Gransnet forums


... to think that it is wrong that pregnancy is nowadays too often considered an illness?

(63 Posts)
granjura Wed 25-Feb-15 18:25:58

On an expat Forum here- so many young women expect to get a medical certificate to allow them not to work during pregnancy. Am I the only one who feels sad that pregnancy is so often seen as a 'problem and an illness'?

Of course this is the case for many, for all sorts of reasons- but really should not become the norm. Or???

Anne58 Wed 25-Feb-15 18:30:08

When I was pregnant with DS2, although I was not "working " i.e. in paid employment, at the time, I still managed to take bales of hay out to the sheep and split logs for the woodburner.

I'm afraid that I have little time for those who play the "in my condition" card, although of course there are those who do genuinely need to take a life a bit easier due to certain health conditions or problems with previous pregnancies.

janerowena Wed 25-Feb-15 18:34:53

Each case should be taken individually. 2nd baby - a breeze. 1st baby - I had constant sickness at any time of day, carpal tunnel syndrome, the bit that softens to let the baby out softened too early which made it impossible to walk, I have thankfully forgotten the rest. I would say that yes, I was ill throughout my entire pregnancy, right from when I threw up while on a Ferris wheel blush (I wasn't popular and was accused of being drunk) - something I usually love. Oh, and I fainted while out shopping. Three times.

My point is - if you were

continually sick for eight months
couldn't use your hands and had to sleep with them up above your head all night
kept fainting
were in constant pain when walking

You would be considered ill. But oh no, you are 'only' pregnant and aren't even allowed to take a pain killer or cold cure.

Grannyknot Wed 25-Feb-15 18:35:42

What ...? (OP). Unless there is genuinely a medical reason, I am confused. I worked with my first pregnancy until eventually the boss said to me "Please stay at home from now on" grin - I must have been about 8 months pregnant. But I was fine! Work was close to home, sitting in an office. No problem.

Mishap Wed 25-Feb-15 18:37:00

I have not really come across this attitude, but have seen many women work as long as they can because of the family finances.

I am glad that there is full and careful medical supervision of mothers via ante- natal care to make quite sure that any potential problems are detected early and properly dealt with.

Is this something that particularly goes on where you are granjura? - I have not really come across it here.

Iam64 Wed 25-Feb-15 18:47:20

Same here Mishap, the young women I know have all worked to their maternity leave. Sadly, as with many of our generation, they are all too aware of being under a microscope and desperate not to be seen as in any way "using" their pregnancy to avoid professional responsibilities.

Gracesgran Wed 25-Feb-15 18:55:44

I am not sure about anyone else but every younger person I know - and they are not always as young as we were - seems to work 'til they drop and then go back as soon as they can because they need to be earning. I am sure it varies quite a bit - as it did when we were having our children.

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 18:57:21

Never heard of anyone expecting to be 'excused' from work because they're pregnant! Do GPs really hand out sick notes for such a reason? (Assuming no complications or debilitating sickness etc.)

Agus Wed 25-Feb-15 19:11:36

I don't know anyone who described her pregnancy as an illness. Quite the opposite in fact as in, "I'm pregnant, not I'll"!

tanith Wed 25-Feb-15 19:30:47

I must say that young women now seem to want to work up to the last minute rather than finding ways not to work.. my grandson's Mum worked up till 2wks before his birth I really can't say I've seen evidence of this trend if I'm honest.

granjura Wed 25-Feb-15 19:37:29

Mishap- not a problem here with the 'natives' - but seems quite common with expats. Same for ceasarians for no medical reason.

