to have so much time off work due to morning sickness?

(45 Posts)
CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:00:26

Am 8 weeks pregnant with first DC. Have felt like death since week 4. Rarely throw up but the nausea and exhaustion is overwhelming.

GP has been very supportive, keeps trying me on different drugs (prochloperazine then Phenergan) but nothing helps.

Been signed off for 3 weeks now, am confident I could get this extended if need be. I get ok sick pay so that's not an issue.

Problem is, I'm not getting any better and I don't want work to think I'm taking the piss.

Is it unreasonable to tale so much time off? I feel like others must have this but plough on regardless?

I just can't get off the sofa/bathroom floor sad

Posted here rather than pregnancy threads for traffic.

Oh don't worry, take the time off. I didn't have a day off from full time work with dd3 (I was sick in every pregnancy but was a student with dd1 and worked evenings with dd2 so not as tricky). I threw up so much at work, felt like death but I kept going because I felt I should. Well whilst on maternity leave they completely screwed me career wise. I should have had time off in the first trimester and taken care of myself. I ended the pregnancy a stone lighter than I started it! Nobody gives you credit for struggling on believe me. Take the time you need and take care of yourself.

ananikifo Sat 20-Jul-13 19:09:21

If you can't work, it's reasonable to be off with sickness. Only you and your doctor can make that decision. Every woman's experience is different so don't try to compare yourself to other women. People can say they had morning sickness and they may be talking about anything ranging from occasional mild nausea to vomiting multiple times daily and becoming seriously dehydrated.

Reastie Sat 20-Jul-13 19:11:06

Please just take the time off and rest. I had the same thing and ended out being signed off pretty much my whole pregnancy confused . I hated it at the time and felt so guilty and feeble and miserable that other people seemed to carry on fine and I couldn't. It hits some people really badly and interestingly I found the women who'd had children were much less considerate and understanding than the men - they genuinely thought I could eat a ginger biscuit and be fine angry . Just take however long you need - it's impossible to take more time off than I did (I was signed off at 4 weeks! Tried gradual returning around 20 weeks but it didn't work out so went back to being signed off). It's a completely miserable time when you feel so rough (but so joyful in other ways) and just take each day as it comes. FWIW 8 weeks I think was my worst week, maybe you'll start perking up soon <hopeful>. Try different drugs as you might just need to find one that works better for you (although I had the nausea worst - like I was 5 seconds away from being sick all the time non stop) and I don't think drugs can't help that. Stress and tiredness make it worse though so rest and don't stress.

Thurlow Sat 20-Jul-13 19:15:30

Nope, take the time off. It's horrendous. Hopefully it will start to ease soon - though my actual sickness lasted for a long time, I found that during the second trimester I was less knackered and was able to cope even while being sick a few times a day, it all wasn't so bad and I'd started to work out how to eat and drink to still feel sort of ok around the sickness. Hope you feel better soon.

(PS - I've noticed that MS/HG seems to be an area where some women can get quite competitive and talk about how they soldiered on and how you'll be fine, just take a bag to be sick in, and if they managed without drugs then you should 'give in' and take them hmm so take no notice and do whatever you feel you need to do)

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:15:33

Reastie that's exactly how I feel "always five seconds away from being sick"!

Thanks for your posts ladies, it does help to hear others views on this.

It just doesn't feel like a "proper illness" I guess. It's definitely not HG as I can keep hydrated.

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:18:05

Actually maybe its more like a permanent hangover, except there's no headache and a dirty cheese burger wouldn't help.

soverylucky Sat 20-Jul-13 19:18:08

You know yourself whether you are well enough or not to work. I hope that you will feel better soon. I felt terrible for the whole time but wasn't so bad that I needed to be off work from about 22 weeks.

phantomnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 19:20:36

pg sickness is grim, especially in this heat when you cant even keep water down. 11 long years ago when pg with DD2 I ended up in hospital on a drip for a week.
if you need to stay off, stay off - sounds like GP is helpful so don't worry about work.

monicalewinski Sat 20-Jul-13 19:22:28

To be brutally honest, people you work with may probably think you're taking the piss so I wouldn't be surprised if comments are made; BUT, it is none of their business.

If you are having a difficult time and your doctor has signed you off then take it and to hell with other people. I worked until the week I gave birth with both of mine (to maximise my maternity leave following birth as I was only entitled to 4 months), with DS1 I soldiered on through heaps of crap and made myself really ill - with DS2 I took time off when I needed and had a much easier pregnancy.

