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You're 'barely pregnant'

(182 Posts)
Habbs Fri 05-Apr-19 10:10:31

Had a 1 to 1 in work, all fine really but they said though the quality of my work is the same I am working a bit slower than usual. I explained I'm struggling to concentrate as hard as usual, I'm 24 weeks pregnant and that's probably something to do with it. My manager literally scoffed and said "I don't think we can go blaming that, you're barely pregnant!"

AIBU to be annoyed? I'm 6 months pregnant, twice the size I normally am, I've got awful sciatica and my legs cramp sitting at my desk for too long so need to stretch my legs more often. I'm also constantly weeing. These things do take time out of the working day. I definitely don't feel barely pregnant.

BabyDueDecember2019 Sat 27-Apr-19 05:26:43

Just read your latest thread OP. What happened after you reported this to HR?

CoffeeDeprivation Mon 08-Apr-19 09:51:53

OP, I'm with you. I had a normal pregnancy but my first trimester I was so tired I would fall asleep anywhere. In the second trimester my brain just didn't focus as much as before. In the third trimester the back pain, swollen legs and sciatica made my normal commute difficult and limited how much I moved. I still consider it a normal pregnancy but i certainly had to put all I had to meet deadlines and my employee was good in that sense and allowed certain flexibility. I actually was more productive in the last weeks of pregnancy than earlier on because my "nesting" instinct went onto cleaning up my emails and leaving work ready before leaving! In any case, pregnancy affected me from very early on, and I needed adjustments.

FerdinandAndHisMassiveBalls Sun 07-Apr-19 11:53:02

get what he means though. Shit doesn't get real until 30 weeks+


This is when I became vaguely aware that this would all affect me and dw started hogging the bed with her sausage pillow.

Amused that @bananacloud thinks pregnancy is self inflicted. Missed sex ed that day did you?

flowergrrl77 Sun 07-Apr-19 11:03:23

Reading your last post OP it sounds as though you’ve been attacked a lot on this thread, I’ve only really read your posts (green highlighted)

I just want to wish you well and good luck. You’re doing a great job! You’re coping with the loss of doca hexanoic acid from your brain but still getting the job done to a good standard, you DO deserve reasonable adjustments!

Just want you to know that there are others who support you xx

Allergictoironing Sun 07-Apr-19 11:01:41

I am not, and never have been, pregnant. I will never know how hard or easy it is. However I completely understand the need for employers to make the necessary adjustments to help a pregnant woman perform to her best ability for as long as she feels able.

Apart from the legal requirements for this, which are significant, from a long term practical PoV any employer who looks after their staff will become an employer of choice and able to attract the best staff and encourage loyalty.

And from a human viewpoint, a pregnant woman is doing something incredible and miraculous and should be treated with all due consideration.

isshoes Sun 07-Apr-19 10:13:32

I find some of the arguments on here in support of clueless boss utterly bizarre. Yes pregnancy is usually a ‘self-inflicted’ condition, but unlike say a skiing accident, or cosmetic surgery (when it is done purely to enhance one’s looks), it is a) a biological imperative and b) necessary for the continuation of the human race. If all pregnant women were expected to work at the exact same level of efficiency as other people, and without any accommodations, fewer women would work and there would probably be poorer pregnancy outcomes in a number of cases. As others have said, men get to procreate without having to endure pregnancy and childbirth, so why isn’t it fair that women who are pregnant should be offered more flexible working conditions in the interests of her and her baby remaining healthy and comfortable?

Also a few posters are saying that women want to ‘have it all’ and are suggesting that the OP is admitting that her performance has been somewhat weaker but is also annoyed that her boss has suggested that pregnant women can’t work at full efficiency. I don’t think that’s the case at all? No one is saying that it’s appalling to suggest that women can’t work at full strength when pregnant, what they’re saying is that it’s reasonable to make some allowances in these circumstances, and also that phrases like ‘you’re barely pregnant’ and ‘baby brain’ are condescending and inappropriate.

Habbs Sun 07-Apr-19 09:39:20

Seen quite a few posts saying about how I'm expecting my employer to assume that pregnant employees will underperform. This isn't the case. I'm not missing deadlines, I'm ensuring all submitted work is of the same high standard, these are the most important aspects of the role. I also didn't expect them to assume anything, I literally told them I'm struggling to get as much done per day but that I am prioritising to ensure all important deadlines are met.

I didn't expect them to just allow me to 'underperform', I didn't expect it to not be mentioned, I simply wanted to have a discussion about what reasonable adjustments could be made to possibly help this and just to make him aware of the situation. I don't think it's unreasonable, especially as I only have 40 shifts left until maternity leave. It's not been the entire pregnancy, it's just this last leg of work that's starting to become difficult due to various health reasons.

My issue, and why I'm posting is the insinuation he is making that my pregnancy is not far along enough to explain these changes, and that it is down to me just not bothering, or not working as hard when that isn't true. Pregnancy isn't an illness but some of the things that come hand in hand with it can make you seriously ill and as women it's not our choice to either work or have babies, we can do both. If we are getting nothing done and struggling to continue then most employers, Midwife's and doctors will sign you off, but if on the whole you are capable of working with some reasonable, and temporary adjustments then that's entirely fair and shouldn't be viewed as women asking for special treatment - the world as we know it would quite literally end if we all stopped having babies and it's not wrong to want our employers to acknowledge that although it is our choice to have children it is also our right to be supported through it.

