Overall, they found that 75% of the women had taken sick leave at some point during pregnancy, and the most common time for taking sick leave was the third trimester, from 29 weeks onwards, when 63% of the study sample had taken leave. Close menu. One in four reported more than 20 days of sick leave. The study demonstrates how common it is for women to take some sick leave during pregnancy – 75% had taken some sick leave by 32 weeks of pregnancy. The authors say that population-based information such as this may help to guide clinicians and policy makers in Norway on how to handle requests for, and possibly reduce, sick leave during pregnancy. Conditions such as vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia and preterm labor contractions can warrant the cessation of all work activities.

Your pregnancy may even start normally but turn high-risk at a later stage. Familiarize yourself with your leave options and compile a list of administrative contacts and their numbers so that you are prepared in an emergency situation.
The questionnaires, which were filled in at 20 and 32 weeks of gestation, provided information on maternal characteristics, the number of days spent on sick leave and the associated reasons. Mayo Clinic: Bed Rest During Pregnancy: Get the Facts, United States Department of Labor: OSHA Reproductive Hazards.

The researchers looked at whether any of these factors were associated with the likelihood of a woman taking sick leave. Sick leave is for people who are too sick to work, or in cases of injury or quarantine. The study was published in the peer-reviewedBritish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Of the 2,918 women, 75% had taken sick leave at some point during their pregnancy up to 32 weeks; 20% had taken no sick leave at all up until then; and 5% were not in paid work. How to Ask for Time Off for Job Interviews. Long-term sick leave was more frequent among women with pre-pregnancy low back pain. If you are having twins or multiples, your pregnancy is naturally high-risk, so the doctor may take more precautions with your activities. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. The prevalence of sick leave was 56% of employed pregnant women in the first 32 weeks of gestation and more than one in four reported long-term sick leave (>20 days, continuous or intermittent). The reasons were grouped into the following catogories: The women were also asked whether their work situation had been adjusted to accommodate for their pregnancy and if not, why not, with options of: Extensive information was collected in the two questionnaires at 17 and 32 weeks on demographics, past reproductive history (such as details of previous pregnancies), any fertility problems, information on the current pregnancy and lifestyle behaviour. If you are older than 35, and drink or use drugs during pregnancy, then your pregnancy may fall into the high-risk category. This reasonably large study can’t tell us much more than how common it is for Norwegian women to take sick leave in pregnancy. Sick leave can be taken for a maximum of 15 weeks.

Choosing to leave the workplace or take on a different role is not "using pregnancy excuses for work," it is self-preservation and taking care to protect one's unborn child's health.

Read more advice about working during your pregnancy. In Canada, you are permitted to take sick leave during pregnancy. Does a New Employee Have to Reveal That They Are Pregnant in an Interview. This means that it is not possible to say whether the factors assessed could have directly contributed to the women’s sick leave, only that they are associated with sick leave. A pregnant woman can not be fired during her pregnancy and for 16 weeks after birth. Pregnancy in the workplace is common, and businesses are legally required to have processes in place to assist pregnant workers. Other unknown or unmeasured factors may also be influencing the associations seen. A Federal employee is entitled to use sick leave when he or she receives medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment; is incapacitated by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth; or would jeopardize the health of others by his or her presence on the job because of exposure to a communicable disease. The main reason given for work not being adjusted among women who took sick leave was that it was ‘impossible or nearly impossible’ (44.2%). However, there are some important points to consider: Overall, this reasonably large study tells us how common it is for Norwegian women to take sick leave during pregnancy. But due to the differences between Norway and the UK there is not much this study can tell us about how much time UK pregnant women take off work. The final sample included 2,918 women who had completed both questionnaires and had completed information on the main outcome of interest – sick leave.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence of sick leave and self-reported reasons given for sick leave during pregnancy. If you do find yourself facing threats of termination or losing your job because of your refusal to perform dangerous tasks, you may be able to pursue compensation for any losses you incur as a result.

Check with your company's human resources office to obtain a copy of the maternity leave policy. You cannot be forced to perform tasks that do not comply with OSHA's regulations, like being exposed to radiation during your pregnancy. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. The study was carried out by researchers at Stavanger University Hospital, Norway and was funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Although the women were followed over time, the analyses were essentially cross-sectional, as women were questioned on leave taken during their pregnancy and also asked about various other factors that they were experiencing around the time of pregnancy, without establishing which came first. The authors say that population-based information such as this, about the factors associated with sick leave in pregnancy, may help to guide clinicians and policy makers in Norway on how to handle requests for and possibly reduce sick leave during pregnancy. This is an interesting study that benefits from including a large sample of women due to give birth in Norway and collecting detailed information on various socio-demographic details, medical and pregnancy-related history and lifestyle behaviour.

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