Working a physical job up until due date

posted 1 month ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Can you explain this all to your OB, and ask that they submit you for short term disability? You say your OB cleared you to work “unless there are no other complications”, but I see this as a complication. Or the OB can write a note saying you need light duty, and your employer legally would have to accommodate if reasonable. All you need is your OB to state you need temporary disability accommodations and the company cannot legally discriminate against you and must reasonably accommodate as they would with any disability.  

Post # 3
Member
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

View original reply
@neroren41:  If you are doing a lot of lifting and bending i would ask your OB to take you out earlier. I worked up until my due date but it was not a physical job. Your OB should be able to take you out of work if needed. I know you said there is no light duty but it seems that they should be able to accommodate you, not knowing exactly what you do though I guess it’s hard to say. Are you willing to share exactly what you do at work?

Post # 4
Member
3636 posts
Sugar bee

I definitely struggled with lifting my 30 lb toddler (something i do about 90x a day) toward the end of my pregnancy. I don’t work a physical job though so that wasn’t something I had to worry about fortunately. I had bad lower back pain and found that being really mindful of how I lifted her did help somewhat, like making sure to use my legs vs my back when lifting if that makes sense. Not sure how possible that is with your work and the type of lifting you’re needing to do. I also was going to a chiropractor twice a week for the last 8 weeks or so, which helped (though if you choose this path make sure to find a chiro who specializes in pregnant patients).

I think if you’re having pain and feel discomfort going about your job, you should talk to your OB and see about getting a note of some kind? You say you can’t modify your work without changing the nature of your job, but maybe a note could at least excuse any reduced efficiency/performance issues?

Post # 6
Member
1535 posts
Bumble bee

You need to separate out reality from policy.  Ask yourself if there is REALLY no possible accommodation that could be made for you.  It doesn’t matter what the policy is, the employer is required by law to make accommodations for you that do not cause an undue hardship, and undue hardship under the law is a very high bar.  Most jobs with strenuous components also have components that require less exertion, and one accommodation that is commonly made for people recovering from surgery is temporarily restructuring their job so that they do more of the non-strenuous work overall and able coworkers do more of the strenuous.  As an example, if you are a nurse, you could be made responsible for checking more patients’ vital signs, helping them walk to the bathroom, and giving them food and medicine while others are made responsible for turning more patients.  In this example, it wouldn’t be a perfect system because actual lifting of patients is too hazardous to do more than your fair share, but it illustrates what is realistic and what isn’t.

It doesn’t matter that you’re struggling more than others who are pregnant.  As we all know, every pregnancy is different and no two are identical.  Just like with surgery.  Do what you’re able to do and recognize when you’re pushing yourself too hard, listen to your body.  If after carefully considering everything, there is really no possible accommodation that could be made that would allow you to do your job (or parts of your job that you trade with others), then I guess you’ll have to take a leave of absence.  I know you said that making one would change the nature of your job, but you may be thinking along the lines of the current policy rather than what is physically/logistically possible.  Policy goes out the window when it comes to making accommodations.  Good luck.

Post # 8
Member
2909 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

View original reply
@neroren41:  my ob offered note to put me off work as soon as I hit 34w (and he offers them to everyone at that stage).  The idea that “just because you did a task pre pregnancy you should be expected to do it safely in third tri” is RIDICULOUS. I’m a veterinarian, my job has quite a bit of bending and getting down onto the floor (for the big dogs), and it was extremely tiring. i worked until 36.5w and had my cs scheduled at 39w.  I honestly don’t know how people can work until their due date.

Are you close with anyone in your dept that does your job who’s had children?  Can you ask if they have any tips to make the job easier physically? Do you have others who are in your dept you can switch with? 

But back to the ob thing, if they won’t write you a note… is it too late to find a new ob?

 

 

Post # 9
Member
1467 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Your doctor’s attitude of ‘if you could do it before pregnancy you can do it after’ is ridiculous. I keep an active and fit lifestyle (was regularly running 8k multiple times a week) and by month 7 if I even ran 3-4 steps to try to catch my train my husband had to carry me up to bed at night because I was in excruciating SI pain. The only thing that got me through the last 6 weeks of pregnancy were 2x weekly chiro appts and weekly massages…and I work a desk job.

It sounds like your job isn’t very accommodating on restructuring your responsibilities and that you don’t want to push the envelope with them. So it would seem you have two options:

1) take unpaid leave early

2) Push through until due date

If the first, who cares what the culture is of the office. What matters is what your physical and financial comfort levels are.

If the latter, set up life outside of work to support you as much as possible – partner takes on all housework, making sure you’re getting support in your sleep (body pillow or otherwise), and if you start getting physical pain (not just ‘this is hard’) I’d start working with chiro / massage / PT to help you through to the finish line.

Post # 10
Member
3636 posts
Sugar bee

Your OB’s attitude is terrible. It’s utter nonsense that something you could do pre pregnancy is automatically safe during pregnancy, esp at the bitter end when you’re as big as a whale and simple things like tying your shoes are challenging.

That doctor’s attitude would not give me warm fuzzies heading into the final weeks of my pregnancy. Do you otherwise like this provider?

Post # 11
Member
28 posts
Newbee

I’m sorry you’re facing this dilemma!! Heavy lifting later in pregnancy can have some really negative impacts on you and the baby, including pre-term delivery. I would definitely  find another doctor who is willing to make a better choice in supporting you. In late pregnancy it was difficult for me to move myself from place to place, let alone carry anything! 

Post # 12
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Based on your job description I’m pretty sure I know what you do as I work in the healthcare field as well. 

I would dump your OB and find one that actually cares about your concerns. You shouldn’t be doing what your doing if it has now be some too difficult for you. It’s not safe for your patients and most importantly, it’s not safe for you and your baby. 

Post # 13
Member
2731 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I would also advise finding a new care provider…someone who thinks you should be able to do the exact same things at EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT just because there’s nothing obviously wrong with your pregnancy isn’t someone I’d trust to respond compassionately to any potential scares/issues in the last few months. I’m 4 weeks ahead of you, have had an easy breezy pregnancy from a physical standpoint (no real aches or pains to speak of beyond a sore back if I sit too long, which I’m thankful for!), and still can’t do half the things I did pre-pregnancy. Their expectations are unrealistic. 

I do think it’s important to look at your benefits though. Unfortunately, the reason most people work up until labor is because every day you take off before baby comes means one fewer day with baby. It’s shitty and I would be absolutely shocked if studies didn’t show that the “work until you crown” phenomenon in the US increased risks of complications/depression. I work a boring desk job and I’m already worrying about those last few weeks, logistically…I wish we lived in a civilized place that recognized that the last few weeks of pregnancy aren’t really ideal for working 40 hours a week physically, mentally, emotionally, or even in a way that makes you a productive employee. 

Post # 15
Member
2731 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

View original reply
@neroren41:  I wouldn’t think the STD would be a major issue, it’s more about FMLA if you fall under it. You get 12 weeks per 52 week year, so using weeks before baby means fewer after (unless your employer has other policies). 

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