Hi, I am getting married this December and am hoping to TTC soon after, except for the fact that I will graduate in May and most likely start my job soon after. I was just wondering if anyone feels that getting pregnant while starting out as a nurse is not a good idea because of your own experience. What was it like to be pregnant in L&D or postpardum?
Mar 7, '02
I have hyperemesis while pregnant and I was working nights. not a good combination. Luckily (I think) I had been a nurse 6 months when I got PG. Had to take my boards with hyperemesis. Lost 20 pounds. Had terrible doctors and a nurse manager that had had enough of my call outs and was about to fire me.
Mar 7, '02
I had good experiences with my last 3 pregnancies ( other than getting sick later on), as far as working. I felt more comfortable being there if I either went in to labor or had difficulty. I knew my friends, the nurses, and all the OBs were there for me . Probably the most difficult aspect for me was that they took extra caution with me and didn't want me pushing stretchers, lifting, etc...It was not easy being pregnant if a fetal demise came in, of course...
It was fun being pregant if the patient was younger than my oldest and HER parents were younger than me. That always freaked them out and was good for some laughs..I didn't have nausea, but I did get tired much easier, and running around was a little annoying. I have to say it really didn't bother me until I got sick with toxemia....THEN I had to go out early for bedrest...We have a nurse working now who is due in April...She seems fine with it..
Mar 8, '02
You might want to think about how many major life changes you can handle at once!
Adjusting to marriage and a new career may be pretty daunting without having family concerns added to the mix right away! Becoming proficient in L&D will take a good 2 years of full-time experience. After you've gained that expertise, you will find it much easier to keep up your skills and knowledge, even if you take time off for a maternity leave, or cut back to part time after having a baby.
As far as the physical risks to a pregnant nurse, I don't think they are any greater in L&D than any other area of the hospital. Regardless of where you work, you will have to protect yourself physically by using good body mechanics, following universal precautions, and avoiding teratogens such as radiation and certain chemo drugs and chemicals.
The mental stress may be greater in L&D, though. You will care for patients experiencing complications and losses that will scare the c**p out of you. If you work in a high-risk unit, you will have a very warped view of pregnancy, as virtually every patient will have a complication of some kind. One of the reasons I waited a while to have children was that working in NICU, I never saw a normal, healthy baby. You forget that they exist! It wasn't until I transferred to Nornal Newborn Nursery that I wanted to have children!
Whatever you decide, I wish you luck as you begin a very exciting time in your life!
Mar 8, '02
I cannot think of a better place than PP to begin your nursing career if you are planning a pregnancy. L&D would be pretty harrowing though. My first child was concieved in nursing school and I began my career 6 months preg working nights - post partum. Took 5 weeks off and then returned. I loved the information I got about L&D, nursery and even high risk warning signs. But.... would I reccomend it, no, not really. Breast feeding and night shift is tremendously hard, even with double pumps. Too tiring. Then I got pregnant with my 2nd son working 12 nights (amazing since I can't think of anything that decreases a sex drive more than working nights and 12 hr shifts with a toddler at home!). Anyway I was so exhaused I don't even remember most of that time of my life. (I was young too, 23-25).
Can you do it? Sure you can! Would I wait? Absolutely!! Get used to working, then plan your pregnancy. Both of these life events are stressful enough. And priorities change immensly when you add a baby. VS
Mar 8, '02
I work L&D and NICU. I now have a 7 month old. The biggest thing with being prenant in this are is that you know eveything that can go worng which can make you a little paranoid. The toughest thing for me was caring for a 23 weeker as it died and doing the post mortem stuff when I was 21 wks at the time.
I agree with the above post maybe take things a little slower. Get your career off the ground and get your marraige grounded before tossing a baby into the mix. Even happy things are stressful.
The breastfeeing is not impossible. it does take a solid committment though. my baby turned 7 mos old 2 days ago and still has not had formula. I have worked full-time nights since she was 8 weeks old. Though you can kiss sleep goodbye......
Last edit by babynurselsa on Mar 8, '02
Mar 9, '02
Thanks for the replies!
VSRN: Did you tell your employer that you were pregnant when you got hired(or could they tell)? How they take it? What did they say to you about it, menaing did they give you a hard time or were they okay with hiring you pregnant?
