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Sick leave in pregnancy

(7 Posts)
changedmynameforthiss Sun 16-Apr-17 11:38:12

Hi all, really looking for some advice/ WWYD in this situation.
I am 26 weeks pregnant, since early pregnancy I've struggled with feeling anxious and low mood (midwife and dr aware).
Since becoming pregnant I started a new job (same organisation different department). I did not know any of my work colleagues from previously. Since starting in this new role I have struggled to be myself around new colleagues, my relationship with new manager has not been an easy one and I haven't got to grips with the job in the way I would have liked. My professional and personal confidence has really taken a hit from this. Concerns have been raised about my performance and senior management are aware.
About a month ago the stress from work became to much to balance with my personal issues and I was signed off sick.
Since being off I have felt so much better, my sleep has gone from 2-3 hours a night to full nights most nights. My anxiety has all but disappeared. Still low in mood some days but now receiving counselling which is helping.
I am nearing the end of my sick note and I don't know what do to. I know my dr would support another sick note as I was in such a state before but part of me feels I need to go back to work before mat leave to prove myself and leave with my some dignity.

Pros to returning
⁃prove myself to the team (and myself)
⁃Allows me to leave with my head high
⁃Increases chances of a good reference from employer
⁃Better for my reputation (work in a small industry so will inevitably cross paths with people from this work place in future)

Cons
⁃already losing sleep thinking about it
⁃Very scared to feel like I did before, I was in a very dark place
⁃My anxiety will definitely return
⁃The situation at work has not changed so same pressures there if not more now.

I have 7 weeks till mat leave. I will not be returning to this post after baby but possibly could be in the same organisation. Any advice?

Chottie Mon 17-Apr-17 06:00:14

Hi and congratulations on your baby smile and can I suggest another option, could you have a staged return to work? At my work this is a common option for people who have been off work for various reasons for some time.

How it works is that you start back at work at 0.5 and then gradually increase your hours each week. It usually takes about 4 weeks to be back to full time.

I would be asking for more training and support to do the job too.

PurpleDaisies Mon 17-Apr-17 06:11:34

I agree with chottie. A phased return could be really positive. If you can possibly avoid having the time off on your employment record that's always a positive.

Going back is always terrifying (I had a similar experience) but at least you know it's only short term. If you left it until after maternity leave you could find it even harder going back. Often the fear of work is much worse than the reality.

Have you had any help with your anxiety?

Bordersarethebest Mon 17-Apr-17 06:14:05

Also congratulations on the baby.

You said 'since becoming pregnant you started a new role'.

Could it be that the pregnancy is a red herring and it is the job that is the problem? Off sick you feel better - you're still pregnant, it's the job that has been taken away.

There is no shame in accepting that a job just isn't for you. Sometimes extra responsibility can be a step too far. Pregnant or not.

changedmynameforthiss Mon 17-Apr-17 11:41:11

Thank you for your replies.
I think a phased return could be a good option. I will definitely speak to them about this. I would like to go back and give it a try rather than leaving now, it is just such a terrifying thought.

@PurpleDaisies can I ask how your return to work went and at what point you started to feel better at work? I am receiving counselling now which has just started but hoping they can help me to address my anxiety.

@Bordersarethebest there are other factors in my personal life that have had an impact on my mental health with this pregnancy, however I do think without the work stress I'd have worked through this without needing time off work or counselling. I do enjoy the job but the timing perhaps wasn't the best and I've struggled to fit well into the team. Perhaps I am not best suited to the role.

Bordersarethebest Mon 17-Apr-17 20:11:05

As I said before, there's no shame in admitting that a job isn't for you.

And also a year's mat leave is a great time to evaluate what is important to you in life.

PurpleDaisies Mon 17-Apr-17 20:57:29

changed I ended up leaving three months later but it was really good to go back and decide it wasn't for me from a position of strength if that makes sense. I was dreading going back (I cried all the way to work for the first few days) but actually people were nice and being part time initially really helped because it was only a case of getting through short amounts of time.

Could you contact hr and see what they could do to help you? If you decided it really was too much there's absolutely no shame in that either.

flowers because it's awful when work is hard.

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