Do you think I should say something to midwife?

Hi all

I'm 36 weeks pregnant tomorrow and really feeling it now. I have pubic dysfunction (or whatever its called) and have seen physio. She's told me not to stand for more than 20 mins and to avoid stairs. trouble is I'm a teacher and work in a school where the classrooms are on three levels?! Anyway have had a horrendous week of complete exhaustion and ended up with migraine and sickness. My feet look completely deformed by the end of the day and by playtime my feet are swelling past my shoe straps. They go down a little in the morning but not completely anymore. I got really depressed on Tuesday because I dreaded the pain I would be in by the end of the day - legs, feet and pelvic girdle pain. My mum wants me to try and get signed off but I feel bad because I'm the one who said she would work until the end of the month - another two weeks image

As you can imagine Babs is not coming at the best time for the academic year. But now I have read about conditions like preeclampsia and don't want to but baby at risk. What do you think - is this norman at this stage or am I being over dramatic?



  • I think you need to put yourself first. You're clearly struggling and I don't think you should worry about finishing earlier than you had originally planned.

    I will be finishing at 35 weeks as I have loads of holiday to take so my mat leave won't actually start until week 39.

    As you only have four weeks to go if you do get signed of with a pregnancy related illness you mat leave will automatically start so it won't count as sick leave anyway.

    Good luck x
  • MiaLeaceyMiaLeacey Posts: 1,184
    YES! I would give midwife a ring as soon as. It's not normal for you to be swelling that much or getting migraines. I had a couple of migraines earlier in pregnancy but now I'm at this stage my mw wants me to ring her immediately if I get another. I teach too and I was supposed to be working till half term (37 weeks) but my mw doesn't want me to go beyond 35 weeks and that's without swelling or migraines, that was due to anaemia. You simply can not continue in this state. Pre-eclampsia is virtually symptomless but can be fatal to mother and baby. Ok, so I'm probably being over dramatic, but you must get tis checked out. I know all about the teacher guilt but stuff it! You get little enough thanks in this job.

    Take care! x
  • My goodness I'm no expert but you simply cannot continue like this. You need to put yourself and your baby first. Yes you will lose 2 weeks of your maternity leave that you hadn't bargained for but I think your health and the babies health is worth it!!

    Take care and look after yourself!

  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    Your work are at an obligation to put things in place and if they can't to do what the physio said then you need to not be there. I run training courses and have been told I must deliver what I can sitting rather than standing.

    I think it is time for you to go off to be honest. Your mat leave will start earlier but also think that you need to be rested before baby arrives. And it could come at any time now.
  • MiaLeaceyMiaLeacey Posts: 1,184
    I agree with cebpickle. I'm excused break duty until I go now and I've been given a stool to teach from so I am not on my feet too much. At the very least please speak to your employer. Have you done your maternity risk assessment? Your school sounds as if they may be contravening all sorts of H&S laws.
  • You can't predict these things and if you're suffering I think it's time to get signed off. I was feeling completely fine until 37 weeks when I suddenly started getting pains in my chest. Off to the hospital and they ran all the tests and thought I may be getting pre eclamspia (blood pressure etc. had all been completely fine up until this point). They were going to induce me at 39 weeks until a routine scan showed that baby was breech - nobody had picked up on this until this point!- and I had a cesarean at 38+1 weeks.

    Please, I know how hard it is when you are worrying about work but yours and bubs health have to come first. X
  • Joobs09Joobs09 Posts: 214
    Hi all

    Thanks for your responses. Have been sick again today. It's like being in the first trimester again. I have my midwife appointment tomorrow so will tell her all about it. Have heard from my parents who are abroad and think I'm in for a lecture when they get back - oh well. So will go to work tomorrow and tell them I've had a rough weekend as a sort of warning if midwife does suggest anything and then see what mw says.

    On a happier note saw a friend's 1 month old today and started getting really excited. Makes me realise what's important.

    Thanks everyone.

  • Joobs09Joobs09 Posts: 214

    Well I saw the midwife today and she has advised me to either reduce or stop work. However I'm not really sure how to go about it. She said she can get a GP to sign me off or I can negotiate with my Head. Wasn't really expecting that - thought they weould either sign me off or nothing. I don't know if reducing my hours woulr affect my maternity pay or what. Anyone got any suggestions? Apparently I can call midwife on Wednesday if I need to arrange getting signed off. Didn't know it worked like this. Thought that was it you were signed off or not. image
  • MiaLeaceyMiaLeacey Posts: 1,184
    Hi Joobs,

    Thanks for the update, I've been thinking about you. Hope you're ok image

    I don't know about reducing hours but I know I've changed my mind and will go 2 weeks earlier than planned. I just discussed it with my head, he said fine and I just have to put it in writing for our bursar now. I believe we are perfectly entitled to change our minds about when to begin maternity leave so I would go and see your head and discuss it with him (or her) maybe even give him a ring tonight to put your mind at rest? A scary conversation to have I know but do it as soon as you can to stop you worrying.

