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Am I being precious thinking I shouldn't be asked to lift boxes in work?

(24 Posts)
miamama09 Thu 21-Jul-11 16:43:06

They're not particularly heavy boxes, but am frequently asked to collect cases from downstairs reception, lift them off the floor, load them on trolley, and bring them upstairs, and offload them again?

I wouldn't normally be so precious about this, but you know pregnancy hormones... think they may be taking over slightly!

So far I have been agreeable... but think the more pregnant I get (currentlt 14 weeks) the more difficult it's going to be...

Theyremybiscuits Thu 21-Jul-11 16:46:18

Yes you are grin

But then again so was with my first. I was a parcel courier and my whole job was lifting parcels.
One man once said to me 'you are pregnant - not ill'

With my second DC I just got on with it. Think about your back when you lift - bend at the knees keeping back straight etc.

dribbleface Thu 21-Jul-11 16:50:40

They should carry out a risk assessment for you, which can be updated if later in pregnancy it creates a problem for you. I'm a nursery nurse and lift children/toddlers etc (along with my own 3 year old DS). However I had to stop lifting recently at 28 weeks as had few contractions and advised not too.

Bartimaeus Thu 21-Jul-11 16:51:20

I think it depends how you feel. If, as you say, you are feeling fine then yes, precious. Don't forget that with your 2nd /3rd /4th pregnancy you'll probably be lugging around a toddler grin

However, if you feel crap / morning sickness / back ache / bad hips etc. etc. then refuse.

I was more precious at the beginning of my pregnancy (eg. refusing to walk up a couple of flights of stairs, always taking the lift) than I am at 6 months. This is because at 2/3/4 months walking up stairs made me throw up. Now I'm (almost) 100% better!

hermionejgranger Thu 21-Jul-11 16:52:53

have you told your employer that you're pregnant?
are you worried about lifting the boxes? are they big or heavy or irregularly sized? are you lifting them often?
if you're not comfortable you need to tell your employer - some people might be fine about doing lifting - but your employer isn't psychic so you should give them a bit of a nudge smile
and as far as I know, the problem with you lifting stuff while pregnant is that if you don't do it properly, or lift more than you're used to, you are more prone to injury because your ligaments soften and your abdominal muscles are less able to support your back. and of course as you get bigger your centre of gravity changes so you might fall over! unless you are really straining your greens your baby should be fine as he/she is very well protected.

hermionejgranger Thu 21-Jul-11 16:55:11

oh of course if you are a "high risk" mummy i'd definitely be seeking GP/MW advice before doing anything that you are worried about...

CBear6 Thu 21-Jul-11 16:55:29

It used to be thought that lifting and carrying was harmful to pregnancy but it's now known that it's not, within reason. I'm on my maternity leave so no boxes here but I'm 33 weeks and I'm lifting/carrying my 28lb toddler smile

Your employer should be doing a risk assessment with you though and taking into account anything at work that could affect your/your babies health now you're pregnant. One thing they need to consider is that pregnancy can affect your muscles/joints so as you progress it may not be practical for you to load/unload trolleys or they may need to refresh your training on safe lifting. If they identify a risk and can't remove it they need to offer you alternative work on the same pay or suspend you on full pay until your maternity starts. It's law that they do this assessment so make sure they do, especially if you have concerns about lifting/carrying.

Catsycat Thu 21-Jul-11 16:58:23

Maybe not precious, just feeling understandably cautious because you are pg.

At 5 or 6 months with DD1, I used a large and powerful drill to knock out 3 fireplaces and carried bucketloads of rubble out to a skip. I now have no idea why I did that! In the end my mw found out and told me off, so DH had to finish it grin.

You're more likely to hurt yourself (over stretching softening ligaments etc) than the baby, so like others have said, observe safe lifting, have a risk assessment, and ask for help if you feel ill or that boxes are too heavy.

Ooopsadaisy Thu 21-Jul-11 16:58:32

I used to know a woman who couldn't do her shopping because she was pg.

She also couldn't hoover because she was pg.

Then she couldn't drive because she was pg.

It all grew very old, very quickly.

How are you managing your other dcs (lifting, bathing, chasing round the park etc) or are they much older?

I'm afraid you are borderline precious.

miamama09 Thu 21-Jul-11 17:00:05

thanks everyone, thought it was just me being precious TBH, thanks for confirming!
They are due to do a risk assessment at some point.

NorkyButNice Thu 21-Jul-11 17:06:48

One of the staff at DS' nursery is in the early stages of a twin IVF pregnancy - she isn't lifting the children up anymore which I can understand.

I felt so ill during my first pregnancy that I was totally precious when not puking everywhere. Second pregnancy we bought and renovated a house, and I had a 2 year old who insisted on being picked up for hugs so there wasn't time to be precious!

hermionejgranger Thu 21-Jul-11 17:14:19

and the risk assessment should be done WITH you not FOR you or BY you. have a look at this guidance from HSE... (don't worry you won't get your hanging baskets banned!!!)

