Post # 1
Hey bees. I just had yet another job interview today. I’m not sure if I’ll get the job, but I started thinking about how I would do this physically demanding job once I get pregnant. I plan to be pregnant within a year as soon as I can upgrade my job situation.
I’d love to hear from any currently or previously pregnant bees with phsically demanding jobs that continued working through your pregnancy. What kind of physical labor do/did you do – standing, walking, lifting, etc? How early did you tell your boss about your pregnancy? What kind of accomodations did your employer make for your pregnancy? Did you experience any discrimination or resentment from your employers? Any other work-related problems? Did you return to work after having your baby?
Post # 3
Sorry I can’t answer all your questions because I don’t technically have an employer. I own my own wedding photography company, and as you can imagine it is a very physically demanding job. It’s being on your feet 10 hours straight, running around whilst carrying 40lbs of gear over your shoulder. Crouching, climbing, moving quickly to be in the right place at the right time for shots. We also drag in heavy lightstands and portable lighting for receptions. I told most of my clients whose weddings I would be pregnant for at 13 weeks when the risk of miscarriage drops significantly. I planned to work up to 33 weeks and gave the clients from 30-33 weeks the option of a refund or keeping me on as their photographer. Two took the refund and I have to say I was pretty hurt.
I actually ended up rebooking their dates with clients who had no issues with my pregnancy and just worked one of them (a 10-hour wedding up in the mountains this past weekend) and my second shooter and I did an amazing job for the clients. I was told by several guests I was the hardest working wedding photographer they’d ever seen. I have a wedding this weekend as well at 33 weeks, and I’m happy it’s my last one until the baby’s born, but I probably could have kept going if I really really had to. Discrimination sucks and it happens – not every employer will be understanding, especially in a physical job. Pregnancies are unpredictable but I think a good work ethic can carry you through a good lot of it. I worked my last two weddings in spite of being 32.5 weeks pregnant suffering from anemia, stomach ulcers, migraines, and active pancreatitis. Don’t let anyone tell you you cant do something – you know your own body and your physical limitations better than anyone.
ETA: I’ll let you know how quickly I can return to work after the baby is born, but I plan to try to go back pretty darn early, with backup plans in place in case I can’t.
Post # 4
@PandasWifey: Thank you for responding! My industry is similar to yours – lifting and carrying heaving equipment, being on your feet for a long time, etc. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been able to do all those things while pregnant. I had a colleague in my industry years ago who got reassigned to a desk job with the company as soon as she announced her pregnancy. I’m not sure if she was high risk for some reason, but I guess I had the impression that she couldn’t physically do the job. Maybe she was forced into it, or maybe she just wanted to change jobs. You must be so excited that you are getting close to your due date now! Very happy for you 🙂
Anybody else? I’d love to hear some other experiences.
Post # 5
I work in a Veterinary Hospital. I told my boss as soon as I found out. I can’t work with cats, radiation or anesthesia. I am not technically allowed to lift over 10 lbs, but I have been doing it anyway because I hate to be completely useless. I am on my feet constantly and I rarely take my breaks, I get too busy to even want to take one. I still restrain difficult patients and I am beat by the end of the day. I get one day off a week and often times work a 10+ hour shift. I have had slight nausea but nothing that has affected my work. I have only had to ask for certain days off or to get off of work earlier to go to my doctor’s appointments.
I am alittle over 12 weeks, so this might change as I get larger and may need to train as a receptionist for awhile.
My co-workers are more then understanding and very protective of me, often times taking over if they catch me struggling.
My husband and I had a chat a couple nights ago about me returning to work. We both do not like the idea of daycare and would prefer that I stay home for awhile. We are going to look over how we will do on one income and what sacrifices will have to be made before we make an ultimate decision.
Post # 6
My wedding photographer was (still is preg). She was 8 months at the wedding. She did great. But we fed her a few times through the day. Lots of places for her to sit down. She had her hubs (they work together) and her assistant with her as well. All she did was shoot. The assistant and hubs carried everything.
Post # 7
I work in engineering and it can involve lots of walking, carrying heavy equipment, going to construction sites and sometimes being around lead, gasoline and other hazards. Some of the work is at odd hours. But there’s also a lot of report writing.
I’ve been doing this job for five years and did more office work than the really physical stuff, but when I got pregnant my office was very short-staffed. I was very nervous about telling my boss that I can’t pitch in like everyone else, so I spent a month coming up with excuses why I can’t do some things until I finally told her. She took the news very well and said she’d make sure I’m not around hazardous materials or anything that involves heavy lifting. I’m still doing a lot of walking for building inspections, but it’s not that hard so far (I’m in my second trimester). I can still carry 10-15 pounds OK, but if it’s something bigger, I ask one of my coworkers to help me with it.
My office is very family-friendly and there’s a lot of flexibility with work hours, so I’ll go back to work after the baby is born. I’m a little worried about having someone look after him if I’m getting sent on assignments on short notice, but I hope my coworkers will understand that I need to plan ahead now!
Good luck with the interviews! Hopefully when you’re pregnant, you’ll be able to work out some kind of accomodation where you can do less physical work or take breaks, and have someone help you with the heavy lifting.
Post # 8
@Cady: It sounds like you have a great support system at work, that’s awesome! I hope I end up with a boss that is someone I can trust to tell about the (potential) pregnancy that early.
I’d love to hear more stories! Anyone working retail? That’s what I’m doing at the moment, although right now it’s part time.
Post # 9
Darling Husband and I flip houses for our summer job. It’s incredibly demanding physically– I’m on my feet 8-12 hours a day lifting/bending/handling tools. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and just last week I helped DH carry a 15’x12′ roll of carpet up to our second story. Although I don’t have a “boss,” we have had to make special adjustments for my condition. I have to take breaks to put my feet up every hour or two (just like a 15 minute break to elevate them). I can’t be on ladders/step stools. I do have to be careful with what I choose to lift. I take a bath last thing at night before I go to bed and first thing in the morning to try to loosen my muscles(lots of stretching too!). I was honestly doing great with the whole thing until last week– I just started getting tired since baby is getting so big! I’m hoping for a surge of energy these last few weeks 🙂 We already bought a new house to renovate after baby is born, so I guess I will be “returning to work” if not in the traditional sense. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!
What type of physically demanding work are you considering? Going full time to retail?
Post # 10
@CEtoSAHM: Wow, you badass pregnant ladies continue to amaze me! My field is technical production for events. I lost my job a few months ago and I’m still trying to find full time work. Another option if I don’t find full time work in that field might be to continue with retail full time.
Post # 11
One of my co-workers worked retail during and after her pregnancies many years ago. I don’t know a ton of details, but sounded like other than being extra tired and extra swelling from being on her feet, she managed fine. She did mention having to fully take advantage of her lunch/break times to sit and rest, whereas she wouldn’t always take her breaks before.
Post # 12
I waitressed pregnant 10hr shifts in a busy resteraunt