According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women take at least two months of sick leave. Overall, they found that 75% of the pregnant women had taken their sick leave at some point during the pregnancy, and the most common time was during the third trimester, from 29 weeks onwards. The main reasons for taking sick leave were pelvic girdle pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and sleep problems, among other reasons.
Even though there’s a lot of awareness now about the needs of working pregnant women, unfortunately, workplace rules are the same for all employees.
And when fatigue and work-related stress are thrown in the mix, it becomes alright if you sometimes feel overwhelmed and want to get off work early on certain days.
Hence, depending on the mood and point of view, there are times when you have to come up with creative ways/excuses so that you get permission to leave work early while pregnant.
7 ways to get out of work early during pregnancy
The pregnancy mostly lasts well over 35 weeks, and the last trimester is as crucial as the first. There’s no telling what a pregnant woman might feel at any point of the day.
Most workplaces today grant paid maternity leave to their female employees, but this leave is only right before the delivery date.
Taking leave early during pregnancy is essential if you feel overworked, stressed, or overwhelmed, as it can significantly impact your unborn child.
You don’t have to push yourself beyond your limits as it can take a considerable toll, resulting in consecutive multiple leaves together.
Hence, knowing different ways to get out of work early in a workday during your pregnancy becomes important.
1. Pain in the lower back and pelvis
As your abdomen grows, your body starts to feel heavy. In addition, you begin to experience pressure on the lower half of your body, especially on the hips.
Sitting or staying on your feet for extended hours will worsen the pain. It could lead to uncomfortable cramps, which can rise to the backbone.
These resultant pains may also occur in the neck and shoulders. And as pregnancy advances, these problems only become more acute. Your legs may also start feeling heavy and bloated.
These problems might seem worse on certain days, and it is perfectly okay to use this as an excuse to get out of work before things get worse.
2. Nausea and dizziness
Nausea and dizziness are common side effects of pregnancy. It is one of the earliest signs and symptoms of pregnancy, and they keep recurring in bouts throughout the period.
The dizziness can be quite severe sometimes, and any slight change in smell can cause a pregnant woman to vomit.
Moreover, blood pressure could also fluctuate considerably during this period, and dizziness could result from it.
No one would wish to see a lady vomit and fall over in the middle of a workday. You can say you’re feeling unwell and want to get off work. Also, ensure you get a checkup.
3. Premature contractions
If you’re nearing your due date and you’re still working, one of the excuses you may use to get out of work is experiencing contractions.
Also known as Braxton hicks, it is a woman’s body’s way of preparing for labor, and it might feel like the contractions have started, but they’re far less intense and usually pass away with time.
You can use these contractions to get off work because, at times, they can last a while, and it is always good to have them checked.
It’s a reliable excuse, and the workplace is bound to honor it.
4. Sleep deprivation
Pregnancy problems sometimes are enough to keep you awake all night. These problems can result in sleep deprivation leading to fatigue.
Coupled with the pressures and work stress, this can sometimes be difficult to handle. You risk falling and hurting yourself in such a tired physical state.
You can also make mistakes at work that might not be in the company’s best interest. That is a good enough excuse to get off the job during pregnancy.
5. Vaginal bleeding
You suddenly leave your desk to use the washroom, and you notice you have vaginal bleeding.
You expect minimal bleeding during the pregnancy, but it could also indicate something more severe that you shouldn’t overlook.
Besides confiding in a coworker, it is one of those situations where you should seek immediate medical help, making it a legit excuse to get off work.
6. A contagious illness in the workplace
Your colleagues could feel unwell at times. Chronic ailments like cough or runny nose are common since several people work together in an office, but they are usually harmless.
However, during pregnancy, the hormonal changes in the body often lower your immunity, and your chances of contracting these diseases are usually higher.
Furthermore, the fetus is at significant risk of being infected by a bacteria or a virus which could result in developmental complications in extreme cases.
So if you notice or suspect any of your colleagues suffering from any contagious illness in the office that could most likely threaten you and your unborn baby’s life, you can excuse yourself and leave work.
7. Keeping a medical appointment
One of the best excuses you can make to get out of work while pregnant is to say that you have an appointment with your gynecologist.
Any other kind of medical appointment can wait, but you must get your pregnancy checkup done on time to monitor the baby’s health.
Failure to do so may result in deficiencies and complications that could affect the mental and physical development of the baby.
You can not afford to miss your prenatal checkups. They’re essential and will give you a valid excuse to get off work.
Is working while pregnant safe?
According to the CDC, most women can continue working while pregnant.
That said, the safety of your pregnancy depends on factors such as your health status, what you do for a living, and any complications you may have with the pregnancy.
Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your pregnancy or if your job exposes you to chemicals, radiation, other harmful materials, loud noises, vibrations from heavy machinery, or extreme heat or cold.
Should you work until your due date?
The details of your maternity benefits and your family’s financial needs will likely play a role in your decision.
If your leave is unpaid, you may want to delay your last day at work for as long as possible.
You may also want to preserve your time off even if your leave is payable to use after the baby arrives.
While your career is essential, taking care of yourself and your child is a topmost priority during pregnancy.
If your employer values you, they will not deny you the time you need to relax and give birth to a healthy baby. It will only make you a loyal and responsible employee in the future.
So go ahead and make excuses if you need time to yourself at this extraordinary period in your life, and all will be well when you return to work.