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mamacolleen 07-10-2012 05:12 AM

I'm just curious to see what other multiple mama's who also WOHM did in terms of working while pregnant.

I'm about 19weeks pregnant with twins now and I have a 3 yo DD at home and a WOH full-time and I find myself constantly and overwhelmingly tired. I'll be 40 weeks Dec 5 (although OB has said he's not comfortable "letting" me go much past 38 weeks, whatever that means) and my original plan was to go off work at 35 weeks (last week of October), however I'm wondering if it might be beneficial to go off a little earlier than that.


I'm an RN, however I'm currently working as a project coordinator at the hospital (project wraps up end of Oct), so it's M-F desk work.  Not terribly strenous. I'm just really exhausted.


Really interested in hearing BTDT stories from other WOHM mum's who worked while pregnant with multiples.

lesliesara63 07-10-2012 08:08 PM

When we thought it was twins I was supposed to go off around 28 weeks I think. With triplets that changed things and I went off at 20 weeks & probably could have even sooner.

QMtwins 07-10-2012 10:05 PM


I'm an RN as well...the first set of twins I was working full time (3 12 hour shifts a week) as a labor and delivery nurse.  I had soem pretty good morning sickness with the girls that lasted through about 20 weeks and was very tired a lot and spent much of my days off on the couch.  Somehow though, I still remember being around 30 weeks and sprinting down the hall for some emergency and still beating my non-pregnant co-workers! 

Ended up off work at about 33 weeks for preeclampsia (did about a week at home of bedrest and then inpatient for 10 days before delivering at 36 weeks.).  I'm now 22 weeks.  This time around I am working in an office about 3/4 time and pick up a couple of shifts at the hospital each month.  Obviously not sure yet what it will bring this time, but hoping to keep to "normal," for as long as possible!  Not sure why but this pregnancy feels much easier to me than my first. 

I think you should trust and listen to your body and go from there.  Good luck!  

mamalovex3 07-11-2012 10:29 AM

I think every woman is different and every pregnancy is different, but you should definitely make sure to be extra tuned into your body and don't ignore signs that you need to slow down.  Also, even if you feel great, be prepared that things can change and you may need to change your activity level.


When I was pregnant with the girls I was working full time as a teacher (long days, on my feet all day) until an ultrasound at 24 weeks showed a short cervix and I stopped working and went on "modified" bedrest at home.  I felt fine, and had no idea that anything was happening, no contractions or anything.  I took it pretty easy after that.


This time I am at home with my girls (which also feels a lot like long days, on my feet all day lol) and found my cervix was shortening at about 26 weeks but bedrest is impossible with toddlers at home!  Now, at 30 weeks I am getting a student to come help with the girls a few times a week and trying to take it as easy as possible.  This time I feel much more exhausted, but have a lot more going on at home than the first time around.

queenofchaos 07-11-2012 02:10 PM

Here's a couple of things to consider, the first one you probably already know:  when you begin your 3rd tri. your body is working as hard as it might be at the end of a singleton pg, and you still have a most of another tri. to get through.  You are asking a lot of your body, you really need to take it easy and get as much rest as possible.  There might be other things that are making you more tired like pg induced insomnia, but if you are really that tired, then you need more rest.  Maybe cutting back on hours would help. 

The other thing is, there might be some reason you are not able to function like you have.  For example, about 2-3 wks out from when I delivered I found that I could no longer drive because my belly was too big.  In order to fit behind the wheel I would have to have the seat so far back that I couldn't reach the pedals.  I did not foresee this and it was a real problem, though by that time I was not working anymore.

I was working in childcare when I was pg with my twins.  At about 20 wks I changed from being part of the childcare staff, to office personnel, then about 24 wks, I but my hour down to 32 a wk, and then a few weeks after than down to 20-24 hrs a week.  Then at about 30 wks I stopped working altogether as I was having major swelling issues and there wasn't anyway that I could get my feet up during the day.  I probably would have worked longer if I could have managed someway to deal with that.

Your health is all you've got and you need to be doing your best so you can be the best mom you can be.  With that in mind, whatever will keep you and your babies the healthiest you can be that is what you should do.

mamacolleen 07-12-2012 07:01 AM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and sharing your experiences. Reflecting has allowed me to clarify what I need now and to be okay with what comes in the future.


Didn't mention in the original post but I'm booked for a duty day at my daughter's daycare every monday through July and August. With daycare's closure for vacation and stat holidays, that's another 5 days. For many reasons I can't back out of it at this point. My original plan was to work 10 hour days T-F to make up the hours, but I've decided just to take vacation days those 5 days so I don't have to work extra. I also plan to ask my boss if I can work from home 1 day per week over the summer so I can at least work from a more relaxed and horizontal position and maybe get a nap in the middle of the day. If I need to, I'll ask if I can bump that up to 2 days per week in the fall.


I'm hesitant to cut back on hours and risk losing out on maternity benefits (I'm in Canada) because of not working enough hours or something in the months leading up to the birth... but I do feel comfortable taking early sick leave if I just can't work until the end.


I'm also seeing my OB next week and will ask about getting my iron levels checked. My midwife checked them about 7-8 weeks ago and they were totally normal then, but I want to check and make sure it hasn't dropped dramatically since then.

