Pregnancy is a time like no other in a woman’s life. It is a moment filled with joy and anticipation for the arrival of your little one.
As your pregnancy progresses, you will experience a variety of physical and emotional changes. Some of your symptoms will be mild, while others may be more pronounced and difficult to handle.
You will have much on your mind during this time as well. And if you work while pregnant, you will undoubtedly have additional stress and fatigue.
According to the Pew Research Center, “66% of mothers who gave birth to their first child between 2006 and 2008 worked during their pregnancy.”
This figure has remained the same, for the most part, since the late 1980s. Furthermore, data also suggests that more women are working longer into their pregnancy.
And while there is more awareness in the workplace about pregnancy and accommodations, it can be challenging to make others understand why pregnant women may feel overwhelmed, may need more time to rest, and may even require help with their duties from time to time.
Since workplace rules are typically the same for everyone, expectant mothers may need to come up with convincing excuses to get out of work while pregnant.
Continue reading for important information as you request to leave work early or take some time off from work.
Symptoms by Trimester
A study in the journal, Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, discovered that 56% of employed expectant mothers call in sick in the first 32 weeks of pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may find yourself needing more time off. Keeping in mind the expected symptoms per trimester may help you choose the right excuse to get out of work for your stage in the pregnancy.
During the first trimester, which is from the first through the twelfth week, you will experience extreme tiredness, morning sickness, mood swings, constipation, increased urination, headaches, and heartburn.
The second trimester is from the thirteenth through the twenty-eighth week. During this time, you are likely to experience body aches, numb or tingling hands, and swelling of ankles, fingers, and face.
The third, and last, trimester spans from the twenty-ninth through the fortieth week. At this time, you may have shortness of breath, heartburn, swelling of ankles, fingers, and face, as well as hemorrhoids, trouble sleeping, and premature contractions.
There is much going on with your body during pregnancy. Do not feel guilty or unprofessional for having to take time off to care for yourself and your baby.
Convincing Excuses to Get Out of Work While Pregnant
There are a variety of pregnancy complications that may require your doctor to monitor you and your baby closely.
High blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes are just a few of the issues that may arise as your pregnancy progresses.
There may be times when you may need to skip work to take care of yourself and make sure you are not putting yourself or your baby at risk.
Lower Back, Hip, Neck, or Shoulder Pain
Lower back pain is the second-most common excuse for getting out of work while pregnant.
As your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows and makes a home inside you, you may experience body aches and pains, from your lower back to your hip, neck, and shoulders.
If you sit in front of a computer or stay on your feet for long hours your pain may worsen.
Although lower back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain may become more pronounced during your third trimester, you may begin to feel discomfort within a couple of months of your pregnancy.
Since you may experience body pain throughout your pregnancy, this makes for a valid excuse to miss work.
Nausea and dizziness are normally associated with morning sickness, which is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.
In some cases, it can be quite severe, and contrary to its name, it can happen any time of the day.
Since your sense of smell becomes heightened during pregnancy, morning sickness is a completely legitimate excuse to leave work early, especially during the first trimester, as you may be exposed to unpleasant smells that may make you nauseous.
Remember, no one at work wants to make you sick. Opt to go home and rest instead.
Most of the time, contracting a common respiratory illness won’t land you in the hospital.
However, since hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy lower your immunity, you may be more prone to illness and hospitalization, especially since some bacteria and viruses can cause developmental complications.
If you see a colleague experiencing a contagious illness, such as the flu, the common cold, the stomach flu, whooping cough, etc., steer clear of them and request to go home early or miss a day or two entirely to avoid catching their bug.
Premature contractions, also known as Braxton Hicks, are a woman’s body’s way of preparing for labor.
Although they are less intense and usually pass after a short period, you can still use them as an excuse to leave work early or miss work the following day or so.
Fatigue or Exhaustion
You are growing a little human inside you!
Consequently, you may experience fatigue and exhaustion throughout your pregnancy, although it will be more pronounced during your first and third trimesters.
In addition to the changes your body is undergoing, work stress and demands may prove to be too much for your body and mind to handle all at once. Additionally, your fluctuating hormones may also play a role in you feeling fatigued.
When you are in physical distress, so is your child. Therefore, taking a day to recover and rest should not be a source of guilt or shame for you. You and your baby come first.
Vaginal Spotting or Bleeding
Although your period stops while pregnant, you may still experience minimal bleeding and spotting throughout your pregnancy.
Even though it can be a normal part of pregnancy, excessive or continuous bleeding should be taken seriously, and you should seek immediate medical help.
This is a truly urgent and legitimate excuse to leave work early or miss an entire day if needed.
Every mom-to-be must have periodic health check-ups. The frequency of prenatal medical visits will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy.
During a normal pregnancy, prenatal visits occur as follows:
- At 0-26 weeks – Once every 4 weeks
- At 26-32 weeks – Once every 3 weeks
- At 32-36 weeks – Once every 2 weeks
- At 36 weeks until delivery – Once every week
Medical appointments are a great excuse to get out of work early or miss a day. Not only is it a legitimate reason to miss work, but it is important to get checked up regularly to monitor the baby’s health and development.
Not keeping up with your prenatal screens may result in deficiencies and complications that may affect your baby’s development.
Expectant mothers have a lot on their plate, especially if they are working while pregnant.
Although there is more awareness and support in the workplace for pregnant women, there is still a long way to go in providing the correct accommodations for them.
Most of the time, workplace rules are the same for everyone. Because you are going through so many changes, physically and emotionally, it is normal for you to have a personal day here and there while you’re pregnant.
Therefore, coming up with legitimate, convincing excuses to get out of work while pregnant is an important part of your self-care routine.