangerous and MSDS sheets have to tell you the worst possible effects. But for me, working with mostly small amounts and dilutions, it wasn’t a big deal. The working environment also matters. I was usually in the lab by myself or with one other person, I was in charge of my own space, and I didn’t have distractions or other people creating hazards. If you work in a lab that’s usually chaotic or high-pressure, it might affect how safe it is.
Post # 12
I do biochemistry and molecular biology research, and I told my boss right away, so he’d know I couldn’t do certain procedures. Nobody else in our lab is empowered to tell me what to do, so I didn’t tell them until I was three months.