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rights at work, very upset, measuring small.

(17 Posts)
silverfishlondon Thu 13-Nov-14 13:25:32

Long post , sorry, angry and tearful.

Just had my 31 week mw appointment and told I'm measuring a bit small. If it's still small next time then iI' have growth scan. I know in itsself this probably isn't very serious and baby will be fine but the midwife thought it's probably to long working days, and stress at work which is slowing baby's growth and says there's plenty of medical evidence to support this.

I work 10 hour days with hour commute each way. On my feet a lot. Boss is entirely disinterested in my pregnancy. I did my risk assessment myself and don't think she even read it, or the company's maternity policy. I can put my foot down and say no to some tasks when finding things difficult but it's not very easy with her shockingly heartless responses! It is also a stressful workplace partly due to the work but also due to one team members bullying behavior to everyone else.

So when midwife asked me about work I started crying.. she's shocked boss has been so rubbish and written me a letter saying she urgently wants my hours reduced and why.
I'm just so upset and feel so guilty that I could have had an impact on my baby by not being stronger, and trying to push on. I only have one month of work left but thats one month i want my baby to grow as much as possible!

My husband who previously said Id get through it is now furious and says go strait to HR for support as my boss is clearly incompitent at managing my pregnancy.

Thanks for reading.
Anyway, does anyone know if I reduce day length on medical advice do I get paid less or is this making adjustments for pregnancy on same pay?

JennyBlueWren Thu 13-Nov-14 13:37:15

Go to HR and get them to do the risk assessment with you. If you look online you might find a template one with key questions to look at. My boss found a checklist on the council website and it was good for structuring the conversation.

birdofthenorth Thu 13-Nov-14 13:37:45

Poor you. I think your midwife has been unprofessional to suggest a link between your hours and the baby's measurements myself. Babies measure small (or large) for many different reasons and I think she's jumping to conclusions, which is unfair as you now feel guilt as well as stress. I really think she's been a bit inappropriate.
However, I wouldn't want to have to work 12 hour days inc travelling when heavily pregnant, and if you don't either, do fights your corner. Your pay would only be affected if your contract states hourly pay or a 50 hour week (latter being unlikely). Either way it would still possibly be pregnancy discrimination to reduce your earnings. Copy the midwife's letter to your boss and HR and ask for an urgent meeting with both of them. What's the nature of your work? In my last trimester I did a lot of home working and was able to avoid peak time travel, though I realises this isn't possible in all roles.

Do out yourself and your baby before offending your boss. I promise you won't give two hoots about your boss once your baby is safely here.

NeedaDiscoNap Thu 13-Nov-14 13:43:44

I was just going to write what birdofthenorth said - unprofessional of your midwife to suggest that your work is causing your baby to measure small. One of the midwives I saw during my pregnancy said this to me - and yes, my baby was small, but it had nothing to do with my (stressful) job.

I second what PP have said - go to HR and get them to go through the risk assessment with you. You are protected when pregnant, and you must try to put your and your baby's health first. It's perfectly reasonable to ask for modified duties or extra support. [thabks] for you - hope you get this resolved.

silverfishlondon Thu 13-Nov-14 14:07:43

Thankyou, pointing out it can just be small anyway feels better for me smile but it's also good to consider work stress if it gives me the push to be more protective of my own and baby's welbeing. I'm a vet and so the work is whatever comes through the door during (and beyond) opening hours, and when I'm the only vet there it's particularly hard to do any less than normal. Majority of support staff are great but it's a v small team and theres only so much they can do for me. As its part of large company there is an HR somewhere, I'll find a phone number.
Thanks again for support x

SilverStars Thu 13-Nov-14 14:08:05

Your gp can give you a dr's note for medical reasons for reduced hours.
I would also be concerned about a midwife saying long hours equals small measurements. Has she sent you for a growth scan at 32 weeks if she is concerned? Or to see a consultant?

Regarding work: do you have a plan as to when you will start maternity leave? Do you have any annual leave you can use ( say one day a week) to help you? Would work let you work from home one day a week? Cannot in all jobs I know.

Agree HR is first point of call but also worth going to Gp as am unsure ( as do not know) whether a midwife can write sick/fit notes. If it is an official fit note for reduced hours that is ok.

When I had reduced hours my pay for medical reasons when pregnant my pay was altered yes to include statutory sick pay but depends on your work policy and how much reduction they are asking for. If have hours reduced due to medical reasons I think work can ask you to start maternity leave at 36 weeks - definitely think they can if totally signed off sick and not in, unsure if worked reduced days/hours.

SilverStars Thu 13-Nov-14 14:09:37

Ah cannot work from home, I see that.
If midwife concerned definitely ask for more checks! You are entitled to time off for maternity appointments which will also help!!

schmalice Thu 13-Nov-14 14:17:42

Could you get signed off for the rest of your time pre maternity leave? Being signed off up until your 36th week won't trigger your maternity leave? It's a bit extreme, maybe but an option if they really aren't supporting you.

Also, sick leave taken during pregnancy is recorded separately from your normal sick record so it can't be used against you at any point or be an issue in a reference.