Bouncingbelle Sun 07-Apr-19 00:05:46

I had my baby at the stage you are now. You are very definately NOT 'barely pregnant'.

Lovely13 Sun 07-Apr-19 00:02:07

Misogyny at its highest level. Report the idiot. Want to say something ruder.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 06-Apr-19 23:27:58

We absolutely DON'T help ourselves by telling bosses they should expect us not to be as productive as a non-pregnant woman.

No-one has said that. Certainly not OP.

OP raised the issue of specific, short-term physical health problems she is already experiencing, for which she seeks reasonable accommodations.

She made no claims about pregnancy per se, nor issued any forewarnings. The only people making such generalised claims about pregnancy are the thread's contrarians.

Should men suffering with back pain, leg injuries and shingles - likewise short-term (though potentially recurring) physical conditions, also be refused reasonable accomodations and overlooked for employment?

crazypikle Sat 06-Apr-19 23:14:21

What an utterly stupid and flippant comment, regardless that your over halfway in your pregnancy any stage can be difficult. I suffered from Obstetric cholestasis in both my pregnancies with my first it started at 15 weeks and was awful luckily my bosses were fantastic and I soldiered on until 33 weeks until medical emergency prevented me working any longer, also my role had to alter after risk assessment due to being pregnant regarding lifting and amount of work etc I would think it common knowledge that things may alter regarding work pace regardless of the type of job, as others have said this is definitely a hr issue if they are trying to dispute the amount of work completed

ChillyB Sat 06-Apr-19 23:05:20

I hope HR bollock him. I was hospitalised for three days at 6 weeks pregnant with hyperemesis and was subsequently signed off work for three months until medication/hormones evened out. I couldn’t get out of bed or go downstairs in my own home during this time so I’d love to know how he’d have dealt with me and my pregnancy. So ignorant.

nyu82 Sat 06-Apr-19 22:46:09

I completely agree with your comments...I have been in jobs where men have spent most afternoons half-pissed after long lunches, no work being done, one member of a team I was managing was so ineffective that I had him referred to a doctor as I recognized the symptoms of diabetes...he used to drink 5 or 6 pints every lunchtime ...but nothing was done as he was " one of the lads " . When I got pregnant I was told I was letting the side down , subsequently marked down and lost a promotion.
Thankfully moved on to a better post...
as pp's have said everybody is different and pregnancies can be different , I was sick as a dog with my first and have never felt fitter than I was at 36 weeks with my second..I did work right up to the end then so I could extend my mat leave afterwards...
There is still a huge difference in attitudes to work performance by men and women and that is a societal disgrace.

Acis Sat 06-Apr-19 22:00:33

Are you talking about that Uber driver?

No, it was a woman in a professional job who was still taking work calls whilst in labour. And no, I'm not saying it's a positive thing.

Acis Sat 06-Apr-19 21:59:24

In all my years of experience, nobody has ever been “reluctant” to hire a woman for that reason.

You've been lucky, then. And if we start saying that employers must automatically expect pregnant women to be less able to work at their normal rate and to their normal standards, we will exacerbate that problem. Of course some will have problems which do mean adjustments have to be made, but those should be dealt with in the same way as we would expect employers to deal with anyone with a medical issue.

RabbityMcRabbit Sat 06-Apr-19 21:50:17


RabbityMcRabbit Sat 06-Apr-19 21:49:20

What an arse! There's no such thing as "barelt pregnant"; you either are pregnant or aren't. I'd go to HR

BareBum Sat 06-Apr-19 21:35:54

Why shouldn’t women have it both ways? Men do - they can become parents and have a job. I expect the same. Our legal system also expects the same, so I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

Glitterblue Sat 06-Apr-19 21:22:09

That's shocking!! Barely pregnant yet my baby was born a couple of weeks after that..... And is now almost 9..

BlackeyedGruesome Sat 06-Apr-19 21:15:34

And one or two of the posters on here.

Booyahkasha Sat 06-Apr-19 20:53:04

Have you been to HR? This is appalling. You can feel dreadful from the start, I had issues with early bleeding so I needed "special treatment" at work from then!!

saraclara Sat 06-Apr-19 20:41:36

I'm afraid that not only have I worked in a place where women of childbearing age definitely haven't had the same chance of being employed, I have spoken with several people socially, who admit 'off the record' that they are reluctant to employ a woman of that age if there's an alternative equally qualified candidate.

We absolutely DON'T help ourselves by telling bosses they should expect us not to be as productive as a non-pregnant woman.
Or if you do, don't get offended when they DO use words like baby brain. It's not as if, as women, we don't use that phrase about ourselves.

Like I said, we can't have it both ways.

bellinisurge Sat 06-Apr-19 20:24:34

I was vomiting enough to be hospitalised from week 7. Was that barely pregnant?

I think the 1970s are still looking for your boss .

lottiegarbanzo Sat 06-Apr-19 20:18:44

This is my personal opinion and it's just as valid as any other. Lol. No, you're wrong about that, too.

Having the right to an opinion does not grant your opinion the status of being right.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sat 06-Apr-19 20:17:52

Habbs I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this; it's almost a masterclass in how NOT to carry on and hope HR will help

Just one point though ... you've copied an instantly identifiable email from your boss on this thread, and I'm wondering if that could have repercussions for you, especially now they're getting such a kicking as a result? Given the policies many companies have around the use of social media, might it be wise to remove that quote?

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