Be ready for snarky comments, but try your hardest to ignore - your health is the most important thing, for you and your baby. Hope it eases up for you and you feel better soon xx

Meglet Sat 20-Jul-13 19:24:49

yanbu. I had the tiredness and nausea in my first pregnancy. It felt like being drugged with sleeping tablets and being sea sick. I spent a week off work in bed, just surfacing to snack then I'd sleep again. I wasn't in any fit state to drive or work.

Then I was cursed with extreme sickness in my second pregnancy and the GP drugged me with anti-sickness pills so I could keep water down. I wasn't at work for a couple of weeks that time around.

If it's any consolation I was at work and the gym by month 3 and feeling much more human.

CheeseFondueRocks Sat 20-Jul-13 19:25:43

If you are too unwell too work, you are too unwell. It's as simple as that.

With DD1 I was signed off for the whole pregnancy to due sickness. I'm now 13 weeks with DC2 and have been off for 7 weeks. I hope to go back in a month or something. I do feel bad for my employer, I work a a smallish family run business (not the same place I was working with the last pregnancy) and I feel bad but they have been nothing but great. Bear in mind that I was only working there for 2 months when I became pregnant.

So really, don't worry. In my experience, stress makes the sickness worse so it's better to take a few weeks off and come back refreshed than push yourself through it and be useless at work for months potentially.

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:27:16

That is some consolation, thanks smile

I really miss work/gym/eating so am really hoping this switches itself off soon!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 20-Jul-13 19:31:53

I think if you are on drugs then it is more than "normal" morning sickness.

Make sure you discuss the drugs when you do go back so that your co workers realise this.

CheeseFondueRocks Sat 20-Jul-13 19:32:28

I'm just slowly coming out the other side now where I can think of food without vomitting. I guess what made it difficult for me is that I work with food so there's no way to escape the smells and stuff that sets me off.

ananikifo Sat 20-Jul-13 19:32:58

When a colleague was off for weeks with sickness we talked about how sheets be going through hell. Nobody made comments about her taking the piss, not even in her absence. When she came back she still looked tired and sick. So your colleagues may be sympathetic than you think.

MortifiedAdams Sat 20-Jul-13 19:33:00

The people at work might grumble. Theres nothing you can do about it, its their problem. They fail to see that you dont actually want to feel like this!

I have days where I feel seasick alllllll day. Then I have days like today where there is no nausea and I have no appetite whatsoever, so feel lethargic. Ive been to a BBQ today and managed one sausage. Thats it sad but better than the sickness.

Take the time. You dont get any thanks for not

ananikifo Sat 20-Jul-13 19:33:25

She must, not sheets

ananikifo Sat 20-Jul-13 19:34:11

She must, not sheets

Paintyourbox Sat 20-Jul-13 19:37:26

Hey OP, take the time off!

I had hyperemesis during my pg and it was horrendous. Couldn't even walk into the kitchen- the mere thought of food made me sick.

I ended up in hospital on a drip and so was forced to take time off. I could have had longer but dragged myself back to work, unable to eat the whole time I was there. Wish I had taken the time off as my employers later tried to make me redundant when I was 7 months pg.

Reastie Sat 20-Jul-13 19:39:20

that's what I found frustrating OP - I just wanted to be able to work and do my normal things. I felt a fraud taking time off when I didn't have HG and wasnt being sick all the time but I just wasn't capable of working.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 20-Jul-13 19:39:26

I think the problem is some people have morning sickness and its just the odd moment of nausea. Some of these people find it particularly hard to understand why some women may need time off. I was told that coming into work might "take my mind off it and make me feel better".
Fortunately my doctor was more sympathetic and once you have the sick note there is nothing they can legally do.

BikeRunSki Sat 20-Jul-13 19:40:39

I had 8 weeks off in both pg, and was in and out of hospital from weeks 8-14 both times. It was hideous, but did, one day in week 15, just stop. Just like that. Both times. Work were really supportive, luckily I have a female boss!

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:41:26

My colleagues are generally an ok bunch so am not overly concerned about them tbh.

If they did have any snide comments they would more than likely say them to my face so I could challenge it.

I guess I just worry that billions of women have gone before me popping out babies and still carrying on and getting on with it, whereas I feel pathetic for feeling like this.

Thanks for you replies tho, I think I will speak to my GP again on Monday.

CheeseFondue I really feel for you working with food! Everything smells VILE at the mo!

