Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Work and travel while pregnant

Pregnancy and work hazards: If you work with chemicals, lead or X-rays or in a job with a lot of lifting, you may be risking your health and the health of your baby. If you have any worries about this, you should talk to your doctor, midwife, occupational health nurse, union representative or personnel department.
If it is a known and recognized risk, it may be illegal for you to continue, and your employer must offer you suitable alternative work on the same terms and conditions as your original job. If no safe alternative is available, your employer should suspend you on full pay (give you paid leave) for as long as necessary to avoid the risk.
If your employer fails to pay you during your suspension, you can bring a claim in an employment tribunal (within three months).
This will not affect your maternity pay and leave.
Coping at work when pregnant  
You might get extremely tired – particularly in the first few and last few weeks of your pregnancy. Try to use your lunch break to eat and rest, not to do the shopping. If travelling in rush hour is exhausting, ask your employer if you can work slightly different hours for a while.
Don’t rush home and start another job cleaning and cooking. If you have a partner, ask them to take over. If you are on your own, keep housework to a minimum, and go to bed early if you can.
Your have rights to get antenatal care, leave and benefits.
Pregnancy and computer screen
The most recent research shows no evidence of a risk from visual display units on computer terminals and word processors.
Travelling and pregnancy  
Travel is not harmful for you or your baby, but some companies will not let you travel towards the end of your pregnancy, and you should check conditions with them.
Long distance travel (longer than five hours) carries a small risk of thrombosis (blood clots) in pregnant women. If you travel, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and do the recommended calf exercises.
You can buy a pair of support stockings in the pharmacy over the counter, which will reduce leg swelling.
Before you travel, think about your destination. Could you get medical help if you needed it? Are any immunizations needed which might be harmful to the pregnancy? If you are travelling to Europe, make sure that you have a European Health Insurance Card (formerly known as E111), which entitles you to free treatment while abroad. You can get this from a post office.
Travelling by car while pregnant  
Road accidents are among the most common causes of injury in pregnant women. To protect yourself and your baby, always wear your seatbelt with the diagonal strap across your body between your breasts and with the lap belt over your upper thighs. The straps should lie above and below your bump, not over it.

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