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Are work being unreasonable?? And when to start mat leave - working as a doctor

(51 Posts)
jellyspoons Fri 24-May-13 12:46:36

This is my first post so hope it goes OK!

I work as a hospital doctor and am pregnant with my first baby, due in September. I work shifts, and so far work have said they have no obligation to reduce my hours at any stage in the pregnancy whatsoever (including nights/13 hour day shifts/carrying the crash bleep), though if I get to the stage where I really can't cope then they would have a rethink and sort something at that time. We're short staffed as it is so I can see why the consultants are reluctant to take me off the oncall rota.

My current job finishes on Sept 3rd (I'd be 37+6), and my last two shifts are night shifts. The week before I have very tiring oncall shifts Mon-Thurs. If I finished the preceding Friday to that, I'd be 36+2.

Work have asked me to swap my night shifts and oncalls from later in the pregnancy to earlier in my pregnancy as a "goodwill gesture", especially the night shifts in early September at 37+ weeks as these will be difficult for them to cover as they encompass the change of job period. There are other night shifts at 33 weeks and 28 weeks I'm also due to do.

Currently I've been remarkably well during my pregnancy (hope it continues!). I wonder if I'll get bored if I go off work too soon, but, I also don't want to push myself more than I can manage. Work implied that if I swap the night shifts in early September at 37+ weeks then they might be more amenable to sorting out cover for other shifts earlier in the pregnancy - though I'm not sure whether to believe them! I'm planning on taking 9 months mat leave but may want to extend it to a year, I'm not sure yet. So I don't want to go off too early and sit around bored pre baby, then be forced to go back before I'm ready to at the end of mat leave. I also reckon I'll be over my due date as my mum was late with all 3 of us by 2 weeks!

So! I think I should probably go on mat leave at 36+2 and leave them the issue of sorting cover for the subsequent shifts, but I also am unsure as how much I should pander to the consultants putting pressure on me to swap shifts, in order to get goodwill from them. I also don't know whether if I just carried on, then saw my GP and got certified as "too tired to do oncalls" then they'd be forced into being reasonable and I could work 9 - 5 or equivalent for the last few weeks before going off at 37+2 - this would be my preferred option if possible, I think, but it seems a bit risky rely on (especially as the oncall shifts, whilst knackering, are 9 hours and so they could probably make me do them I guess).

Thoughts??? Anyone else been in a similar situation?
Thank you!!

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 06-Sep-13 19:19:49

Jelly I am a vet a worked till 36 weeks. My bump was always small and my midwife like yours said your fine, baby is growing no need to worry. Her point was because I had kept fairly fit and standing a lot had maintained strength in my abdominal muscles that everything was always going to be tight and neat. She was very right neat 7lb 10oz baby was what I got.

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