Thurlow Sat 20-Jul-13 19:44:51

Yes, millions of women have been pg and have carried on, but not as many get such bad sickness - and did you know they think Charlotte Bronte died of it? shock So it just shows that sickness can be absolutely bloody awful. Take all the rest and/or nausea drugs you need to.

strawberryswing Sat 20-Jul-13 19:45:08


When I was pregnant I had dreadful sickness, throwing up about ten times a day, could keep nothing down etc. I thought I just had to plod on, I went to Uni and work and popped off on sick breaks. Anyway I made myself ten times worse because I didn't get the rest I needed, I was utterly exhausted.

If I could go back I would take all the time off in the world! Your body is going through enough as it is, dont make it worse for yourself if you.dont need to.

And it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, its hard to understand unless you've been through severe sickness but it really can be debilitating. Rest and good luck x

5amisnotmorning Sat 20-Jul-13 19:47:23

Fellow sufferer here too! DC 2 on its way and been signed of for the last 2 weeks.

Not throwing up all the time this time (last time was 5-6 times a day but could keep water down) but literally can do something for about 10 minutes and then have to lie down. Can drink water but struggling to eat food. I have had nausea and tiredness since about a week after conception but this is a whole different level. Lost a stone already and quite honestly feel like I have flu combined with alcohol poisoning the whole time.

Last time I pushed myself and kept going back for a week and then having to be signed off for a week. Not doing it this time despite being in a senior management position now! I'm sure I probably should feel guilty but I know from experience that the stress makes it much worse so have switched off my blackberry..

I am sure you are the same that you would love to be in work rather than feeling like this!

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:49:38

Thurlow OMG really?? Wow! I can believe it tho. Am lucky that the drugs mean I can keep water down. I can't imagine how awful it would be to have HG/MS and no access to drugs/a drip.

Am on my phone so can't name check everyone (going on the computer seems to make it worse!), but thank you everyone for your replies!

Mogz Sat 20-Jul-13 19:50:13

OP take as much time as you need, you and baby are far more moorland than work. I've been off for almost 3 months with hyperemesis, I know my work are not happy but unless they want me spewing and fainting over my colleagues there's not much they can do. Individuals from work have been ver sweet and supportive though.

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:52:48

Urgh Mogz that sounds awful.

EeyoreIsh Sat 20-Jul-13 19:55:09

I'm now 11+4. I've had very similar morning sickness in that I've had pretty constant nausea, exhaustion and an upset stomach. I have been able to eat very little, so I've lost 4kg in just over two weeks.

I battled on with work until week nine, working from home rather than the long commute. By then I was such an exhausted mess I went to the gp. He put me onto reduced hours.

The last two weeks have been easier but I've still struggled. I'm tempted to ask for a total sign off as I have days (weds-Fri last week) when I'm exhausted and constantly ill. It has got better, but I've find it's much better one day but then several days back to where it was. I think I find the bad days harder as my body is more exhausted.

So don't feel bad for getting signed off. If you need to, you need to!

3boys3dogshelp Sat 20-Jul-13 19:56:08

I'm pregnant with my third and honestly can't believe how well I have felt this time. If I had felt like this first time round I would have been one of those people who couldn't understand what the fuss was about! But first pregnancy my doctor actually wouldn't let me go in for 6 weeks and basically said he was giving me a sick note and that was final. I could hardly eat at all, sick a lot and kept going dizzy/faint as my bp was very low. I have quite a physical job where I stand all day, work nights on call and do 13 hour shifts so not really safe. I felt really guilty and was sure my employers would hate me but they were great. They even bent over backwards to accommodate me part time when I went back :-). 8 weeks was rubbish for me too, then one day a few weeks later I just woke up and
didn't feel like death! Hope it happens to you too.

thelma3333 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:06:39

op, I was sick up to 10 times a day with both dc'c up to about 14 weeks, then got slowly better and completely stopped by 28 weeks. Weeks 8 -10 were the worst for me. It affects everyone differently. I took one week off for second preg but I was allowed to work from home twice a week during sickness which helped. And then worked from home compltely for last two months as my commute was 4 hour round trip and I had other probs. please please do not feel bad. You and your baby r the most important thing. Look after yourself

thelma3333 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:11:04

Just in case it helps, I spent my frost preg trying really hard not to be sick, but second preg i ate like a horse and just realised I was going to be sick soon. It was utterly depressing though feeling that ill for such a long time.

grimbletart Sat 20-Jul-13 20:37:02

OP, You are ill and if you are ill, pregnant or not, take the time off. Your health and your baby's is the most important thing.

And I am saying that as one of these lucky women who had no sickness or nausea at all in pregnancy so might be expected not to understand or sympathise. But I do understand, and I do sympathise.

