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Why can't pregnancy be thought of as an illness?

(24 Posts)
Twiglett Mon 27-Jun-05 19:44:58

Scanned a thread today (can't remember which one now) which included the immortal line "Pregnancy is NOT an illness"

of course technically its not an illness but it CAN make you feel lousy, tired, sick, depressed, hormonal.

and you CAN get any manner of ailments that they put down to just pregnancy (personally I've had a retinal hemmorhage with DS and developed pregnancy-induced asthma with DD)

so, my question is .. if you feel lousy through pregnancy, why can't you term it an illness? even if you do get a baby at the end

flamesparrow Mon 27-Jun-05 19:47:52

The people who say its NOT an illness are the ones who either haven't had kids or who sailed through pregnancy.

I threw up for 6 months straight, had a month off, and then started up again.

I was constantly being sent to the work nurse who told me that pregnancy wasn't an illness, and eventually got to the stage of not bothering to attempt going to work or I'd have to see that witch.

Felt like yelling at her "You try throwing up every morning, and tell me you don't feel ill!!!"

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jun-05 19:48:22

Because everyone knows a woman who has behaved like she's the only person who's ever been pg and had dramas over the tiniest thing.

And they give the rest of us a bad name

Currently feeling v sick and v tired and v emotional, but don't think of it as illness, just glad I do because I hope it means everything is OK, iyswim.

But if you feel appalling, which I totally accept women can do, then I think it's fair to say that pregnancy has caused x y or z illness. But it's not in itself an illness.

bubblerock Mon 27-Jun-05 19:51:07

It can't be an illness because it only affects women not Men - it's the same with periods & the menopause

fishfinger Mon 27-Jun-05 19:51:51

agree with hunky
annoying collegaues wimping off work all the effin time

whats why

nutcracker Mon 27-Jun-05 19:52:30

I don't think I would call it an illness though even though my pregnancies have been pretty bad.

SoupDragon Mon 27-Jun-05 19:52:35

You get pregnancy-related illnesses but pregnancy is not an illness.

expatkat Mon 27-Jun-05 19:53:02

I gather its an argument used by people who are against the over-medicalization of pregnancy/childbirth, eg seeing an ob-gyn each month and having every test under the sun for no reason whatever (as in the US model). But I agree, Twiglett, it feels like an illness half the time.

flamesparrow Mon 27-Jun-05 19:53:20

You get people doing that with colds being turned into bubonic plague... people with genuine colds still get acknowledged though.

flamesparrow Mon 27-Jun-05 19:55:21

I think my work woman was whinging about it not being an illness because I was being sent to her all the time, but the stupid policy said that you couldn't go home unless she verified that you were ill.

I never said I was ill... I said that I'd been throwing up for best part of an hour and I needed to sleep before I passed out!

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jun-05 19:56:52

People who "struggle in" with colds really pee me off though. Like I want their bloody snotty germs all over me!

flamesparrow Mon 27-Jun-05 19:58:49

Yup - I'd much rather they take a full week off and keep it all to themselves, than come in to work and infect everyone else.

It seems to be worst with teachers... they come in, infect the kids and the other teachers, and then you get piles off for weeks with laryngitis.

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jun-05 19:59:29

Sorry, FS - read that wrong and thought you were saying piles were contagious!

flamesparrow Mon 27-Jun-05 20:00:33

Fran1 Mon 27-Jun-05 20:00:43

I see your point Twiglett, but i thats obviously your work's policy (or rather just this woman's attitude?)

Pregnancy related illness is the reason you wanted to go home sick.

I didn't like the title of your thread initially becuase not keen on pregnancy being considered an illness in itself. But people should be understanding that many women suffer with terrible pg related illnesses.

lockets Mon 27-Jun-05 20:03:06

Message withdrawn

Twiglett Mon 27-Jun-05 22:26:53

well I was blinkin' well ill in my pregnancies .. enough for DH to say he doesn't want any more because its too difficult for him to pick up the slack

I think the reason we say 'pregnancy is NOT an illness' is to put an expectation on women that they should just 'get on with it' and heap them with guilt if they have a rough time and admit to it, its a pressure we don't need.

I'm not disagreeing with the sentiment, just with the overuse of an annoying cliche which is detrimental to pregnant woman

<sticks tongue out childishly>

Flum Mon 27-Jun-05 22:37:41

Pregnancy can be easily cured. If it is caught early enough of course.

the miracles of modern science.

motherinferior Mon 27-Jun-05 22:39:31

Do you know, I was thinking of starting a thread along these lines. I agree. It's vile, being pregnant, IMO. At its best it's like being in a very strange cult religion with bizarre food rules.

I really resented being expected to enjoy it or - shudder - bloom.

aloha Mon 27-Jun-05 22:41:15

Pregnancy can be terminal, which is more than you can say about a lot of illnesses. Isn't that a cheery thought, eh? Could have killed me though.
I agree, IMO the phrase tends to mean, 'so you lot who have pain relief are unnatural wimps'. My own experience makes me very enthusiastic about and grateful for intervention.

motherinferior Mon 27-Jun-05 22:43:21

Or it means "pull yourself together". Which is virtually what the obstetrician said who lectured me on how women in the UK (she was Arab) should be a lot more stiff upper lipped, like their grannies.


(I told her that my Indian grandmother commmitted suicide with PND aged 24, which shut her up.)

aloha Mon 27-Jun-05 22:47:06

Yes, pull yourself together is probably a more accurate translation.

Linnet Mon 27-Jun-05 23:00:58

Hunkermunker, I struggle into work with a cold . If I took time off every time I had a cold I'd never be there. And yes I feel horrible and ill and I hate myself for going in and probably passing it on to my work collegues and customers but like I said I can't afford to have time off every time I have a cold.

Sorry can't contribute towards feeling rotten during pregnancy as I came through both of mine pretty well. but I do sympathise with others who don't feel on top of the world while pregnant.

aloha Mon 27-Jun-05 23:02:07

Oddly enough I always felt wonderful. No sickness, no tiredness. I just had a condition that could have killed me and my baby, that's all!

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