I hope all that is correct, if not I'm sure someone will correct me!

silverfishlondon Thu 13-Nov-14 14:17:45

Oh and risk assessment, there was a guide of different hazards and I wrote how each could be reduced , and did put in things like ' working hous- arrange more breaks if needed' and ' lifting- ask for assistance' . It all seemed common sense things but I added details on specific things I'd researched like safe use of anaesthetic gasses in pregnancy.
However when I was actually ill, sick and faint last week and suggested she did the long surgery planned that day, she said ' well actually I have a sore throat'.!! (she did do the op but thats all she said on the matter).
She also asked me to clean out a floor level kennel last week.. I said no.

Rant rant

noblegiraffe Thu 13-Nov-14 14:23:17

You're measuring a bit small by tape measure and your midwife has blamed your job and upset you making you think it's your fault your baby is small and you haven't even had a growth scan to confirm this? shock.

I measured small both my pregnancies and had a growth scan both times. Both babies were not small, were born a perfectly normal size. I'm tall so the babies had more room to hide. Neither time did anyone mention my work or ask about it (I'm a teacher). Outrageous that they've worried you in this way.

That said, if work are treating you badly that is an issue that needs sorting.

PinkOboe Thu 13-Nov-14 14:31:15

if working long hours made babies small there'd be an awful lot of small babies around

Wednesbury Thu 13-Nov-14 14:33:35

I can't advise much on the work front but wanted to add that I measured small by the midwife (measuring 26 weeks at 28 weeks) but the growth scan the same day (which I was having for different reasons) showed that the baby was measuring dead on 28 weeks. Measuring the bump isn't an exact science - in my case the baby's head is tucked very low down, hence the overall bump wasn't measuring as big as it might otherwise. At the next check up the mw said she would not measure as I am having growth scans and they are far more accurate.

I know that's little help to you unless you do get a growth scan and can find out the baby's true measurements - just trying to reassure you that you might be OK.

I think though that given what the mw has suggested to you I would want a growth scan and following the results of that would decide whether I needed to be signed off. Because otherwise I'd only be worrying about it all. It does sound like adjustments at work need to be made either way, though.

silverfishlondon Thu 13-Nov-14 19:53:13

Thanks all for helping me see this clearer. I've calmed down and thought about the 2 different issues.

Baby may or may not be a little small. Will see next time and growth scan if advised then, not that it may change much to know. Even if it is small it will still b. e fine!

Second issue is the strain at work and i can adress this asap to make the last month of work less exhausting and uncomfortable, as well as possibly better for my baby. Clearly they are NOT going to look out for me so I need to look out for myself better.

vichill Thu 13-Nov-14 19:58:55

Are you taller than average op? 3 people I know, and me, who had this nonsense are quite tall and not one of us had small babies. You think they'd have a formula to take into account height. Ridiculous to suggest hours are anything to do with it. Community midwives are often a bit vague and out dated.

enqueue Fri 14-Nov-14 10:09:31

I'm a vet too! And in London. I drive to work rather than public transport but I guess I must have a fairly good idea of what you are going through. We do our own OOH too which is becoming more and more stressful, tbh.
Anyway, I measured just under 23 at my 25w scan and then I measured bang on 28 at my 28w scan. Like anything else, growth isn't necessarily linear. Try not to worry too much! Our patients do it all the time : )

silverfishlondon Fri 14-Nov-14 10:23:22

Hello enqueue! I am very glad not to be doing ooh, will they take you off ooh at some point soon ? I sit down to consult now , but still have to get up reach something every 2 minutes so in reality it's still difficult.

just spoken to my boss and asked if she can book me a break on sunday so i don't do 6 hours strait. She has but wasn't very happy as said everything that was booked in was simple. I said you know as well as I do that as it's the extras and emergencys that take time and when your sole charge there no way round that!

enqueue Fri 14-Nov-14 10:42:36

Urgh 6 hours straight on a Sunday sounds awful. We do 4 hours straight on a Saturday sole charge and if that is busy even when not pregnant I feel like I'm about to go into hypoglycaemic coma at the end! It's the "emergencies" squeezed in that are the worse, the 'my dog is collapsed' which turns out to be 'my dog came in from the garden lame and 40 mins later is not lame at all' - argh!!
I am on the full rota until the first week of Jan, due end of Jan, and we don't have the rota completed any further than that yet. But I have swapped out of a few on calls anyway for NCT classes, so hopefully not too bad. It's that first weekend of Jan when. I will be sole charge Fri-Mon at 37w which may be a bit of a challenge! I am going to say to work to keep me on the rota after that but nothing I can't be swapped out of if necessary.
I'm sort of perching on one of those little high stool things for a lot of my consults but tbh my back is more comfortable standing than sitting so not too bad. I still stand for ops but I have always done so - I like to shift around my incisions quite a bit I think to change angles for things, have just got used to that.
My nurses have been really good about stopping me from lifting anything, they are actually very sympathetic - partly because the head nurse who is currently on maternity leave did pretty much bugger all throughout her pregnancy, so I think I have got some respect for just getting on with things!
Are you going back to work afterwards? F/T or P/T? I'm a bit scared I'll be all cack-handed if I take too long off!

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