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Floor nursing while pregnant

Nurses   (9,582 Views 16 Comments)
by medsurgnights medsurgnights (Member)

medsurgnights specializes in Med-Surg.

1,134 Profile Views; 41 Posts

I was just wondering, how long did some of the other staff nurses work into their pregnancies? I am 8 months pregnant and really starting to dread every shift just because of general aches, swelling and stress. I work on an extremely busy med-surg/tele floor, and generally love my job. I'm just wondering when it is reasonable to start maternity leave when I don't really have any medical indication for bedrest. Thanks in advance for any replies.

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6,487 Posts; 21,380 Profile Views

Sounds like it's time for you.

I was just at 7 months when I got caught by my doc trying to walk down the hall, and holding onto the wall because I just wasn't feeling good. He put me out the next day. You don't need a requirement for bedrest to start FMLA for pregnancy. The way my doc explained it, ACOG guidelines say that as your pregnancy progresses you need to be able to sit a certain amount of time compared to standing/walking at work. Late in pregnancy it's 50-50, If you can't sit for at least half of your shift, then it's time to start your leave.

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luvschoolnursing has 23 years experience as a LPN and specializes in School Nursing.

651 Posts; 7,110 Profile Views

I worked till due date with the 1st but was miserable. Worked to 7 mos. with the 2nd. Of course, I was still miserable-hated pregnancy- but at least I was miserable at home!!

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cheshirecat specializes in midwifery, gen surgical, community.

246 Posts; 3,931 Profile Views

How is it that in normal life you would not dream of letting a pregnant woman stand on her feet for hours at a time, or lift heavy objects, or be exposed to violent people, but its ok to be a pregnant nurse and do all of the above.

I firmly believe that all pregnant nurses should be put off night shift/floor nursing and given easier assignments.

Research has shown that stressed mothers produce low birthweight infants. The UK has the largest proportion of lightweight babies in Europe and also premature births. Why? Because we are encouraged to work well into our pregnancies as opposed to other countries in Europe.

It sounds as if the OP needs to slow down and give herself a little bit of tender loving care and rest. Good luck with babe.

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StrwbryblndRN has 9 years experience and specializes in CMSRN.

609 Posts; 8,281 Profile Views

I think you should slow down now before you put yourself in a position that would require to be on bedrest. I find it medical reason enough that you are tired and need rest.

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30 Posts; 1,494 Profile Views

With number 1, I worked on the floor (busy med-surg/tele, like OP) until due date. With second, I was prepared to do the same.

What actually happened is that I wound up working a final weekend shift, about a month before due date. A major, major snowstorm hit our area, and I remember the highway not having any other cars on it, at all, as I drove to work that Sunday morning. I was charge (unexpectedly) and precepting someone (having never done it before) and we were short staffed ALL DAY b/c one of the nurses didn't make it in at all and 2 were hours late.

I worked through the shift, had to beg a ride home with a volunteer with a Hummer, and later that night began progressive contractions. My DH had to drive me to the (much closer) hospital than the one where I worked, and I was admitted with a WBC of 35 and a high temp. "Really?" I asked in all innocence. I checked my temp when I started shivering violently, but it seemed ok to me," demonstrating with the back of my hand to my forehead.

Everything turned out fine-- daughter was born one month later-- but I was on medical bedrest at home from that point, and now I think I was nuts to risk my baby. Didn't know it at the time, thought it was my excellent work ethic. Live and learn (hopefully from someone else's mistake).

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cardsRN specializes in cardiology-now CTICU.

142 Posts; 2,569 Profile Views

when i was pregnant with my son i worked until 2 weeks before due. worked a night shift, went home, got in bed, 2 hrs later my water broke. delivered a healthy 38 week boy two days later (when i finally agreed to go to the hospital and have the pitocin started). at the time i was on a med tele floor too. now in icu where i really am on feet at bedside at all times, i don't know that i would work up to due date. it is personal. up to you. if you are feeling it is too much to handle and you can afford to be out of work the extra time, then talk to your OB and they will probably give to OK for leave. as for your manager, it would take a heartless person to hassle you about going out on leave a few weeks early.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,552 Posts; 64,999 Profile Views

To address one post earlier on the thread: I don't think giving pregnant women dayshifts and easier assignments is a fair or equitable solution. Staffing is very tight most places as it is, and it would be unfair to pull someone off dayshift for each woman who became pregnant to cover her nightshifts. BUT I DO believe pregnant ladies should be able to take leave of absences when their conditions or desires warrant. The baby SHOULD absolutely come first; but it's not fair to ask coworkers to make these sacrifices. We all make our individual and free choices as to whether or not to have children, and we have to also make the tough choices that go with these conscious decisions. But the sacrifices are our own, not our coworkers'.

To the OP: It sounds as if you are ready for a break and you deserve it! I would ask your OB about this as soon as you can.

Good luck and I wish you health, happiness and joy in your upcoming birth experience.

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grace90 is a LPN, LVN and specializes in ortho/neuro/general surgery.

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With my 1st and 3rd pregnancies, I worked as a CNA in LTC, the first time up until 35 weeks, the 2nd was 37 weeks. Both times, by the last couple months, my back ached and I was exhausted and nauseated when I'd get out. I also had confused residents punch me in the stomach more than once, with each pregnancy. :angryfire

With my last one, around 30 weeks I got a stomach bug of some kind. I started feeling nauseated early into my 3-11 shift and by 5 pm was having major diarrhea while puking into a garbage can. :o The shift supervisor didn't want to let me go home:uhoh3: and told me I could sit and feed residents during supper and stay near the bathroom so I could use it when I needed to:angryfire , even though I was shaky and diaphoretic and coworkers said I looked terrible.

I got my way, though, and barely made the drive home before I puked about 15 more times that night. In retrospect, I probably should have called my doc but didn't. That nurse supervisor was already in hot water for varius things and resigned a few days later. I think she took some heat for not wanting to let me go home.

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GooeyRN has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC.

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I worked night shift up until delivery. I work med surg. I am not sure I am going to do that again. It was rough! The thing is, most places will only hold your job for 12 weeks. So, do you want the time off now, or after you have the baby? I wanted the most possible time off with my baby, thats why I worked to the end. I wound up staying home 14.5 months in the end, though. I couldn't bear to leave my baby before then.

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All_Smiles_RN specializes in Cardiology.

527 Posts; 6,037 Profile Views

In regards to the last comment, most hospitals in my area need nurses and will hold your spot for you. Nurses are always coming and going.

I was a student nurse with my last pregnancy working part time as a tech. I went until 30 weeks when I just couldn't take being on my feet for 12 hours anymore. Gave me time to get rested and ready for baby!

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medsurgnights specializes in Med-Surg.

41 Posts; 1,134 Profile Views

Thanks for all the advice! My OB did write a letter switching me to 8-hr shifts because of the swelling, which my manager accomodated right away. At this point, I'm scheduled for 2 more weeks and then on leave unless I request otherwise, this gives a week before the due date off. Just trying to make it until then and learning to be better about asking for help with lifting.

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