High Risk?


Dear Midwife,
Hi, my question is this. I just found out that I am pregnant with my second child. I lost the first one just over a year ago due to miscarriage at the 8th week.

This pregnancy is currently in the 5th week. I am 41 years old. When visiting my ob/gyn today, I requested a letter from her to give to my employer to request to go on disability for just a couple months until the critical time of the first trimester is complete. Then I would return to work until late in the pregnancy. She declined to give me the letter for my employer, saying that I didn't need to stop working at this stage of the pregnancy.

Is this accurate, or should I be looking for another doctor?

This pregnancy means so much to me as my husband and I have tried for the past 10 years to have a child, and I want to do everything necessary to ensure the safety of this developing fetus. That is why I want to stay home for a couple months, to rest and be in a stress free area.

So, should I seek another doctor that may give me a letter for my employer or is this just unreasonable to ask for this in my current situation. Your thoughts are very appreciated.

Thank you for reading and responding to my question.




Unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do to either cause or prevent a miscarriage in most cases.

If this is a viable pregnancy right now, staying home from work is not necessary. If it is not, staying home will not prevent a miscarriage.

I can certainly understand your concern, and perhaps you can work it out with your employer to take an unpaid leave if you want one, but I don't know of a medical justification for not working based on the information you have given.

My best advice is to think positive, flood your child with love for as long as you have him/her (which may be forever, hopefully!), and do whatever you can to enjoy being pregnant. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.