Working in a Daycare Center

I am currently 5 weeks pregnant and work as a lead teacher in a daycare center.

I'm worried about picking up my large 2-3 year olds and also the different diseases that seem to rotate around my center -- chicken pox, fifth disease, pink eye, to name a few. These have all been seen within my center over the last 6 months.

Am I being paraniod, or should I start looking for a new job that is less dangerous for my baby?

ANSWER

My opinion is that the diseases won't hurt your baby EXCEPT for the chicken pox. You should have either had the disease or been vaccinated for chicken pox before you got pregnant, and if you did, then your baby is protected from this disease, also.

Second, I tell all the second-time and higher moms that past 20 weeks, they should not lift their toddlers, and that applies to you also. You should not be lifting anything (animate or inanimate) over 20 pounds while pregnant -- your back just wasn't built for that plus the baby you are carrying.

Your employer is not supposed to discriminate against you because you are pregnant, and should make an effort to give you "light duty" if possible. However, in some smaller settings, that is not really possible, so you may indeed need to seek other employment in that case.

~Cynthia

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.