Today, I feel like I got shamed for going to the doctor.
I am pregnant, not sick. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a sick day.
In the last eight months, I have taken 100 hours of personal leave.
Good news: I’m a FANTASTIC mum-to-be.
Bad news: I’m a shit employee.
It was written in response to the news story, which has been circulating that technically speaking, pregnant women aren’t able to take time off work for antenatal appointments. Now, I’ve received my fair share of shaming and criticism through my pregnancy. All of which I have shrugged off. But this one has really hit a nerve.
In the article, writer Lisa Mayoh says that pregnant women are being a little bit too precious. We are expecting our employers to be completely okay with us taking time off to attend recommended antenatal appointments, when they shouldn’t have to be. She is alluding that we are too “entitled”.
From her experience (she’s pregnant for the third time), she can’t quite understand why pregnant women can’t just attend their appointments in their own time. I mean we don’t get a haircut in the middle of the work day, so why have an antenatal appointment? (That’s Lisa’s comparison, not mine.)
She says, “I’m currently six months pregnant with our third child, and I’ve never scheduled a doctor’s appointment during work hours. I haven’t taken time off or let my belly’s needs affect my workload.”
That’s incredible. No, really it is. You see, my obstetrician works from 8:30am to 5pm… Monday to Friday. My GP works 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. The nurse at my GP works similar hours.
I work full time. Officially, my hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, but being in the online digital world I’m usually working at night and on the weekend. The internet never sleeps, you know.
Now, I’m not saying poor me. Not at all. Those are just the facts that I deal with. There is no possible way I can see my obstetrician for my monthly visit without needing some time off work. Sure, I could get a whole new medical team to suit my work hours while I’m pregnant, but why would I do that? Why should it even be a consideration?
I have had to come in late or leave early to attend my appointments. Where possible, I’ve tried to schedule appointments in one chunk (I’ve had to have a fair few scans and blood tests). My obstetrician is quite busy… delivering babies. The available times in his appointment book aren’t always the best for my work schedule. But at the end of the day, my baby’s health comes first. So I’ve had to take time off.