There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to working during pregnancy. Some moms think that you should quit working when you first find out you’re expecting, and some moms work all the way up to labor and then go back to work right afterward. Besides, there are medical conditions that require you to stop working. There are pros and cons to both sides, and they’re worth looking at, especially if you aren’t sure what you should do.
Benefits of leaving work early
If you stop working shortly after becoming pregnant, you will definitely have more time to focus on your growing child. Also, you won’t have to deal with the stress of work, which is especially true if your job is more stressful than average. However, there are some downsides to leaving work early as well.
For one thing, you will be dreadfully bored. One of my sisters quit her job early and she was always complaining of being bored and having nothing to do but sit around, clean the house, and focus on being pregnant. Also, since she wasn’t working, she and her husband didn’t have as much money. Though my brother-in-law had a decent job and was able to support them just fine, she couldn’t save as much money as she wanted.
However, some moms love leaving work early, and they happily spend their days getting the nursery together and nesting around the house. That’s why it’s really a matter of personal choice unless your doctor recommends leaving your job for health reasons during pregnancy.
Medical conditions that may require leaving work early
There are certain conditions where doctors will recommend you to either decrease or stop working altogether. Some of these require hospital admission and observation, while others allow you to stay at home. Each condition should be individualized and discussed with your doctor:
Here are some examples of pregnancy and medical conditions where doctors may recommend decreasing or stopping work:
- Placenta previa
- Placenta accreta
- Premature rupture of fetal membranes
- Premature dilatation (opening) of the cervix
- Twins with a risk of preterm birth
- High blood pressure
- Prior preterm birth
- Fetus with intrauterine growth restriction
- Premature labor
- Decreased amniotic fluid
As mentioned above, each of these should be individualized and discussed with your doctor.
Benefits of leaving work just before giving birth
Last year a friend became pregnant around early November. Even if she had wanted to stop working she couldn’t because she was a Kindergarten teacher and she needed to complete the year. She probably could have gotten a long-term sub if she needed it, but she wanted to finish the school year, and she and her husband also needed the money.
For my friend, working during her pregnancy wasn’t a chore. She loved getting out of the house and enjoyed having something to do during the day. She was always a little anxious about being pregnant because she was high risk due to having lupus, but she always said teaching helped keep her positive and it also distracted her from stressing out too much.
Eventually, my friend had to take the last few weeks of school off for medical reasons, but her leave was nothing compared to how much time my sister took off. Again, the decision on when to quit working is usually just a matter of personal taste and it’s one you should think about carefully when you become pregnant.