It is possible! 6 Tips to Staying off Bedrest.
This blog post is the conclusion of a part of a three-part blog series. The first post was about having an incompetent cervix, The second next was about the cervical cerclage procedure what to expect before, during, and after.
Having a cervical cerclage is serious business, and for every woman each circumstance is different.
Personally, I had an emergency cerclage placed in after 20 weeks of pregnancy, afterwards I was immediately put on bedrest and told that I could not return to work.
This was a very big deal for me because at the time my husband was laid off from his job, and I was the only source of income we had coming in, being on bedrest just wasn’t an option for us.
Because I am teacher, my doctor could not believe that I would stay off my feet at work. However, I was determined to convince him that I could.
It took a lot of readjustment but I was able to make it happen, and I had a healthy baby boy later that year in April.
Disclaimer: Never ignore your doctor’s advice. Have a plan of action for your doctor to consider, but overall listen to what they tell you, the number one goal is a healthy baby and safe pregnancy.
6 tips to consider if you want to continue working while pregnant with a cerclage…
- Be honest with your employer, the more they know the better.
As soon as I was given the greenlight to work, I had to get open and honest with the closest ones around me. You don’t need to tell your whole entire company that you have a cerclage, but you do need to tell the closest ones you work with.
The more knowledge people have about your situation, the more willing they are to help you.
Once my team, (the other third grade teachers) knew about my situation, they jumped into action and literally helped me with everything. They walked my students to block, picked up my copies, and even picked up my kiddos from lunch.
- Apply for FLMA ASAP!
The Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA, is provided through every employer.
What is FMLA?
FMLA is a special type of leave that can be used is case of extended medical situations or family emergencies. FMLA can be used various situations such as: pregnancy, adoption, severe illnesses of yourself or family members.
FMLA will give you up to 12 weeks of leave each year. Keep in mind that FMLA is unpaid leave, so you will want to exhaust your paid leave first, before you start to use FMLA.
You will need to get the paperwork from your doctor, and also from your employer. This is your way of protecting yourself in case that working just doesn’t work out and you do indeed have to go on bedrest.
This ensures that you will have a job when you return to work. Even if you have run out of paid vacation and sick leave, FMLA will cover your days off unpaid without penalty.
Your doctor can also provide accommodations that your job needs to make for you to return to work: such as deskwork or light duty.
Sidenote: Disability is another type of leave that can be used in this circumstance. Disability insurance will pay you for your time off. In this case you may want to just stop working altogether.
At the time of my pregnancy I did not have disability insurance. I just could not afford the extra expense.
Also, keep in mind that some disability policies have stipulations where you cannot use the leave until a certain amount of time has passed.
So, make sure you check your policy before you make any major decisions. Honestly, If I had disability I would have stopped working.
- Stay off your feet!
Seriously, I thought about purchasing a wheelchair, and if you can then do it. You can actually purchase them for a decent price off of amazon, and depending on the type of insurance you have, it may cover the cost of one. Just look for one like this that has the FSA or HSA eligible logo.
I decided to settle for my office chair with wheels. Whenever I needed to go somewhere I rolled around in my office chair. It was awkward at first, but I got used to it. This may sound extreme, but the goal is to protect the little one at all costs and to stay off bed rest.
When I taught my lessons I sat and used powerpoint presentations to present information to my students.
Whenever I needed to check their work I rolled to them instead of walking to them and gave them feedback sitting down.
Basically, other than the occasional bathroom break, I made sure that I stayed in that chair from the time I got to my classroom to the time that I went home for the day.
- Technology is your best friend.
Go 100 percent tech if you can. Do all of your communication through phone calls, email or text. Instead of walking to your boss’s office or BFF’s cubicle call, text, or email.
If you need to give a presentation, stay in your seat, and use tools like a laser pointer.
Powerpoint has a pointer included in presentation mode as well as options to highlight and draw directly on the presentation.
Join meetings through video chat, that way you are still involved, but you don’t have to physically be there.
As a teacher I used platforms like Quizizz and Hello Smart, now called Lumio. These are interactive styled platforms that allow you to add questions, polls, and games to your presentations or lessons.
You can choose to have the lessons student-paced or teacher-paced where students cannot advance to the next slide unless you move on.
Although theses are education based platforms they can be used in the workplace as well (devices are required). For example, if you are doing a presentation you can use Hello Smart. Your audience can join your presentation with your class code and have the presentation directly on their screens as you are presenting.
- If you need to take a day, take it.
Listen to your body, and be honest with yourself. Everyone’s job is different. Some jobs are more strenuous than others. Do not feel guilty for taking a day or days off.
Remember you have FMLA, so use it if you need to. Rest as much as you can, and take your days off to recuperate. This is not the time to feel guilty for taking a day.
- Ask for help!
This seems simple, but yet it is the hardest thing to do sometimes especially as women.
Wanting to feel independent is natural for anyone, but the days of doing it all yourself are over! You cannot work with a cerclage and not have help!
You will need all the support you can get. This is why I say being honest with your employer and employees is a must. Because my coworkers and family were aware of my situation, they offered help when I didn’t even ask for it, but there were times where I needed support and I had to ask.
Take a deep breath, practice how you want to say it, and ask for help!
All things are possible
Working with a cerclage is possible, but it takes a lot of adjustment. The most important advice I can give you is to listen to your doctor, and your body.
Yes, my doctor told me he didn’t want me to work, but I told him my plan of action and he agreed. He told me that as long as my cerclage was still in tack, and I that I didn’t have any pain, pressure or bleeding that I could work.
Be real with yourself. If your action plan isn’t working out the way you thought, or your job isn’t as supportive as you hoped, then you may need to seek another option.
Finding a remote job where you could work from home would be an ideal situation. Whatever you decide, remember that you have to do what is best for you and your baby.
If you’ve worked with a cerclage and you have some other tips drop them below in the comments. Don’t forget to like, and share this content out.
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