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Time off during pregnancy through stress

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by lisaquin, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I've never posted on here before but thought it was a good place to get some advice.
    I am currently 8 weeks pregnant after undergoing a course of ivf before Christmas. My school have been so brilliant and supportive during this time and I was signed off work for 2 weeks.
    Due to my age (I am 39) and the fact that it is an ivf baby, I am probably being more precious but i am worried about returning to work and all of the stress that will ensue. I have spoken to my gp who has offered to give me an amended work schedule should i need it and i have liaised with my line managers to sort out an altered working day to make life a bit easier for me.
    However, I am Head of Year in a very busy boarding school and people just generally don't understand that i really need to look after myself and there are some things i can't do. It sounds awful but at the moment all i can think of is my growing baby and its welfare. To be honest, I don't give a hoot about anything else, which sounds really bad.
    To top it all, we are expecting a full inspection at the end of Jan. I won't be 12 weeks yet and will still be vulnerable. I know things will be full on and normally i would embrace that as i've been through many successful Ofsteds in the past. However, I feel differently this time and am trying to avoid stress at all costs. It's all very well thinking i will stay calm but with everyone around me running around like headless chickens it's really hard. Our Headmaster is new and a bit of a slavedriver so not sure how he will react to the Inspection and what his demands will be.
    I really need some advice about what to do. Teachers feel so bad about taking time off and i've already had 2 weeks. I'm mentoring an NQT and feel i can't let them down, but i'm wondering if things get too bad whether i should just get myself signed off until the whole thing is over.
    I'm not sure if there is a maternity board on here, but it's hard for people to understand how i'm feeling unless they have been through it but i hope you can help.
    L x
     
  2. Hi all,
    I've never posted on here before but thought it was a good place to get some advice.
    I am currently 8 weeks pregnant after undergoing a course of ivf before Christmas. My school have been so brilliant and supportive during this time and I was signed off work for 2 weeks.
    Due to my age (I am 39) and the fact that it is an ivf baby, I am probably being more precious but i am worried about returning to work and all of the stress that will ensue. I have spoken to my gp who has offered to give me an amended work schedule should i need it and i have liaised with my line managers to sort out an altered working day to make life a bit easier for me.
    However, I am Head of Year in a very busy boarding school and people just generally don't understand that i really need to look after myself and there are some things i can't do. It sounds awful but at the moment all i can think of is my growing baby and its welfare. To be honest, I don't give a hoot about anything else, which sounds really bad.
    To top it all, we are expecting a full inspection at the end of Jan. I won't be 12 weeks yet and will still be vulnerable. I know things will be full on and normally i would embrace that as i've been through many successful Ofsteds in the past. However, I feel differently this time and am trying to avoid stress at all costs. It's all very well thinking i will stay calm but with everyone around me running around like headless chickens it's really hard. Our Headmaster is new and a bit of a slavedriver so not sure how he will react to the Inspection and what his demands will be.
    I really need some advice about what to do. Teachers feel so bad about taking time off and i've already had 2 weeks. I'm mentoring an NQT and feel i can't let them down, but i'm wondering if things get too bad whether i should just get myself signed off until the whole thing is over.
    I'm not sure if there is a maternity board on here, but it's hard for people to understand how i'm feeling unless they have been through it but i hope you can help.
    L x
     
  3. Lifestyle, bottom left column, Pregnancy and Baby & Toddler.
    Congratulations on your pregnancy. You are quite right that nothing is more important than the wellbeing of your baby and I for one was never keen on the thought of all those stress hormones sloshing through my foetuses.
    On the other hand you will probably still be intending to accept a pay cheque for the next nine months. You aren't actually ill and your GP and employer have already been accommodating and supportive. I'm sure you'll find plenty of sympathy on the above-mentioned forums from women who managed to work throughout their pregnancies with no obvious ill-effect on the outcome.
    But I can't say I'm impressed with the plan of getting yourself signed off at the school's expense for the remainder of your pregnancy just because it will all be a bit harder than usual. I'm not sure that is what equal opportunities, women's rights or Statutory Sick Pay are for.

