Is It True?

  1. Do healthcare workers (i.e. nurses, doctors, rt, pt, etc) really tend to have more troubles w/pregnancy?
    Background: My wife is 25 weeks pregnant with our second child (a three year old angel when he is not a terror!) When #1 was born we had a simple pregnancy- only thing was he was born at 37 weeks, but there were no complications related to that. Just about as perfect as it could seem if you ask us. This time is much different though. My wife who is an RN (works in neonatal icu--and by the way was not a nurse during first pregnancy) seems to be having a much harder time with this pregnancy. The big kicker is that last Saturday we spent almost 9 hours in the ER w/her and a heart rate of around 130-140 bpm (that was sitting still), since then she has had similar transient moments when heart starts racing above 100 bpm upwards to 120 bpm. We went and saw the ob/gyn and the first thing she said was "you are a nurse, so that automatically puts you at a higher risk." So my question is this- do healthcare workers really have a higher incidence of troubled pregnancies?
    By the way we are to see a cardiologist next week to further investigate the tachycardia. Prayers for her would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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    About bigwavedave

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 37
    RN-Trauma ICU


  3. by   NICU_Nurse

    First of all, do you think he mant that nursing is a demanding, stressful, physical job, and people who engage int hose kinds of activities are more likely to experience complications? I've never heard that nursing specifically was an influencing factor.

    We have a lot of L&D nurses here who might be able to weigh in on the pregnancy (sorry, I work NICU as well, so I know about what happens afterwards!). You might want to post in the OB-GYN forum as well. That forum stays pretty active.

    I could be totally off the planet here, but I'm wondering if she might not be developing pre-eclampsia? With higher blood pressures, the HR would be tachy. Or it could just be stress, or it could simply be that each and every pregnancy is different- unfortunately, just because the first birth was smooth sailing doesn't mean the subsequent ones will be.

    I'll be thinking about ya'll...please keep those appointments with the docs and let us know how it turns out.


    Ps. When your wife is feeling better, send her over to the NICU forum! We would love to meet her.

    Okay, O wise L&D'ers...let's hear it.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Gosh - Dave - well first of all lots of prayers. I've never thought being an RN was putting you at high risk for pregnancy. I would ask the OB/GYN what she meant by that. Since your wife works in NICU - she has little lifting or physical stress - I would guess. Also, I doubt that she is exposed to a lot of chemicals - but I could be wrong about this one. I'm an ER RN so have no clue why the doc would make this comment - I'd ask her.
  5. by   VickyRN
    I wonder if there are any psychosocial issues going on, anxiety or panic attacks (can really mimic cardiac disorders). She is now at 25 weeks, which is a viable gestational age and the gestational age of some of her patients in the NICU. Perhaps she has anxiety about a possible premature delivery or giving birth to a baby with horrible anomalies such as she has witnessed in the NICU.
  6. by   ERNurse752
    Or maybe it's her thyroid or and underlying cardiac issue that has nothing to do with nursing, or even pregnancy.

    I'm not totally sure about the nursing comment...I could see where lifting, long periods of time standing/running around, stress, long periods of time not being able to go to the restroom or eat/drink, could all contribute to problems.

    Good luck to you and your family!
  7. by   fieryrn
    I have heard that statement since coming to L&D! It just always seems like something will always happen if it a nurse...or employee .....or family member. It is said in much the same vein as on our unit...we NEVER mention a patients name....because that surely will bring them in....also don't drop the narc keys...because the bus will drop off several at the door...(we always seem to get busy after someone drops those darn keys)! I am sure that is how he meant is a common thing that is said by both MD's and L&D nurses alike. lol!
    Of course saying all that doesn't explain the tachy....only the comment....I hope all goes well.
  8. by   moonshadeau
    During my pregnancy, our unit switched to 12 hour shifts, which I had been fighting for at least 8 months prior to finding out about the pregnancy. I was constantly dehydrated, overtired and my nutritional status was less than desirable. I was in the hosptial at least 3 times for pre-term contraction at 16, 23 and 33 weeks. Most of which were caused by dehydration. My OB and the nurses commented that it was not uncommon to see nurses for complications because of their personality traits, long hours and working conditions.

    As for your wife, the tachycardia is an issue and good for you both for investigating it further.

    Things worked out for me in the end. I had to take 6 weeks leave prior to delivery and I know that the other 4 remaining girls on my unit are planning on doing the same because the demands of the unit are so intense.

    I hope that everything works out for you and your wife. I wish you a happy pregnancy.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    I'd just like to agree with the comment that just because one pregnancy went well, that doesn't mean the next may not have a problem and vice versa. My first three were normal vag deliveries with no complications. My last was an emergency cesarean. The first two pregnancies were during a time of emotional upheaval.

    I think there are lots of stressful jobs, physically and emotionally. Not sure you can link it to nursing per se. . .

    I'm all for not working period. Before or after I'd rather be home.

    Good luck and I'm happy you are investigating this further.

  10. by   dawngloves
    Originally posted by stevielynn

    I think there are lots of stressful jobs, physically and emotionally. Not sure you can link it to nursing per se. . .

    I have never worked with a nurse that had any complications. I am the only one I know of that delivered pre term and I have only had one mom/nurse here that delivered preterm, but they were twins.
    Hope your wife ok!
  11. by   Audreyfay
    I think sometimes that's the way people think, but they just notice and mentally tally the nurse problems more than other occupations. When my daughter was born, everything went perfect. Birthing room, no drugs, no local, no epidural, no fetal monitoring. Hope all goes well with you, my friend.
  12. by   ?burntout
    I've been told by several OB/Gyns that nurses are more prone to complications because of our activity (mostly being on our feet), stress level, etc.... Considering the amount of high risk pregnancy books I have from when I was pregnant with my son warn that if you are on your feet constantly, you need to cut back on your hours or stop working all SOME cases....this applies to other occupations as well.

    Just urge your wife to listen to her doctor and take care of herself and the baby...Hope everything goes great.
  13. by   Mama Val
    Everyone's pregnancy is different for everyone. I think that because we work in the health field we are more atune to whats going on with our bodies than most people. That said if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle before you get pregnant then its just going to carry over. Nurses tend to carry a lot of baggage, we keep emotions bottled up and keep working when we probably shouldn't (d/t an injury or illness) we eat wrong, work hard and and are sometimes exposed to who knows what. Would firefighters have the same problems (not to many of them get pregnant, but its the same type of stressors). I guess you would have to ask yourself does your job affect your pregnancy or does your job affect you and then the pregnancy suffers. I worked L&D and PP when I was pregnant with my twins. I had a C-Section 6 days early because they were both breech, but they were also both healthy. It was a very boring pregnancy, nothing exciting.
    Hugs to you, your wife and the little one, hope all goes well
    Last edit by Mama Val on Jul 14, '03