PrincessScrumpy Thu 21-Jul-11 17:27:11

My work wouldn't let me lift a chair (school chair so not heavy) and somebody even questioned if I should be carrying two cups of coffee for the girls in my office! I have dd1 who is 3, she usually walks but if she falls over or is very tired she jumps up for me (on my request) and puts her legs around me balancing her bottom on my bump - I'm 31w pg with twins so there's a lot of bump.

Basically it depends how you feel. Companies often feel they can't win - if they tell you not to do it without you asking for help/support then you might get annoyed that they're taking work from you and be offended. In dh's office and emplyee went home in tears today as her colleagues kept doing her work for her - they thought they were helping, she feels pushed out. If you feel it is too much, let them know, and you should have a health and safety form to fill in that would cover this stuff.

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Thu 21-Jul-11 17:29:59

you shouldn't be asked to be lifting boxes, no. yanbu.

in fact, they should have done a risk assessment as soon as you told them you were pregnant.

I get told off if I so much as look at a box!
although, i do get delivery drivers who look at me like i'm an alien when I ask them to put the boxes onto a chair so I don't have to lift them.
"it's not heavy!" says the man who's used to lifting loads of really heavy boxes. hmm

PrincessScrumpy Thu 21-Jul-11 17:30:17

Oh, with dd1 I was banned from hoovering due to SPD - it was brilliant, I was able to easily convince dh to get a cleaner (only while pg) and even now, he does all the hoovering of the stairs and upstairs rooms (we're on 3 floors).

DH also keeps telling me to leave shopping in the car for when he gets home, but the fridge stuff has to come in so I may as well do it all. He isn't home until 6.30pm earliest.

Oeisha Thu 21-Jul-11 18:36:05

My risk assessment for work gave me a 7kilo weight limit for pg and a 5h limit on my feet - as standard for all pg in my company. It is surprisingly easy to go over 7kilos. 4x2ltr bottles of coke, water etc are over 7kilos for example.
You should have already been given manual handling/lifting training by your work as a routine part of your job and now an additional assessment as you are pg. The earlier link hermione gave gives you most information, but take a look at: for more resources on manual handling.
Untimatly, light lifting will not harm you or bump if you're lifting correctly (straight back, steady base [feet apart] with/through your knees, no twisting, pelvic floor engaged), and will only add to your exercise count. But, if you don't feel comfy doing it, don't do it.

nannyl Thu 21-Jul-11 19:30:31

if you are a parcel deliverer then its a bit different

If there is someone else at work who is more able to collect and life those boxes they they should be doing it IMO

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Thu 21-Jul-11 19:37:39

I'm not allowed to lift parcels anymore, infact was being told off about this last week but honestly it was a tony light one grin

iskra Thu 21-Jul-11 19:42:15

7kg! I have to carry my toddler half the time, she's 15 kg. I'm 32 weeks.

del1 Thu 21-Jul-11 21:46:00

I think it should be how comfortable you feel about lifting?
I was mowing the lawn, hiking up mountains, decorating, washing the cars , everything, vertually up untill the end of my 1st pregnancy.

But with my second, I managed to get a slipped disk early on. which is very very painfull when you can't take pain killers.
The physio said it could have been because my ligaments were loose.
So I was very precious when I returned to work after this.

I am now 34 weeks with number 3, and not as heroic as I was with number 1.
But , it doesn't stop me doing daily tasks.

I have to lift a one year old, and struggle with a 2 1/2 year old when he is having one of his tantrums.

My thoughts regarding work though are - do what you feel comfortable with.
At home it's your own fault if you strain / injure yourself.

But would you get a medal if you hurt yourself at work?

( saying that, I was lfting boxes from the store room to stock up on paper work last week. The cleaner who has a dodgy knee, and is about 60 was trying to carry them for me.
was quite amusing when we had our tug of war over who was going to carry them downstairs )

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Fri 22-Jul-11 10:18:55

i spent a day when I was about 6 weeks moving stuff around in the shop - not lifting heavy stuff, but moving cardboard display units , dragging a spinner across the floor, and i think i changed a window display (it's a while ago now, can't remember what I did)

anyway, the next day I had some spots of blood in my knickers, and that panicked me a bit - my mum, my sisters and about 3 of my friends (all mothers) told me that I wasn't allowed to any of that again.
annoying, but not really worth the risk, I think.

Sorelip Fri 22-Jul-11 11:34:52

OP, do make sure that your employee either carries out, or arranges to have carried out, an Expectant Mother risk assessment. Recommendations will be made regarding manual handling from the results of the risk assessment. You may need more than one assessment, as the pregnancy progresses.

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 11:39:47

Get the risk assessment down asap.

I was working in a nursery while pregnant and stopped routinely lifting children at 5 months - sometimes there was no alternative still but I avoided it when possible.

Sm1ley Fri 22-Jul-11 12:21:45

I work in an office and had a pregnancy risk assessment - they have decided I can't lift more than 5kgs. I think my handbag weighs more than that!!

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