Pregnant and working as RN

  1. 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 chance to sit down to chart until the shift is over and I've handed over my patients. My question is this: has anybody worked a floor like this? Were you able to keep working up until your due date (or close to it)? I'm not sure what to expect. We are short-staffed (like almost all the other places these days) and I don't want to let pressure from management keep me working longer than is healthy for me or my baby. Also, what about after the birth? When did you return to work? Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 73 Comments

  3. by   ChemoRN
    Congratulations!! First babies are so exciting!

    I worked my full nine months (Or 8 1/2 as the case may be )

    IMHO - you're already through the hard part. Nothing like working in your first trimester when the meal trays come around.

    Make way for the puking pregnant chick!!

    I puked in trash cans, in bathrooms, heck... I even puked in a patient's room once. (He threw up first!! )

    Work as long as you are comfortable working. If you have a limited amount of time off for FMLA or whatever, I would suggest keeping as much of it available for after the baby is born. Sometimes that's not possible, but it's nice if you can. They are only that small once. Enjoy it!

    The most important thing is not to set your expectations too high. Each pregnancy is different and you can't compare yourself with anyone. You may have a different experience next time.
  4. by   jayna
    Been working in emergency department and pregnant twice. Doctors and nurses couldn't believe that i can tolerate the smell of blood and even work as harder than they can.
    Maternity leaves in my country is from 34 weeks (full pay)til birth and they gonna give you another 6 weeks full pay leave til you're back to work.
    Even though when am 9 months pregnant, I can still play and LOve to move around. I played touch rugby til am 8 months pregnant. Love it.

    Even though that being pregnant never stops me from doing things I love.
  5. by   BadBird
    Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.
  6. by   MPHkatie
    but my friend has worked on Labor and Delivery through two pregnancies, worked all the way up to the end, and was busy and on nights. She did fine. but I think it's all how your pregnancy goes. Don't let anyone pressure you to do something unsafe- follow your MD's advice, and if necessary get a "note"... to assist you. If there are other people with kids on your floor they should remember how it is, and help you a bit as you get further along and turning the patients gets to be interesting. Best Wishes for you and your little one!!!!!!
  7. by   OrthoNutter
    I fell pregnant unexpectantly two years ago....didn't have the $$$'s to leave work so I continued to work on a busy med-surg ward. I miscarried when I was 6wks pregnant because an elderly demented pt kicked me in the belly when I tried to help him up from the floor. In a way I'm glad that the pregnancy wasn't planned because I can tell myself that it wasn't meant to be. But if I had planned it....I'm not sure I could have gotten over it. Please be careful....look after you and bub...don't let management bully you into looking after pts that could compromise your safety. Hope all goes well for you!
  8. by   Julie, RN
    TColleen,
    HI, I am also pregnant (18 weeks now) for the first time and working on a busy inpatient medical floor. I plan on working up until I go into labor. I have noticed that working 3-12hr shifts in a row is more tiring to me now, but manageable. How much maternity leave are you taking and are you returning to work full time?

    Good Luck,
    Julie
  9. by   mario_ragucci
    Jeez! Iy'd have a hand in my wife's daily activities if she was pregnant. It all depends on so much. Iy'd be planning something like this with her. Weed agree to cut out working & make our/her pregnancy the, more or less, center/focus of attention into the second trimester. Taking care of her so she could be the best mom she could be would dwarf $$$. I hope I don't sound like pie in the sky. I ain't never been a father or nothing.
    Last edit by mario_ragucci on Jul 8, '02
  10. by   ernurse728
    Congrats on your first baby! I can relate to what you are going through. I just had my first baby 6 months ago and worked in an extremley busy ER, 3 12hr shifts a week ( 12n-12mn ) up until the doctor told me I had to stop which coincidently was the week I was going out on maternity leave anyway. I was 38wks along.
    In a way I think it was actually good for me...it kept me busy and all that walking and standing I think helped my baby drop. ( I was at a +1 station at 38wks). As far as going back to work, where I live you get 6wks off for a vag delivery and 8 wks for a c-section. I had a normal delivery and went back at 7 wks...I used my vacation so I could get paid for my last week. Good Luck!
  11. by   JeannieM
    Please, please PLEASE be careful. I worked through with kid # 1, but then miscarried the second pregnancy. The circumstances were strange; virtually every one of us pregnant at that time at that small hospital (NOT where I work now) had a miscarriage within 2 weeks of each other. I firmly believe I had a second miscarriage soon after-never clinically diagnosed, but a + pregnancy test followed by a VERY heavy period. I did work and carry my daughter to term, but it still seems that that hospital has an an inordinate number of miscarriages. So sorry about the horror story, but see if you can find out the track record on miscarriages where you work now. If a high number of your peers have miscarried, I'd bite the bullet and get the heck out now!!!
  12. by   dawngloves
    I think each woman is different and you should work as long as you feel comfortable and your doc says it's OK.
    Most moms I know worked until D day, some even worked while in labor!This was in an ICU.
    I was a miserable preggo myself and my co workers took pity on me and sometimes let me just draw labs or watch the monitors. My first I delivered four weeks ealy after a grueling shift, my second I had to leave at 6 months because of ctx.I don't personally know anyone else that had this problem and is a nurse. Is light duty an option for you?
    The only pts I refused or were not assigned to me were CMV and shingle pts. But I think using precautions should keep you and your babe safe, but again, that is your perogative.
    Good luck!!!
  13. by   lynniepooh
    CONGRATULATIONS! I'm 18 wks pregnant now, working full time midnights. Very tired but baby is just fine. But...Two years ago I had a miscarriage at 8 wks and had been working just as hard. One Dr told me stress and overwork could not cause miscarriage, another Dr told me it CERTAINLY could. So please take good care of yourself, and pay attention if you feel that you cannot go on. This was the feeling I'd had for about a week before the miscarriage. Best of luck!:kiss
  14. by   imenid37
    hey best of luck to you! be careful about being on your feet too long. we see a lot of nurses w/ ptl. maybe you could do some 8's later in pregnancy to cut down on prolonged standing and activity. i know everyone loves 12's (i do them too), so they can have more time for themselves. be really careful of those heavy or grabby pts. i have 3 kids and had ptl at 30 weeks w/ #1. i worked on a busy tele floor at the time. the #2 and #3 i worked maternity and my dr. took me off at 32 weeks because of lots of uterine irritability (no cervical changes though and del. at term). as much as you need the $, don't be short-sighted. caring for a preemie or god-forbid, a child who is a preemie w/ long-term preemie related problems, is a physical and emotional expense i wouldn't wish on anyone. most of the time mom and baby do verywell under most circumstances, so i don't mean to be a downer. take good care. drink plenty of water and congrats to you!

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