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Pregnancy and being a support worker

(6 Posts)
Woodl3s Mon 14-Apr-14 16:37:45

Hi, I'm new to mumsnet, so unsure where to post this really.

I had a miscarriage (my first pregnancy) back in dec (I was 12 weeks gone, but the dr said I miscarried at around 5 weeks - absorbed miscarriage).

We decided to try again, and I'm now pregnant again smile (I only found out yesterday).

Anyway, I work as a support worker and use hoists and other moving and handling equipment on a regular basis. My question is how long do you reckon it's safe to use them for, whilst pregnant?

When I spoke to the dr last time I was pregnant, he said I could use them for 'a couple more weeks' (I was 5 weeks at this point, and told work at 8 weeks). He said as my body was used to the work, it wouldn't affect me or the baby.

Obviously I don't want to potentially harm my baby, and I certainly don't want to miscarry again! However, I don't really want to tell work too soon, due to the potential of miscarrying again. And I don't want everyone doing the whole pity and feeling sorry for me charade.
I'm going to the drs on fri with my fiancé and will ask his advice then, but I was wondering what mums who have been in this position thought about it?

I was thinking of telling work after my 12 week scan, as the risk of miscarriage drops then. But due to the nature of my job, I'm unsure if this would be possible.

squizita Mon 14-Apr-14 16:46:13

You might find it reassuring to read Lesley Regan's book "Miscarriage" which blows away a lot of the myths and fear for pregnancy after loss.

In terms of safety, women are usually usually OK to do exercise/lifting of the type they are used to, basically. A bit later, you may find it causes muscular pains and exhaustion though as your muscles soften and you get the 1st trimester energy lag. It can also make sickness feel worse. Bad for you, but not a worry.
Nevertheless, in your job there should be 1 person (usually in HR) who I would advise telling early so they can make things comfortable and draw up a risk assessment. They aren't allowed to tell anyone else. I work in pastoral in a school and have to lift teens/break up fights now and then, so told my HR manager early: it also means they must give you time off if needed for appts.


Woodl3s Mon 14-Apr-14 17:20:35

Thanks for your advice smile

When I spoke to my line manager last time, she drew up a risk assessment for me - I wasn't allowed to use any moving and handling equipment, was advised to use the lifts instead of stairs, etc. but she said everyone would have to know about the pregnancy, so they can all help me basically. I don't want everyone to know right from the start. That's why I was thinking of only telling them later on, when the risk of miscarriage has dropped.

Time off for apps isn't really an issue, my work is pretty relaxed and we are able to swap shifts when we want to really.

As long as I am ok doing my normal duties at work and I'm not risking the baby's health or growth, I'm happy waiting until the 12 weeks, even if I do feel more sickly etc, it'll be worth it in the end.

Thanks again smile

redexpat Mon 14-Apr-14 20:11:27

During my first pregancy I had no trouble lifting things (although not a support worker) and barely noticed anyting during the first trimester, couldnt feel a thing. This time, I am struggling to lift anything without discomfort, so I've stopped lifting stuff. I know it sounds a bit lentil-weavery but I think often you can feel your limits. At least, you'll feel it when you reach it.

squizita Mon 14-Apr-14 20:14:19 lifts not stairs! shock They sound very protective, which is a good thing! smile

Woodl3s Tue 15-Apr-14 16:19:50

Thanks for the replies smile I think I'll just see how long I can go then. If I have reached my limits before 12 weeks, fair enough.
Yep, they are quite protective. It is good, but a my line manager was talking me through the risk assessment, all I wa thinking was 'I'm only pregnant! I can still do things for myself!' lol x

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