Pregnant and working as RN - page 5
I would like to ask this to anyone who has worked as an RN while she was pregnant. I am 4 months along (my first), and work a 12-hour floor that is extremely busy. Sometimes I don't even get a... Read More
Feb 5, '03I thought with this pregnancy that I would work as long as I could stand it, but when I got to be about 22 weeks along I was found to have placenta previa by US. The doc said no lifting greater than 20 lbs, and since that is a part of my job, my company said I couldn't work. Just as well though because a week or so after that I had my first bleeding episode, and have been on bedrest ever since. If it weren't for the complications of this pregnancy, I think I would have worked right up to the end though.
Congrats on your baby, & good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Convicted of placenta previa & serving time on couch arrest ~ Day 34
Feb 5, '03Haven't posted in a looong time!
I worked up till the 41rst week (3 days a week of 12 hr shifts), then was induced.
Still on maternity leave-staying very busy!
Here is my pooper-stinker:
Feb 5, '03I could never make it past 8 1/2 months working because I was a little person who had big babies and the pressure on my cervix became extremely uncomfortable if I stood for very long. As long as you feel good then by all means work. If you find yourself getting exhausted and you are having swelling then for heaven sakes take care of you and the baby first. Don't push yourself.
If you can afford it take several months after the baby is born. You will never get those precious times back. After my first baby I went back to work full time at 6 weeks. Big mistake!! Not only was I worn out, I couldn't breast feed and I missed my baby terribly. I also missed very wonderful times in her little life.
Feb 5, '03I worked up to 28 weeks and then the twins decided they wanted to come a little too early so I went on leave and was induced at 34 weeks. But... I had every complication in the book..morning sickness for 5 months, Gestational Diabetes, PIH, gallstones(had it removed when they were 3 weeks old), hemorrhaged at delivery and again at home 5 days out. and now.. good old Postpartum depression!!!
Feb 5, '03Congratulations on the new babies! ...funny how you forget how teeny they come out as :chuckle They are precious!
Feb 5, '03I am over 31 weeks pregnant with our first girl (have 2 boys) and still working. However, I am not working 12 hour shifts on a busy floor. I am a research coordinator (8 hr. shifts) and do get a fair amount of sitting time. Days when I am in clinic, however, I do some running around and spend most of the time on my feet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will go well for 7 1/2 more weeks until my C-section... best of luck to the rest of you pregnant nurses!!Last edit by BeachNurse on Feb 5, '03
Feb 5, '03I was working 3 12 hour shifts a week in ICU when I found out at 17 wks I was having triplets. I worked til 19 wks when I went on house arrest (bedrest). I did go back to work one shift a week at 8wks postpartum, my leave ran out. Now my 3 are 3 and I work registry in ER about 2-3 shifts a week, keeps me sane. lol
Feb 5, '03I worked on my due date, 1cm dilated and 50 % effaced, and still didn't have her for 8 more days! Good luck to you, do what is comfortable, and no more. I refused CMV and respiratory isolations, but our team leaders were very good at arranging assignments to accomodate.
Feb 5, '03Congratulations. Every pregnancy is unique -- discuss your work situation with your ob & get her input. Although one woman may be able to work up to the point of labor, another may need some time off before the baby. This is about YOU and your baby. Make your pregnancy your first priority -- and don't feel guilty about work. Take your breaks and lunch -- if you need to delegate, stay late, or pass on a dressing -- it's not the end of the world. Let your charge nurse know that you will be taking your break/lunch and need to have coverage. (I say this as a charge nurse who takes a full assignment & insist that the preggos take care of themselves and eat eat eat.....) Take care of yourself ... be kind to yourself ... and enjoy your pregnancy -- best wishes to you .....
P.S. I took one month off before my first baby -- it was the right decision for me.Last edit by susanmary on Feb 5, '03
Feb 6, '03With my DD, I worked until 32 weeks in a heavy respiratory step down unit when I started having contractions at work. Went straight to the OB's office. I was measuring small, so they did a stat US. She was fine, but I was still having contractions on the EFM. So he signed me out on modified bed rest. Good thing...I'm short and I was HUGE! He kept saying if he could get me to 36 weeks he'd be happy. Well I was 41 3/7 weeks when I finally delivered the day before my mom's birthday.
Feb 6, '03Well, looks like you got more than enough answers I work on a very busy medical step down ICU and worked up until by 3rd baby was born. I had no problems doing the 12hrs for one simple reason......MY COWORKERS!!!! If I said I needed to sit down for a few, they covered for me. If I got the munchies, the secretary went to the coffee shop and got me some goodies (sometimes more than 1x a night I did have some bleeding in the beginning, but like my OB said nothing I did or didn't do would make anything happen or not......but that was the first-second month of pregnancy. Use common sense, don't pull on pt's b/c you are short staffed, don't lift heavy equipment, push or pull on stuff. You and your babies well being isn't worth it. Simply wait for help. Family members always were very understanding when I would explain it to them (pt too) Don't fret over needing time off if you have to have it....the little angel will be worth it (or until he/she b/c a teenager like my oldest one..that's different thread LOL) work isn't unhealthy and should not affect your pregnancy. I never took any extra time off b/c I didn't need it, so I had 12weeks off after the birth. I could have taken more, but I wanted some days left in case the baby got sick or whatever.
GOOD LUCK and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! The first is sooooooooo exciting. But I promise the last one is too
Feb 6, '03This is a tough one. I worked to the end with both of my pregnancies. I was working a 12 hr ICU day/night rotation with one, and taking night call in the PACU (after working all day) during the other. I was often exhausted, tearful, swollen, nauseous etc. I did end up taking a LOA during my first trimester with the second one due to the nausea.
I remember the other nurses not being particularly supportive when I couldn't keep up toward the end. They would make comments about how other nurses had done it...
If you can afford to take off during the last month or so, do it. It's really hard being on your feet for 12+ hrs/day and lifting and turning sick patients when you are so uncomfortable and enormous. Unfortunately, most employers won't give you the extra time off before without robbing you of the needed time off afterwards. If your medical leave is limited (say to 12 wks), I'd try to take two before and the rest afterwards. Going back to work when you are breastfeeding and aren't sleeping through the night is no picnic either.
Good luck!! I wish you an easy delivery!!
Feb 6, '03Congratulations to all you pregnant mothers!!! Little future RN'S ???
Anyway, I agree with it being an individual thing. Just as long as you remember it's time to take extra good care of yourself.
I had my last baby at 44 yrs. old and working 12 hr shifts in a major trauma -neuro ICU.
Don't remember management helping to ease the burden much...in fact, was still being assigned MRSA or VRSA patients. Just took extra precautions myself and my friendly co-worker- friends were more than gracious in helping out! Helped that my husband RN was also a co-worker!! Baby girl is as healthy as ever!! In fact probably healthier than the other pampered 4.
Best of health and happiness to both Moms and Babies!! :angel2:Last edit by Chiaramonte on Feb 6, '03