2nd Trimester

12 hour shifts....help!

Ok, so I know I'm not quite to second tri, but I thought maybe more people can relate than in first tri.  I am a nurse and work 12 hour shifts on my feet.  Let me clarify...the floor i work on is crazy! I am literally running around all day, moving heavy patients, etc. I just worked the weekend (2 12hours) and I am in sooo much pain! I almost started crying at work because i felt like all my energy had been drained from me at the end of my shift.  i literally felt like i was walking in slow motion and people kept saying i looked so tired.  I'm so busy it's hard to find time to drink water, pee, or take breaks.  We only take one 30 minute break and if we're lucky one 15 minute (we're supposed to take 2 15 mins but no one EVER does). My hips hurt the worst, also my legs, back and belly. Fortunetly I am only part time, so I work 2 12 hour shifts a week, but this is harder than it sounds. I feel like a wimp to even mention it to my doctor.

 I somehow made it to 8 weeks before my due date with baby #1, but I'm already wondering how long i'm going to be able to keep this up my belly isn't even that big. i'm in shape and exercise, eat healthy etc.  ANY ADVICE?!?!?! 

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Re: 12 hour shifts....help!

  • Could you change floors? Is one shift (night, say, when people are mostly sleeping) easier than another?
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  • First of all, congratulations on working 2 12 hr shifts a week! I know for a fact that I would not be able to do that and Im almost 15 weeks!! So hats off to you! :)

    Secondly, If it was me, i would definitely talk to my doctor. Just make sure to tell him how much pain that you are in even though you are only 8 weeks along. People always say that if you take care of your body during pregnancy, then your baby will be healthy as well. I feel that it also includes heavy lifting, walking/running, back aches, etc.  I am a hair stylist and I am on my feet all the time as well and can only have so many breaks because I am so busy. My Chiropractor told me that I need to take breaks whenever I can. Sit and relax for a few minutes throughout the day.  Women should not be on the go all the time. I took his advice and my back is MUCH better and my feet are not killing me as much. Pregnant women get bad back pain later on in their pregnancy so we might as well start treating our backs right, right now. :)

    I hope this helps! Talk to your doctor! and good luck with your shifts! :)

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  • Mention it to your doctor. When I worked at the grocery store we had a couple of employees that had to take breaks every 2 hours while pregnant. With DS, I was restricted from doing any personal restraints in my behavioral health unit. You are not a wimp to mention it to your doctor. You need to take care of yourself and the baby.
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  • I can totally understand. I am an ED RN. I work two 12 and two 8 hour shifts a week. It is so tough on my body. Like you said some days I feel like I'm moving in slow motion. My entire body aches and I feel like when I'm driving home, I'm driving on auto pilot. To make things worst, I have a 10 cm uterine fibroid that is sitting directly next to my placenta. So, when I overexert myself, I sometimes develop pain from the fibroid. My director and co-workers have been great. If I need to step away or sit at the nursing station to rest for 10 min, I can. Lol of course, I'm charting while I'm sitting. But it's better than me running between trauma and treatment rooms.

    You are definitely not alone in this. My goal is to tough it out as long as possible. But the one thing I've learnt with this pregnancy is,  you have to listen to your body.


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  • I agree with PP to talk with your doc. I don't really have any other advice, but wanted to let you know that you are not alone and you are not a wimp.  I'm also a nurse and I work three 12s on a difficult floor.  Due to my husbands schedule and daycare, I've been having to work all three in a row and it's killing me.  I also am dealing with GD and I'm on glyburide.  The other day I had one patient in pain, one throwing up, stat labs on another, an admission that just showed up and my blood sugar was 68.  I was in the break room downing juice and cramming my mouth with crackers and cheese so I could get back to work.  Nursing can be tough and pregnancy does not make it any easier.  Hang in there and remember, if you really need the time off, talk with your doc.  GL!
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  • I agree with other PP's.  I say have a good talk with your doctor about how you're feeling. Don't feel like a wimp. He/she might not have been through what you've been through but they at least have been through residency and know the long hours and the feeling of not being able to "just sit for a sec" to see if it gets better.

    I am switching to two 12's in a week and a half instead of four 8's.  I'm loving the only working 2 days a week, but not loving the adding 4 hours onto my shift. I work in the ER and my shift is going to be 12:00- 00:30, pretty much the busiest ER hours generally. I'm a little worried.  I might have some advice in a few weeks, but I'm not sure yet.

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  • I am a paramedic and work 12 hour shifts. I am 23 wks this coming Thursday. I work 2 days/2 nights then 4 off, 12 hrs. It gets better!! The first trimester was THEE WORST! I was so exhausted. It was painful to even wake up in the morning, forget carrying people up and down stairs & all that junk!! After about 16 wks my energy really came back to normal and it seemed less hellish!! Now I am getting quite the bump so that is starting to be a challenge...but it was horrible at first, I'm sure you're energy will pick up!!
  • I agree - I don't know why but the second pregnancy seems so much more exhausting than the first.

    I wish you luck!

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