Gena 22 07-12-2012 12:50 PM

FWIW, I rallied in my third trimester.  Maybe it was a psychological thing.  I expected to slow down after 30 weeks, and cancelled everything except going straight to work, and then home.  But I felt good, maybe better in the last weeks.  Compression socks!  They saved my last few weeks.  Anyway, I worked until 38w5d, and then delivered at 39w on the dot.  But the twins were my first.  Oh you MoMs with older children!  Super women!


Are your twins di-di?  If not, disregard this -


Should everything go well with you, and you're still pregnant at 38 weeks, you might consider letting labor come on it's own, at least until 40 weeks.  There was an recent study about the benefits of 40 weeks v. 38 weeks for most babes in terms of brain development.  Your doc is probably thinking of a study which shows risks for going past 38 weeks with twins, but my problem with that study (by Dr. Luke?) is that the groups are not broken down.  There is a small but real risk of going later with mono-di twins.  Not sure if they're left out of the Luke study, but they should have been.  And if everything else is going well (no GD, no high BP, etc) you might consider giving your babes extra time to grow.


Here's a study I liked.  It used to be free, but as a RN, maybe you can get out of paying for it now;


These docs recommend twin moms without complications going to 40w.  If you're making the choice between 38 weeks and 40, you're doing well!


Best wishes for an easy pregnancy. 

mamalovex3 07-12-2012 07:32 PM

I'm also in Canada, and you can get your OB to write you a note that you need to be off work early for a variety of reasons, if that is what you choose/need to do.  I think you are eligible for 12 weeks of sick leave in addition to your maternity leave.  I stopped working at 25 weeks with a note from my OB, and was on leave until the girls were born at 38 weeks, then still had a full year of maternity leave.  Just so you know you won't have to miss out on any of your mat leave if you do decide to stop working earlier :)

Shuli 07-16-2012 04:56 AM

I had a desk job in an air conditioned office. I started pre-term labour at 25 weeks and landed up in hospital on a drip for dehydration at 26 weeks. My OB gave me a note and I went to half-time. At 32 weeks my boss basically said he would pay me out to the end of the month (two weeks), but to hust go home and cook those babies because I couldn't walk around the office and was directing things from my desk over the phone. I gave birth at almost 37 weeks. My body told me to slow down, so I had to listen. That one night at the hospital really shook me up, so I learned to take it easy. Really, it's all about what your body is telling you.

13pumpkins 01-24-2013 11:52 AM

This is a really late post but I thought I would throw it in the mix in case anyone reads this thread via search...I worked at my job until 34.5 weeks pregnant with triplets.  I just went into labor one morning and that was that.  I work in a lab and just listened to my body about what I could and could not do.  I kept a chair near by as well too.

macrandall 02-01-2013 11:02 AM

Wow, reading this thread has made me feel so much better. Thanks, everyone! I'm 32 weeks with twins and still working almost 40 hours a week at a desk job. My boss has made me feel bad about taking any days off! So I thought I was being a weakling. I've taken some time off here and there. One full week recently when I thought I had the flu, but then realized it was probably just fatigue and anxiety. I kind of beat myself up for it. And every other week or so I've been taking a day off to rest and trying really hard not to feel bad about it. I'm planning to work until 36 weeks so that I can save most of my FMLA for after the birth.


I don't quite understand how people are able to take so much time! I definitely feel trapped, because I want to come back, so I have to keep working to save my FMLA. I ran out of paid time off a while ago and had to work it out with my HR department. I'm on borrowed time off now that will be deducted when I go on leave, which I've found to be a huge relief. At least I know that I can take the days I need, and think of it as working part time.


I'm fully set up to work from home and I'm very productive when I do, but for some reason my boss is still mostly against it. It's very frustrating, since I've worked hard to show I'm trustworthy and haven't given anyone any reason to think I'm just wasting company time. But, I guess someday I might be more understanding of someone I'm managing in a similar situation. Certainly someone who is putting in a full effort deserves to work from home for a few weeks when they really need it!

macrandall 02-01-2013 11:09 AM

Originally Posted by mamalovex3 View Post

I think you are eligible for 12 weeks of sick leave in addition to your maternity leave.  I stopped working at 25 weeks with a note from my OB, and was on leave until the girls were born at 38 weeks, then still had a full year of maternity leave.

Sigh. I literally think daily about the much more accommodating policies in many other countries. In the United States, you get only 12 weeks a year by law. Any longer than that, and your job is no longer guaranteed.

Quinalla 02-01-2013 01:41 PM

I know this is old, but I wanted to contribute too. I'm 24 weeks today and I am so much more tired this pregnancy than last. I have an office job, so about as easy as it gets and work 40-45 hours a week, but some weeks yeah it is really tiring, I get home and just want/need to nap and thank goodness DH steps up with DD then. I plan to try to work until the end again (worked Friday, DD was born on Saturday at 38 weeks), but I also am prepared to slow down if I need to as well. I do have the option to work from home, so I plan to use that if needed towards the end to give myself a break but still be working. I'm sorry your boss is giving you a hard time about working from home macrandall, unfortunately that is what I see a lot of bosses doing. My DH used to regularly work from home once a week for his job, but it was apparently "frowned upon" by upper management all the people who were working from home "so much" that now he does it rarely and usually only if DD is sick or if the weather is really bad. To me it seems so silly to restrict people who are obviously really working from home and getting their work done, especially when they have a legitimate reason to work from home, and multiple pregnancy definitely counts!

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