Late shifts and long hours don’t say ‘antenatal care’ to me

Pregnancy is not an illness, but it can be an exhausting time for NHS staff, says Jane Bates
A pregnant healthcare worker

Pregnancy is not an illness, but it can be an exhausting experience for NHS staff, says Jane Bates

My nursing instincts took over. I told her to go home to bed and take some time off work, but she said she couldn’t.

I don’t usually tell doctors what to do, but I was so concerned, I just couldn’t help myself.

She was in her third trimester of pregnancy, at risk of serious complications, visibly exhausted, with a toddler at home disrupting her sleep – yet expected to work the usual punishing long hours and be ready to rush off to theatre and perform emergency surgery at the drop of a hat.

Nothing trivial about these complaints

I’ve heard it said many times that pregnancy is not an illness, which of course it is not. But shouldn’t expectant mothers


Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?