Pregnant while an RN

  1. I wanted some advice about how any of you managed a pregnancy while working as an RN. I am still a student but am trying to decide when to have my second child. I can plan to have the baby soon after graduation and look for a job a few months later or wait to get settled into a job then get pregnant. My biggest fear about getting pregnant while an RN is getting exposed to to all of the infections that pregnant women should avoid. Secondly, in the case of a blood exposure, would I be able to take the HIV prophylaxis. Any advice would be helpful.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Slowone
    I worked though all 3 of my pregnancies, universal percautions obviously still apply. As for HIV proph for exposure, speak to the infection control nurse at your local health dept or at your school, that would be a good place to start.
    Another consideration is insurance, if you don't have it through you hubby/signif other, you will probably have to wait through the 90 day probationary period. The pre-existing cond doesn't appy w/ pregnacy but the prenatal care is essential as you already know.
    These are the only problems I experienced.
    1. My annual PPD was waived because there is no data to its' potential effect on the fetus one way or the other.
    2. I barfed in a patients room because of a smell that didn't sit well. (it was the lunch!)
    3. Had to be much more careful taking care of confused patients, got kicked in the stomach by a 50 yo ETOH'er going through withdrawls. (baby was fine, but it was terrifing)
    Good luck. Keep in mind that you will be working in a profession that is predominantly female and many will understand your fears and work with you to keep you and baby safe! And of course the men will as well!
    again,good luck.
    S
  4. by   KRVRN
    Since you're planning your pregnancy, I thought I'd share what one of my coworkers did. This is way off what you asked, but I'll tell it anyway. If you do the math and get out your calendar, you can try and get pregnant during a certain time frame such that you will be on maternity leave over all the Nov-Dec holidays. Don't have to worry about getting stuck with working all the holidays or trying to take vacation time or anything. Won't work every year of course, but since you're planning the whole thing, what the hey?

    Just thought I'd share that... I never done it myself.

    :-)
  5. by   canoehead
    HIV antivirals cannot be taken while pregnant. After a needlestick our hospital requires a written statement that the employee will use contraception before they are given the first dose.

    I think your first year on the job should be spent with as little stress, worry and lack of sleep as possible, so would vote for pregnancy after that year was done. And if you wait your coworkers will likely be even more supportive since you will have developed a relationship with them, rather than taking leave soon after your hire.

    Seems like it would be very difficult to leave a new baby and start a new and stressful job. I would be tempted to keep putting it off, and lose my skills, making starting that much more difficult. I can only speak for myself though. I waited about a year after school before my first job, losing physical skills wasn't a big issue, but I lost my nerve after awhile, and had to force myself to get back into the swing of the hospital.
  6. by   fiestynurse
    Worked full-time as a hospital nurse through both my pregnancies. Never had any problems. I took 3 months off and came back part-time initially, 3-4 days per week for about 6 months or so. I found it difficult to keep the breast feeding going. It was stressful at work and hard to find time to pump. That was my biggest complaint. I heard that some hospitals have set-up breast pump rooms for employees and on-site day care to make it easier for new moms. You might want to look for a hospital that offers that.
  7. by   OneChattyNurse
    I worked in LTC up until the day before I delivered both of my kiddos. I tried to be careful of EVERYTHING!!! Watch out for the combative patients and just be aware of what is going on around you (don't worry...this tends to come naturally when you are pregnant). The company did not offer any maternity leave and I could not afford to be off for very long so I went back to work after 2 weeks with my first and 3 weeks after my second. I received ALOT of support from my co-workers, as I had been at this job and had great friends there!!! Anyway...there is never a perfect time to have children...you can always find reasons to hold off. I guess what I am trying to say is...things do have a way of working themselves out. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!!!

    Shari
  8. by   P_RN
    Second baby I worked 48-60 hours/week in a GPs office from 8am til ?

    If I felt nauseated, I found a hot cup of unsweetened tea would either ease it or make me throw up and then it would ease. I felt like I had a personal physician at my side at all times.

    I even went to 42 weeks and had a post mature 9lb boy who had a full head of hair....no wonder I had heartburn!

    Delaying pregnancy for your first year is a very good suggestion. It's stressful enough without having to cope with a new job and new experiences.

    Good luck.

    P
  9. by   Aerolizing
    I worked til my due date with my first baby but I had a wonderful pregnancy with only a few days of mild heartburn. I am not sure I could have done as well if I was barfing all day long. I worked in psych so there was not so much heavy lifting but there were always patients acting out. I was able to hide my pregnancy til I was almost 7 months pregnant by wearing loose street clothes. I was very careful like always. Believe it or not, most of the severly mentally ill patients were respectful of my pregnancy and asked questions or commented on my pregnancy. My coworkers did not give me any special light assignments. I carried my full load. The worst part of it all was being tired. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
  10. by   KellyandtheBoys
    I was pregnant and working as an RN 4 times. I had no problems and all my children were healthy. Just be careful like you would anyway. With each of my pregnancies I stopped working at about 36 weeks or so. And, I found during later pregnancy my legs were really sore and I was tired by the end of the night.
    Best wishes!!!

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Pregnant while an RN