J52 Wed 25-Feb-15 19:46:24

33 years ago my employer would not let me work after 11 weeks prior to the birth, for H&S reasons.
It was an awful winter, so I was quite pleased. X

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 19:50:53

Well, it seems as though it's not a problem here in the UK either, and the only women I've heard of having 'elective cesarians' are in the media or high-flying business women who have to fit the birth in between meetings! grin

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 19:52:08


Soutra Wed 25-Feb-15 19:57:35

Well I had an elective C section for all 3DDs as it happens, for medical reasons and am not an ex/media high flyer grin , but I would echo all the posts which state the opposite of OP! I think many Mums work probably for too long right up to the birth which may be fine but little do they realise how exhausting the next 6 or 9 months may be!

annsixty Wed 25-Feb-15 19:59:41

I have certainly known many young women who think that they are unique in being pregnant and expect everyone else to treat them as if they are. But they do still work until the last minute while expecting everyone to kowtow to them and their condition.

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 20:00:40

granjura's post referred to women having C sections 'for no medical reason' which is what I was replying to, Soutra. Of course sometimes it's a necessity!

rosequartz Wed 25-Feb-15 20:20:00

I was sick and ill all through my 1st pregnancy and left work at 5 and a half months (no maternity pay in those days anyway). I could not stay awake and felt much as janer describes apart from the carpal tunnel syndrome - but I did have extremely painful joints due to softening ligaments and could hardly walk. I felt as if I had 'flu all the way through.
I was dreading another pregnancy but sailed through that and the next one.

Did anyone see the story about the man who has gone sick because he is experiencing a phantom pregnancy in sympathy with his wife? hmm

grannyactivist Wed 25-Feb-15 20:47:00

Like others have mentioned I find the opposite is true and the pregnant women I have known have worked until the last possible moment.

Anne58 Wed 25-Feb-15 21:03:16

Sorry to ask, it might be that I haven't understood, but I'm a bit confused by your post, Soutra , "Well I had an elective C section for all 3DDs as it happens, for medical reasons" confused

Tegan Wed 25-Feb-15 21:40:52

I had no understanding of how awful morning sickness can be until my daughter suffered from it [eg couldn't understand why anyone, at the time took thalidomide sad]. I do think that some women work for far too long so that they can spend use more of their maternity leave with the baby. My main gripe about pregnancy is how women are made to feel they should look glamorous up to the birth and become wafer thin straight afterwards.

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 21:46:22

Maternity leave didn't work like that when I was pregnant. You were entitled to so many weeks off before the birth, and so many weeks after. If you chose to work longer into the pregnancy, you forfeited that time (i.e. you couldn't have extra time off after the baby was born).

Has it changed now? I don't think it had when DD was expecting.

granjura Wed 25-Feb-15 21:47:07

Elective as in pre-planned, rather than emergency on the day. But for medical reasons it is totally right. What I am talking about is the new phenomenon of many women- in the USA in particular, and also, as said, popular with wealthy expats where I live- choosing to have a ceasarian, not generally due to 'fitting birth in between meetings' - but mostly due to fear (call it 'too posh to push' if you wish) or much worse, artificially early to avoid physical 'disfigurment' (sp?) in the last few weeks.

I had an emergency section after a long labour as I would not dilate- and DD1 had the same for the first, and an elective for second. (I begged the obstetrician in Leics to allow me to try and give birth normally to second- and he agreed- providing I agreed to section should it become necessary. In the end forceps where required at the end, but I was so pleased I manged to go through normal labour to the end). Ceasarian's are real life-savers, and it is possible both DD1 and I would have died in labour without- but it should be only when it is medically necessary, no??

Ana Wed 25-Feb-15 22:00:28

Well of course my 'in between meetings' comment was tongue in cheek! hmm

Elective C sections for non-medical reasons have probably been commonplace among the rich and famous for a long time. I thought you were talking about more ordinary ex-pats, granjura!

Lilygran Wed 25-Feb-15 22:34:30

I don't think it is, granjura. My DDiL gave birth to two out of three DGS before she started her maternity leave and took no time off a very demanding job during all her pregnancies. Some women (Duchess of Cambridge?) have an awful pregnancy and others sail through. Bit like menstruation and the menopause - some women seem to have no problems and others are really incapacitated. I was one of the lucky ones but I know a number of other women who weren't. However, I had post-natal depression with my first DS and couldn't have gone out to work for almost a year but I hadn't renewed my contract. Maternity leave was about six weeks!