I work in a warehouse, and some of the stuff I have to move is pretty heavy (I was in a section with the lighter stuff, and the largest thing I had to pick was 60 pounds). I gave them the confirmation of pregnancy, and they said they don't need it, and won't modify my duties until/unless I have a note from the doctor restricting me from lifting or whatever. My question is if anyone has any suggestions on how to make lifting easier/not so painful, and how to deal with the fatigue from such demanding work. I've been trying to set up an appointment, but I feel like I'm getting the run around on trying to get an appointment.
Manual Labor and Pregnancy Suggestions
I don't have any personal experience with this, but I would get your health care provider to write you a note. I don't think I personally could do much heavy lifting, and you certainly don't want to pull any muscles, ligaments get much looser during pregnancy. I know when I have to haul 30 or 40 pounds of laundry down two flights to my basement it's tiring, I end up throwing and rolling the laundry bag down the stairs. If you feel like it's too much, I would contact your Dr. How far along are you?
I'm 8 weeks 6 days today. I have an appointment with the nurses from the OB office on the first of October, so I will talk to them then. I was thinking it was very difficult, and the people I've told who work with me are/were surprised at the nonchalant attitude HR had with it. Thank you, that helps. :)
OTOH, if you're looking to stop doing warehouse work altogether during your pregnancy, either by doing some other kind of work for the company or by taking disability leave, you will need a doctor to back you up.
I would suggest that until you can actually resolve the issue with your employer, you look into seeing a physical therapist specializing in pregnancy. Usually there are different tricks and methods you can use when lifting to minimize stress on your ligaments and back. Unfortunately I am not in health care myself so I know jack about what these methods actually entail, but I do know that my Maternity clinic offers special courses on heavy lifting while pregnant.
I recall from the last time around that lifting anything over 40 pounds got really challenging, and usually had someone else do it.You should definitely not be lifting anything that weighs 60 pounds--you'll wreck your back for sure (among other problems). (And won't be able to take any of the pain meds to alleviate it)
[they] won't modify my duties until/unless I have a note from the doctor restricting me from lifting or whatever.
Get that ASAP (before you get hurt and have to go through the fun of workmen's comp). I know it can be hard to get an appt, so if you can't get one in a reasonable amount of time, go to a walk-in clinic and tell whoever you see that you need a doctor's note stating that you should not being doing heavy lifting (to give to your employer).
My other piece of advice is to work something out informally with your coworkers and see if anyone would be willing to help you when you have a large/heavy item that you don't feel comfortable with.
Also, I don't know how far along you are, but if you're past 20 weeks, definitely make sure you have a good back brace and comfy shoes. That makes a huge difference. It's hard to lift once your belly has popped out and gets in the way. As far as strategies for lifting, it depends a lot on what kind of object it is.
No matter what you do, though, once you get well into the third trimester, its going to be hard to stay in the game.
I think it really depends on what you feel up to physically. If and when you feel unable to lift a certain amount of weight or in certain positions, then ask your ob/midwife for a note. I doubt they'll have any problem writing it.
I have a fairly physical job (RN on a surgical floor - so moving beds/lifting patients and on my feet for 12 hour night shifts) and so far feel no need to modify my work routine. I'm currently 24 weeks. I'm also continuing to do weightlifting and running on my days off. Essentially my midwife has told me that I can continue doing any activity I was doing before so long as I listen to my body. If at any point I have pain, cramping, bleeding, dizziness, etc then I'll take it down a notch or stop. However, I know that many people are much more conservative about activity during pregnancy than I am. Most of my co-workers think I'm nuts. If you want to restrict yourself, or if your ob/midwife thinks you should then just get the note, problem solved.