Suppose you are pregnant, and your doctor has informed you that you are not allowed to lift more than 20 pounds, drive over 35 miles per hour, or perform any other strenuous activity, but these are daily job tasks at your place of employment. In this case, you should consider these instructions closely to ensure the safety of you and your unborn baby while at work.
First, you’ll want to obtain a pregnancy note from your doctor that explains why you are unable to perform certain job tasks due to your pregnancy. After you obtain a doctor’s note, next you’ll want to give it to your supervisor or someone within the human resource department at your employer. What if you cannot obtain a doctor’s note that explains the reasons behind these restrictions? In this case, you should inform your supervisor of these precautions before starting work so they can help to ensure your safety during working hours.
How Do Doctors Hand Out Pregnancy Doctor Notes?
Many primary care physicians, who are doctors that a person sees for regular check-ups, will hand out a pregnancy note at their discretion, but often they require their patient to have a pre-existing relationship with them. The primary care physician may also ask their patient to bring records of the pregnancy from their OBGYN, such as ultrasound images before handing out any pregnancy doctor notes.
For first-time expectant mothers, obtaining a pregnancy doctor’s note can be difficult. Many doctors may feel they need to get to know their patients better before giving them a doctor’s note, and some may ask them to bring in records that show they’ve had a good track record with prenatal care. It might be an idea to visit your doctor regularly during pregnancy to establish a history of care early on.
Inquire amongst your social circle if they have contacts in their local medical community and if any doctors in your area hand out pregnancy doctor notes without hassle. These may be doctors who don’t take new patients, but it never hurts to ask!
If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be wise to see your doctor:
When Should You Go In For A Medical Evaluation?
- You are having chronic headaches.
- You are vomiting or experiencing nausea.
- You notice that you’re urinating less frequently or not.
- You have vaginal bleeding.
- Your breasts become tender and sore to the touch.
- You are feeling exhausted or experiencing weight gain or loss without dieting.
- You notice pain in one or both of your legs when walking upstairs, and the pain worsens over time.
- A lump in your abdomen has been there for more than two weeks and is growing larger, painful, and tender to the touch.
- You have severe bloating.
Why Does an Employee Want a Doctor’s Note?
A doctor’s note from a pregnant woman is not just a formality to provide so that she can take time off work. There are many reasons a worker could want a doctor’s note, which is why employers should understand the process and have a clear policy.
Pregnant women might need to take time off from work due to morning sickness or other illnesses related to their pregnancy. For example, they might need time off after receiving an ultrasound indicating their baby’s abnormality. This type of medical leave may differ from what they’re entitled to under FMLA or disability law.
Employers also need to be conscious that there are limitations on how much short-term disability benefits are available to pay for this type of leave, and it doesn’t offer any long-term protection. That’s why it’s reasonable for employers to accommodate these requests with doctor’s notes, so pregnant employees don’t need to use up all their sick days and vacation time before taking the leave they’re entitled to.
How Can You Request A Doctor’s Note?
Obtaining a doctor’s note depends on why you need one. For example, if you request a doctor’s note for pregnancy restrictions, you can call your doctor and ask them to give you an excuse not to work.
You will have to visit the office if it is more complicated. You and your doctor should discuss whether they can provide a doctor’s note in these situations and which form would be appropriate. It is often best to call ahead, so you don’t waste time waiting when no appointments are available.
The easiest way to obtain a doctor’s note for pregnancy restrictions is by contacting your OBGYN directly. They can issue a doctor’s note confirming your due date, stating the date you became pregnant and any prenatal care appointments that have been scheduled.
When talking with your physician regarding what type of document is required, make sure they know what you are using the doctor’s note for because some pregnancy doctor’s notes require more information than others.
Is It Okay To Let Your Employer Know You Are Pregnant?
Knowing how to handle the situation at work may be challenging when you find out you are pregnant. In that case, you might find the following information useful:
- Talk to your employer as soon as possible and let them know, even if they ask you not to tell anyone yet. You have every right to share this news with them.
- Let your supervisor know first and then talk with other people in the office, especially if you might need accommodations on behalf of your pregnancy or new baby.
Someone might need a doctor’s note for pregnancy restrictions for many reasons. Be it a job, school, or any other reason, a doctor’s note can help give you the validation and reassurance you need.
Hopefully, this post has helped clear up some questions on what doctors’ notes are used for and how to get one.