    Good luck x
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786

    I don't know if it will affect maternity pay or not, be careful and make sure any enhanced pay is based on usual pay, not final weeks pay. Also for these next 2 weeks your pay will be reduced won't it? Unless your head feels very generous and cuts your hours on full pay
  • If its on health grounds I'm pretty sure they can't reduce your pay. My hours will drop from 9 to 5 to 10 to 4 as I approach d day but that will be on normal pay. Your employer must make reasonable adjustments to your work to support your pregnancy. Did you have a risk assessment. This was all documented in my risk assessment I had at 14weeks. X
  • Joobs09Joobs09 Posts: 214
    Well I never has a risk assessment. Personnel said I would have one with my head but it never happened or got brought up. In fact I currently don't have classroom support in the afternoon so have a lovely 2 and a half hours of being on my own. In fact funnily enough I'm the only one who doesn't have any support - great! My options are:

    a) see the head and negotiate part time hours or bring maternity forward but this will obviously affect pay. Btw if reducing hours on full pay were an option I would be more than happy to do this.

    b)Tell head that midwife has advised me to see a GP to get signed off and give her warning of doing so. Which is better money wise but I'm sure will make me feel very guilty.

    Whatcha think?
  • MiaLeaceyMiaLeacey Posts: 1,184
    From what I understand if you are signed off sick within a month of when your maternity leave was going to start, then your employer will take that as the start of your maternity leave anyway - so option 1 and 2 would pretty much work out the same I think. I'm not 100% sure of that so you'd have to check with your head. I think you should begin mat leave as soon as you possibly can though or even have a couple of sick days? Do not feel guilty! Your school has not done all they can to support you and they have a legal obligation to do so. No risk assessment? It's maddness. You owe them nothing, just keep that Bubba safe! Good luck!
  • Oh my goodness. My mum is a head teacher and is appauled by your post! No risk assessment!! They don't have a leg to stand on. If there has been mno risk assessment you shouldn't actually have been in work at this point until one was completed.

    It sounds from you posts that your head teacher isn't very supportive so if I were you I would be a little difficult. Go in to work today and ask for a copy of your risk assessment. They will then have to twll you there isn't one. You then ring occupational health-explain the situation and I would be shocked if they didn't send you home immediately. If there is no risk assessment they can't make you come to work until there is one. Theuy also have to pay you whilst your off until one is completed-with you present I might add.

    Also, there is a special maternity help line you can ring. I'd give them a call and get some advice. I'm having some issues at work and will be calling them myself today.

    Let us know how you get on.

  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    I would also speak to personnel. See if they have a copy of your risk assessment, which they shouldn't have unless one was done without you. As others have said maternity pay kicks in if you are signed off sick within 4 weeks of due date.

    Good luck
  • I'm a teacher like you and my head hasnt done a risk assessment either. Im on my own in the classroom two afternoons too. The bursar, when telling me about the risk assessment said 'they will ask you things like whether you take any PE lessons. Do you take any?' I said 'no, but I do supervise swimming.' She replied in a shitty way by the way ' Well pregnancy is not an illness. There is no reason why you can't do that.' I wasn't having that!!! I responded ' Well, I wasn't complaining! I was answering a question!' God help me when I do start struggling with general things, thats all I can say - Ive heard the use that line before!!!! Good luck, I hope they help you out.
  • Joobs09Joobs09 Posts: 214
    Well got signed off today. Head was really supportive actually and told me that I need to take care of myself above school. Maternity has kicked in from now which isn't ideal money wise but what can you do. Also been stressed cos the cat has vanished and can't find her. Feet are still bad but hopefully that should calm down a bit if I'm not on them all day. feels wierd cos I didn't get to saay goodbye to everyone properly. I'm sure I'll be in to see everyone with babs though. Weird to think that's it for 8 months now. No work, planning or anything (well apart from looking after little one - which I know will be hard work but you know what I mean). Thanks to everyone.


  • Don't feel guilty at all, you totally did the right thing x
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