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Stressed at work and finding pregnancy difficult - Work Related Stress

(5 Posts)
Susie888 Mon 13-May-13 12:43:06

Hi, This is my first post so do please bear with me if I go on.

I am currently 28 weeks pregnant. I was on citrolopram before finding out I was pregnant with my first child. I thought I wanted a baby but now I find myself racked with depression and bouts of anxiety (not to mention guilty for feeling like this about my first baby).

I came off the Anti-D's as soon as I found out I was pregnant as I was worried about the effect on the baby.

I have a really stressful job and had been off work with stress/depression for a month prior to finding out I was pregnant.
My working relationships have been difficult (part of the reason I was off) and I found that my job had significantly decreased when I cam back off sick leave which didn't help my confidence at all.

I am now a week and half from Maternity leave and currently taking the day off sick as I just can't face going into work any longer but I do not know what to do! I feel so guilty as I work for a not for profit organisation and I am getting paid to sit here typing this.

In terms of background... my workplace has extremely high turnover, managers don't seem to want to know about problems. I recently got a new manager who seems to want to belittle me and prove me incompetent all the time (this is the main reason I can't face work). She has upset not only me but my other colleague.

I have never been that great at standing up to senior management. I also have a difficult relationship with the group/team head who I have found intimidating and unapproachable. He has sat far too close to me on a number of occasions and really invaded my space. Others seem to think he is great as he is very direct and bossy but I have found his behaviour manipulative and sometimes down right creepy. Other than my colleague people seem to think his behaviour is normal so Ia startingto think maybe it is just me and all my pregnancy hormones?

What I was wondering though if anyone has advice for me - should I risk going back or should I stay at home?

Has anyone else really suffered in a working environment - I don't think that it is just my pregnancy as the job was pretty full on and stressful to start with but would really like to hear others stories or advice on handling the situation.

I don't get along with many people at wk nd there aren't people I feel I can turn to for support with worries or my workload.
I fell out with one of the managers about 6 months ago before finding I was pregnant and I feel like he has spread lies/turned people against me (but not sure if I am just being paranoid!)

aghhh, confused and stressed/worried.

ps - it might help to note that we recently had big redundancies and a merger. so less staff and more work!


IceNoSlice Mon 13-May-13 22:22:22

Hi, I haven't been in a situation like yours but didn't want you to feel alone. For what it's worth, my advice is:
- have you spoken to your GP and/or midwife about your MH concerns? I think that would be a good idea so you can get support both during pregnancy and once the baby arrives. I'm Totally not an expert but I think people with a history of depression may be at a higher risk for PND so please make sure you have some info and support. Maybe counselling?
- don't know if you should go back to work. I think I would in your situation, with the aim of leaving on a high if possible so you don't worry too much. It might give you closure to a degree? Like loose ends tied up? But then, if you feel it would cause you lots of stress and anxiety, maybe not.
- have you thought about whether you will go back after mat leave? Is there a requirement to go back or repay enhanced mat pay? I am in month 9 of mat leave and preparing to go back to work soon, aware many of my RL friends. It might help you if you kee options open regarding going back - I don't think it would be good for your MH to feel forced to go back, IYSWIM.

Not sure if that's the advice you want, but good luck. And I how everything goes well for you- I have loved becoming a mother, and I hope you have a good experience too.

IceNoSlice Tue 14-May-13 08:06:07


Susie888 Tue 14-May-13 13:57:18

Thanks for your message IceNoSlice, it's nice to feel heard.

I had an appointment with the DR yesterday. I read a lot on here and other websites about what to say as I am (like it seems many others) quite wary of discussing my MH concerns for fear that the DR will see me as a potentially unfit mother and refer me to social services or worse have me monitored for the rest of my life. All I want to do is lead a normal life.

Anyway... The DR was fairly sympathetic and what with my physical symptoms (feeling run down etc) has signed me off for one week. She suggested signing me off until my maternity leave started but I think your right about 'leaving on a high'. Last time I had problems with a colleague I left for a month (as they were leaving at the end of that month) and actually felt worse for it.

I work for the NHS and I don't feel that the place I work in takes kindly to MH problems as stress is 'all part of the job'. I felt really uncomfortable being signed off for 'stress' last time so this time the DR put 'Viral Illness' on the form - she seemed fine to do that - I was a bit surprised actually although as I had been feeling run down that could have something to do with it in part.

I am going back on Tuesday for Two days to do a handover to my boss before my MAT leave starts - do you think that is sufficient as I am concerned about closure as well.

I have been trying to get counseling (CBT) for a while on the NHS as money is tight so am just holding on for that. My OH is willing to pay for me to go private but for some reason (maybe trying to hold on to one last bit of financial independence) I can't bring myself to have that and have him pay for it so would rather wait for NHS.

I had been having problems/not happy at work for a few months before I was pregnant and when I found out I was pregnant I felt there was no way I was going back. We have however done some sums and I would have to pay back a considerable amount of Maternity leave if I did not go back for the minimum 3 month period. 1 month of that period I am taking as annual leave (accrued) so the plan is to try and get reduced hours and work the remaining 2 months. I am going to try and tough it our for those few months minimum.

Thanks again for your advice smile

IceNoSlice Tue 14-May-13 14:01:32

Good luck smile

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