     
  4. Hi there,

    I think the answer is easy. Your baby and your health come first and at the end of the day is the most important thing going on in your life at the moment. Don't feel bad for not giving a t.. about everything else. It's only a job. See your doctor and ask him for more time off. He/She will understand and as long as you have his support the school have to accept it. If in doubt ring the teacher support line for their advice. You could ask your union for advice too. Put your baby and yourself first!!

    Happy New Year
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Your school is obliged by law to carry out a risk assessment which should include consideration of stress and what adjustments would be reasonable to implement.
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg373hp.pdf
    "Getting yourself signed off" may not be as straightforward as you think if you cannot provide evidence of illness to your GP and pregnancy related absence in later stage may affect your when your maternity leave starts (and,as a result, when it finishes).

     
  6. I was sacked from my (non-teaching) job in a school when I was almost 8 months pregnant. I was sacked because I was pregnant, but obviously couldn't prove it.
    Anyhoo - due to the fact they said I wouldn't receive maternity pay as I was leaving (being booted) before my maternity leave was due to start, my stress levels and subsequently my blood pressure went through the roof. I was expected by my then employer to work up until the end of my contract but wasn't inclined to go in every day for those three weeks or so as I was a physical and mental wreck. I went to the GP and he 'signed me off' with stress for three weeks.
    To be honest - I don't see any doc writing you a sick note for the duration of seven months. It's a very long time, and to be brutal, I do think you're being a wee bit precious.
     
  7. Sorry - my last post was a bit me-me-me. And a bit grumpy.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope things go well for you.
    But I do think seven months off 'sick' is stretching things a bit. :)
     
  8. Just a question, did you mean take time off for whole pregnancy, or until ofsted is over?
     
  9. I was pregnant, 11 weeks, at the time of an inspection. It was not by IVF so I did not have that stress but being pregnant is not an illness. Nobody at my school knew until the inspection was over and I survived by being super organised in advance and having early nights, as I was really exhausted!

    It depends on you r frame of mind, bit see your doctor...if he thinks you need to be signed off he will do so.

    Good luck x
     
  10. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    I worked right up till the end of my pregnancy and my girl turned 21 on Monday!
    However, stress can effect mother and baby and women who have IVF treatment have it for a reason, so I understand where the OP is coming from; I don't think she is being 'precious' at all.
    As Seren says, the OP's employers need to do a 'risk' assessment and her GP should be able to make recommendations too.
    I know a teacher who was off work for ALL of both her pregnancies.
    SSx
     
  11. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!
    I can understand that you want to take good care of yourself, especially as you've been through IVF, so i'm assuming you've been trying for a while.
    Is there any way you can drop some of your responsibility at work, like your head of year role?
    I work in a very challenging secondary school, and worked up to 36 weeks in my first pregnancy, and it didn't do my baby any harm, or myself really. This time i'll work up to 37 weeks.
     
  12. Well done on your pregnancy.
    Your normal duties will not affect your pregnancy. Stress during pregnancy won't harm your baby, unless it starts to manifest itself physically, like high blood pressure, or exhaustion/insomnia.
    It will be fine. Try not to worry and enjoy being pregnant. You will feel a lot happier the further you go into it.
     
  13. Yes, I too work in a very challenging school and yes, I am pregnant.....
    and last week, whilst teaching a very demanding class, a pupil smashed throught he classroom door whilst playfighting with a friend when the bell went and the door hit me full on in the back.....IMAGINE if I had been standing facing the door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. Not great but the baby is pretty well protected in there. I fell down a flight of stairs when I was heavily pregnant with my son and he was fine (Well...until he was teenager anyway. ) and was still 2 weeks overdue. I also had a large number of doors opened into the bump when I was pregnant with my daughter as the bump seemed to arrive several minutes before the rest of me did (she ended up being over 10lbs when she was born). However I had to take the last 3 months of my last pregnancy off as I ended up in a wheelchair. All 3 of mine seem to have survived despite all the bumps during pregnancy and several trips to A&E since. Babies are pretty damned tough little blighters.
     

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