The study looked at women scheduled to give birth, at the Akershus University Hospital in Norway over an 18 month period and the prevalence of, reasons for and factors associated with sick leave during their pregnancies.
Researchers gathered information via a questionnaire conducted at week 17 and week 32 from a total of 2,918 women, of which 2,197 (or just over 75%) received sick leave at some point during their pregnancy.
The study found that women took an average of eight weeks sick leave, ranging from one to 40 weeks, the majority needed between four to 16 weeks. The factors associated with sick leave varied according to trimester of pregnancy with more women requiring time off as their pregnancies progressed. By week 32, 63% of the women were taking sick leave.
Overall 35% of women sited fatigue and sleep problems as the main reason for taking sick leave, followed closely by pelvic girdle pain (pain caused by limited mobility and functioning of the pelvis joints) and nausea or vomiting, with 32% and 23% of women suffering these symptoms respectively.
While very few women (2.1%) sited anxiety or depression as a reason for their sick leave, they recorded the longest average of sick leave taken at 20 weeks.
The study also looked at work adjustments for pregnant women and found 60% of the 2,197 women reported having adjustments made to their working situation. On average these women reported taking seven days less sick leave than those who went without job adjustments.
Dr Signe Dorheim, Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway and co-author of the paper said:
"We found that a large number of pregnant women take time off work as sick leave. The factors associated with sick leave varied according to the trimester of pregnancy but some of these factors are not necessarily caused by pregnancy alone.
"While past medical history and socioeconomic conditions can influence the occurrence and length of time taken off as sick leave, women's working situations during pregnancy were significant contributors to our findings.
"Women who suffer from work-related fatigue, such as insomnia, are likely to require more time off, especially during late pregnancy.
"Further research is needed to look at how treatment of certain conditions and work adjustments can lead to less time being taken off work and ultimately a better quality of life for pregnant women."
John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added:
"This study was conducted in Norway, where sick leave entitlements allow workers to receive very good compensation for time taken due to illness, so this may impact the findings.
"However, the factors that affect pregnant women in the workplace are universal and this study shows a clear link between working conditions and the duration of sick leave, which highlights the potential benefits for employers to have a support system in place. "Pregnancy is a normal physiological state, however, it can affect women in different ways. If a woman is concerned she should talk to her employer, GP or midwife for support."
For more information please contact Caitlin Walsh, Media Officer, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: 020 7772 6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is owned by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) but is editorially independent and published monthly by Wiley-Blackwell. The journal features original, peer-reviewed, high-quality medical research in all areas of obstetrics and gynaecology worldwide. Please quote 'BJOG' or 'BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology' when referring to the journal and include the website: www.bjog.org as a hidden link online.
Sign up for new content alerts from BJOG: http://bit.ly/newBJOGcontent
Signe K. Dorheim, Bjorn Bjorvatn, Malin Eberhard-Gran. Sick leave during pregnancy: a longitudinal study of rate and risk factors in a Norwegian population. BJOG 2012; 10.1111/1471-0528.12035.
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology