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Miscarriage/pregnancy loss

What to tell work?

6 replies

CaffeineDeficit · 24/04/2013 15:15

I had a complete miscarriage yesterday, at 8.5 weeks. I feel like I got run over by a truck, both physically and emotionally. The doctor in A&E suggested that I really shouldn't go to work for the rest of the week.

The problem I have is that my boss is a sexist oaf not supportive of pregnant staff/working mothers, as I found out to my cost in my previous pregnancy. Therefore, I don't want to flag up the fact that we were trying for DC2. But, I do need to say something on the sick leave form I'll have to fill in when I go back. I have had to tell a couple of colleagues I was in A&E last night, as I had to cancel a couple of meetings today at 2am when I got home from the hospital. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to put on the sick leave form? How did you handle telling (or not) your work about your MC?

OP posts:
Bakingtins · 24/04/2013 15:51

I'm v sorry you lost your baby caffeine and I agree you should take the time you need to recover, at least physically.
For H+S reasons I have to tell work straight away if I'm pregnant so have had the horrible situation of having to tell them I'm not when I have MC. The first time I was in hospital and off work for a while and everyone knew, and I found that very difficult going back afterwards. MC 2 + 3 I only told the practice manager and the 2 partners, and everyone else was just told I was unwell. I find it much easier to just put a 'work' hat on and carry on as normal, and confide in people outside the work environment if I want to talk about it. I guess a lot depends on how well you get on with colleagues.
If you need something that justifies an A+E trip and a few days off how about severe gastroenteritis, migraine, labyrinthitis?

LittlePeaPod · 24/04/2013 20:07

I am so sorry for your lose. I mc in March and it was and still is hard. But I agree that you need time off. I had. Really supportive Doctor that understood and wanted me to take time off. I was given a non specific sickness note for 5 days. When work asked I said I had caught a nasty tummy bug. As much as I don't want to lie to work I didn't want anyone to know. Maybe speak to your doctor and see what thy say.

lurcherlover · 24/04/2013 20:19

I'm sorry to hear about your mc. Could the dr put "gynaecological illness" or similar on your sicknote?

One thing to be aware of though is if you don't put mc, it will be a week's sickness on your work record. If you tell them it's a mc, it goes down as pregnancy-related illness and legally cannot be used as sickness absence on your record - might be ultimately a good thing to tell the truth in case you apply for jobs in the future.

CaffeineDeficit · 03/05/2013 23:02

Hi all,

Thanks for your replies and sharing your experiences. Sorry to go AWOL from this thread - I couldn't deal with anything "mum" related for a bit, including mumsnet.

In the end, I decided to be brave and go for the truth, because as lurcherlover said, that stops it going down as sickness absence on my record. However, when I got back to work, I discovered that I wasn't the only person out of the office - evil boss has been off sick for the last week too, so I was able to hand absence form into his much nicer deputy.

Thanks again for the advice and support

OP posts:
thenightsky · 03/05/2013 23:08

Sorry for your loss Caffeine.

I had this very issue at the same approx date. I put miscarriage and my scary manager rolled up in my office all red and embarrassed saying 'god that is awful, sorry sorry sorry, you didn't need to put it on form, etc'

I got a lot of sympathy.

squizita · 05/05/2013 11:20

Sorry to hear of this. My work is supportive, but even if they weren't, I would say tell the truth. Both as you deserve it (and if he treats you badly, and it says 'miscarriage' it will reflect badly on him not you if you need to complain) and because its the silence and stigma which make it so hard. If 1 in 5 women suffer this, surely we should be open? I decided to never cover up my 3rd, to anyone. Not in a 'feel sorry for me' way but just as 'this is why i went to hospital'. What I found was it made things easier. Loads of people mentioned they'd had one too, with outcomes from 2 kids to adopted kids... But I think it cleared the air. Men who are embarrassed know not to ask, but most simply say 'sorry for your loss'.

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