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Shifts in early pregnancy, nights are killing me!

(12 Posts)
Momdeguerre Mon 24-Aug-09 14:23:36

Wonder if anyone can give me any advice? I work 12hr shifts, days and nights (am a police officer). They are slowly killing me!! Am nearly 7 weeks pg and I am so so sick on my night shifts now.

My sickness is not so bad during the day but it is just unbearable all night and I can't seem to find anything to ease it.

My boss was terrible in my last pg and I don't want to tell him before I have to (not that he would do anything useful anyway) and I can't stop working nights without changing my job and all of my childcare.

I can't go sick because it will effect my pay.

Hmm, even seeing it written down I know I don't really have any options without taking steps to change work but it is just really getting me down. I have a lovely DS of 13 months who keeps me busy on my days off and I just don't seem to be recovering from my night shifts.

mosschops30 Mon 24-Aug-09 14:25:19

Can they force you to work nights when pg?

I work as a nurse and in our NHS trust a pregnanct woman can opt out of unsocial hours, including hours after 6pm, weekends and nights

Momdeguerre Mon 24-Aug-09 14:33:10

No, I think that if I kicked up a fuss then they would, begrudgingly, move me. Problem is I work in a specialist role, regarded as a real boys job and I love it. If they move me then I will lose my post and be forced to drive a desk and will probably never get my post back.

I know this meas that I should probably not whinge since I do have the option of leaving my post to escape nights but I don't have anywhere else to vent about it or wallow in my own self pity.

karney Mon 24-Aug-09 14:43:37

Oh I really feel for you. I had terrible sickness with my Ds who's now 12months old.You sound backed into a corner about work. Are there other cops who would swap shifts with you in the meantime? Just a couple of rotas to see you through the worst of it. This sickness will hopefully ease as the pregnancy progresses. I take it you've tried all the usual remedies to ease the sickness. I ended up wearing those sickness bands, drinking peppermint tea and chewing on bits of crusty bread just to take the esge off it. You are perfectly entitled to whinge as much as you like!! If only men had to go through this then they's know all about it. Good lucksmile

Momdeguerre Mon 24-Aug-09 14:47:26

Thanks, fingers crossed it will ease off.

Going to see if I can book some short notice leave just to try to get me out of a few nights before 12 weeks and hope that it starts to die off before then.

Am the only woman in my dept and all my bosses are chaps too - don't think any of them have a clue!!!

Am off to go and buy every possible remedy I can get my hands on - forgot about those sickness bands, will get some of those too.

Thanks for the tip!

nomorebooze Mon 24-Aug-09 15:32:05

hello! if you havent told them yet i would do it ASAP, they should then do a risk assessment, i am in the force to (pcso)
and have been risk assesed and taken off patrol duties and late nights. i am sure for h and S they should do similar. keep us posted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nomorebooze Mon 24-Aug-09 15:35:37

Ps: just re read one of your posts saying you work a specialist area, i really feel for you as i hate being office bound, but if you are struggling you wont be doing yourself any favours doing nights! on a positive i am 19 weeks and feel back to my old self now, so you may feel better soon, fingers crossed!

whingingDailyHateMail Mon 24-Aug-09 15:38:02

i remembered this and other similar studies, I would consider telling work to put you on days only for now.
If your role is changed for health reasons you should not be downgraded or penalised at all.

Momdeguerre Mon 24-Aug-09 22:06:47

Thanks - no risk from my role - I am an Insp in the operations dept so nothing confrontational.

Thanks for the link to that article - makes me fee auful that I have already done 7 weeks of nights !!

I know that work can't downgr me but they can make me miserble - I would lose my post which I fought very hard to get. Another role would accrue the same wage but they would, no doubt, stick me somewhere out of sight which would effect my chances at career progression while still complying with legislation.

Been in touch with work today to try and move some of my leave about so that I might be able to avoid doing nights until I am past 12 weeks. Just dreading this weekend but hopefully things might improve in a few weeks or I will really have to consider what else I can try.


AngelaCarleen Mon 24-Aug-09 22:18:07

I wouldn't worry about the nights you've already worked, in the study linked it doesn't tell you what else the women were doing that made them at increased risk. I worked nights in the first trimester, I'm a nurse, if this study was really accurate half of nurses, police officers etc would be having premature births, and I don't think they are hmm

Could you not go to occy health about it and see what they recommend? They split my nights up for me as I was really tired, it's really bad that you feel so pressured into keeping going with nights, poor you sad

beautifulgirls Mon 24-Aug-09 22:47:25

If they do move you to a desk job for now avoid the nights they still have to leave the option open to you to return to that role otherwise this is discrimination. You have rights as a pregnant lady and your employer has obligations to look after your health as well. If they refuse to reinstate you to your original position at an appropriate point then you most likely have good grounds for legal action.
Too many women are bullied into accepting less than they would otherwise have to if they were not pregnant/didn't have small children and this should not be happening. I know the reality is hard but please stand up for your rights - good luck and hope you feel better soon.

Momdeguerre Tue 25-Aug-09 09:43:31

Thanks, I think I am going to have to do something. I thinks parts of the police re still pretty backwards. My force is quite small and I am one of only a couple of women at my rank and one of the very few senior women with a family so there are few precedents. I think they find it hard to be flexible - hence why I have felt forced to return to work full time working shifts when my DS is only 13 months.

It is also a bit of a boys club - while I am sure that they could be forced into taking the appropriate legislative action I am really concerned about how it will be viewed but to be honest with the way I am feeling at the moment I really don't have a choice and my baby and my health are more important than work.

In my last pg they made me work full nights, 12 hrs + till I was 36 weeks when I ended up going sick because of complications.

Think I will approach HR and see what they might be able to do to assist.

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