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:45:57

Thanks GrimbleTart that's a very nice thing to say.

HamwidgeAlive Sat 20-Jul-13 20:50:47

OP I am in your boat. 8w pg, managed one day at work in the past two weeks. I was so sick this week I ended up in hospital.

During my last pregnancy I struggled into work, having to pull over to vomit several times aling the way. This time I am resting. I feel like I've been hit by a bus. Had to lie down for a couple of hours and have a nap after a shower today. Not good!

Take as much time as you need.

thetrackisback Sat 20-Jul-13 20:55:40

Mmmmmm I felt this rough in my second pregnancy ...,.. Turned out it was twins.,,,,, just saying!

babyhmummy01 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:58:24

cylon yadnbu I ended up with 8 and a couple of hospital visits for drips. I couldn't keep.a thing down, even water and kept going dizzy and light headed from it. I lost nearly 2 stone in that time I was so ill. Pregnancy itself may not be an illness but the side effects can be incredibly debilitating and it is important that you rest and let your body recover

bringonyourwreckingball Sat 20-Jul-13 21:07:13

Try ignoring the fact you're pregnant and just think about how dreadful you feel. If you felt this bad because of eg gastroenteritis/flu/migraine you'd stay off, wouldn't you? Whereas you wouldn't for a headache. The only difference with pregnancy is it potentially lasts longer, but if you're not fit for work then you're not fit for work and you shouldn't feel bad about it. You never asked to feel this awful and someone else could just as easily fall over skiing or rock climbing or even get hit by a bus and be off for weeks.

CPtart Sat 20-Jul-13 21:10:06

I had several weeks off with sickness early in both my pregnancies. It was so bad I could barely gets to the bathroom, I used to lie heaving into a bowl in the spare room in the middle of the night. No way could I have done my job (district nurse), I could barely get dressed.
When I did return I still felt lousy for several weeks and used to drive round patients with a plastic bag on the passenger seat just in case!

CylonNumber6 Sat 20-Jul-13 21:11:33

That's a good way of looking at it. you're right, if I felt this way without being pregnant I still wouldn't be going in.

Sorry others are feeling the same, its shite isn't it! Hope you all feel better soon!

Lol @ the idea of twins, it had crossed my mind and they do run in the family!

Funghoul Sat 20-Jul-13 21:12:10

Ran countless times to throw up at work and would be in toilets ages. Ended up off work for 3 weeks. I had a few snide comments from one person who has never had children so I said my piece back.
Morning sickness is horrendous, have never felt so bad. It's physically draining because you can't keep anything down, but mentally too because you spend so long feeling shit.
Rest as much as you can. You would never have been given medication if you didn't need it, and your doctor wouldn't have signed you off work. I did go back too soon and it didnt help, and ended up leaving earlier than I was intending on. Take as much time as you need because you need to think about you and your baby. Good luck.

needaholidaynow Sat 20-Jul-13 21:17:15

YADNBU!! Morning Sickness can be so debilitating and this is often overlooked and the ignorance surrounding it, often by men who obviously have never had to put up with it or women who have no sympathy because they had very little morning sickness and bang on about you being pregnant "not ill" , is shocking.

Take the time off.

SupSlick Sat 20-Jul-13 22:03:24

Don't feel guilty!
With ds I was signed off from 7 weeks with HG until he popped out!
26 hospital admissions for dehydration, lost three stone during the pregnancy, teeth are ruined from being sick so much =[ (sorry this isn't meant to make you feel worse, honest!)
It wasn't just the sickness, it was the tiredness & how utterly drained I felt just from walking from my bed to the kitchen.
I put so much pressure on my self to return to work, I would go in for 20 minutes & throw up all over the floor, and even still no one at work really understood the full effect the pregnancy was having on me, they thought I was being pfb about it & that I should eat some dry crackers, have some ginger biscuits& then start lifting weights/running marathons/Etc.
I really sympathise with you, because I felt like a laughing stock at work, hated the phone call to my line manager saying the doctor wasn't letting me return to work & hated hated hated (!) the comments about how so & so from this department was pregnant & she was coping fine. (Bitch) or how pregnancy "isn't an illness."
Just remember this is why there are laws in place to protect pregnant women in the work force from being sacked or treated unfairly for sickness. Because pregnant women can truly be so poorly!
If it was a hangover, I'd say get on with it, but it's your baby. So look after yourself, get someone to buy some extra sick buckets so you don't have to keep getting up to the loo, & sleep like your life depends on it.
And keep going back to the doctor if you need to!

Hope you feel better soon!

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