Also, would working days or evenings make a situation like this better or worse, because I know you said you worked nights. Thaks for your advice, because it helped a lot.
Mar 9, '02
I graduated from nursing school pregnant with our third child. I took my boards while on bedrest (oops! I hope my OB/GYN doesn't see this). Started my first job as a RN in surgery, still pregnant. Ended up with PTL and bedrest again. They are understanding as long as you keep them abreast of your progress or complications. Returned after the baby was born and everything was cool at work.
Transferred to L&D the following year. And after working there for almost a year, got pregnant again. (yeah, it's number 4). Had complications during work and ended up a pt. 2 different times. But I loved the special treatment. And I felt comfortable b/c i trusted my coworkers. After I delivered my baby, as with the other 3, he developed jaundice very quickly. They were so nice that they set the incubator in my room so we wouldn't be seperated. I had my own little nightlight. He was on triple lights and the blanket.
I ended up moving out of state before I could return to work there. Otherwise, I would've loved to go back to work knowing that I worked with a fine team.
PS- after my 3rd child, I had a breast lumpectomy while still breastfeeding him. The lactation consultant was so wonderful. She helped me post op and after I developed complications. (the surgeon, of course, severed my milk ducts which he denied. and the milk accumulated at the surgical site. Painful is such a mild term. But I digress)
Sure you see what could go wrong with the pregnancy or the baby but you see that everywhere,too. I think that it helps b/c you're more of an informed patient and parent.
Congratulations ahead of time for the nuptials and the children you dream of having! This is an exciting time of your life! Just keep in mind that you're not in total control of your life. No one is. If that was so then I'd be a millionare right now married to a gorgeous, romantic with lots of kids and a huge house and maids (not one but more). Dreams, that's what keeps us reaching for the stars!
Mar 10, '02
I have a seven month old and worked L&D, PP and nursery while pregnant (except for bedrest from 34-36 weeks). It was great! I have a great unit and everybody was very good to me. At the end, I couldn't deal with 12 hour shifts anymore, so me friends all split shifts with me and I did a lot of policy review (JCAHO was coming). I felt comfortable working up to the end since I figured I was in the right place if I went into labor. I did contract a lot after about 32 weeks from being in my feet so much, especially when I was doing labor, I had sympathy contractions, thus the bedrest from 34-36 weeks. My patients loved it, though one time I went to my OB appt at the end and one of the midwives told me her patient had told her that she didn't want to hit the call light too much because "my nurse was as pregnant as me" and she felt bad to make me get up to get her stuff (cool trick, huh?). Now working L&D while being a nursing mom is a bit tricky as well, instead of sympathy contractions I get sympathy let-down! How many scrub tops can you go thorugh in a day? Plus getting time to pump is challenging.
Mar 10, '02
Teresa, I opted not to disclose my pregnancy and was not showing. I learned that they couldn't ask by law and I knew that it would not affect my ability to be a great OB nurse. As I know now, a prospective hiree's private business is entirely that, and an employer absolutely cannot ask about it. It was the right decision for me at that time. And even though couldn't not hire me for being preg, they could have chosen someone else! Besides, I knew that I would have to return rather quickly back to work (one of the reasons breastfeeding was harder, I didn't have a lot of time to establish a good supply.) I really would recommend days or eves. Sleeping during the day is hard enough, much less with the natural interruptions of a pregnancy (i.e. waking up to pee every hour!!). I too had great pregnancies. Found my FHTs for the first time at work. Being on my feet was tough, but conditioned me for L&D. Patients and co-workers were terrific. Do what you feel is best for you. Esp with revealing a pregnancy to your prospective employer. Just remember the law says you do not have to tell. You will make the right choice. And don't fret too much about all this, you never know what God has in store for you!! You will do fine. Vicki
Mar 11, '02
With both of my children I was an L&D nurse and loved it. I think that there's more understanding and sympathy from coworkers and physicians. Being on your feet for 12 hours is tough. I loved that my "friends" took care of me in labor, but for some that might be uncomfortable.
Mar 11, '02
As a guy finding myself preggy ANYwhere would be profondly troubling. just the thought of were it would come out of is causing me to cringe....Ouch!!!
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