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Pregnancy And Nappy Changing And Anti Natal Appointments


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Hi guys,

 

Need a bit of advice on two areas. I want to be fair to the staff whilst trying to ensure that I keep the children and other staff happy.

 

Issue 1.

Nappy Changing.

What are your policies and risk assessment on pregnant staff changing nappies. As soon as someone is pregnant at nursery they immediatley say they can't lift and can't change nappies. I advise them that they can and that we will risk assess as their pregnancy progresses and that obviously I wouldn't expect them to lift a Pre-School child, but unless their doctor has advised them differently they can lift babies and lighter toddlers or do nappies on the floor if they so wish. I also advise them to review our manual handling poster/policy.

 

Is this reasonable?

 

Issue 2.

Anti natal appointments.

With several staff pregnant you find that obviously a lot of time is lost through anti natal appointments. I do feel that some staff however are looking at it as having a whole afternoon off paid.

 

An example being. An employee whose normal shift is 8.30am to 5.30pm. Her scan was booked for 12 noon. It will take her about 1/2 travelling time each way. So worse case scenario that the appointment took 2 hours and the travel 1 hour = 3 hours total, she would still be back in work by 2.30pm. However, she feels that she shouldn't have to return to work and work her remaining 3 hours shift but still get paid. I have said that unless you only have say 1 hour left of your shift you should return to work.

 

I just can't afford the expense of covering all those extra hours, plus covering when people are off sick, holidays etc. I have to draw the line somewhere. Am I being unreasonable? Can I suggest they try and arrange appointments for early morning/late afternoon wherever possible.

 

HELP!!!!!

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I think thats reasonable. Do they mean that if they have a second child they will need a mothers help from the onset of pregnancy?

I think too that if they can make it back they should, or make the appointmenst as late as possible or as early as possible in the day. i know its sometimes difficult to choose the time, but it would help if they didnt leave half way through the day.

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I think you are being reasonable to expect staff to return to work after appointments. Unless there is something particularly stressful about the appointment I can't imagine any reason not to.

 

As far as nappy changing goes I would check that there are no risks related to changing children who are recently vaccinated etc. Once you are happy about that side of it I would suggest that until their bump is causing difficulties, they should carry on as normal. I do wonder however if there could be an issue with morning sickness? I found changing nappies incredibly difficult when I had morning sickness and perhaps if that is the case it might be kinder to let them off?

 

How do the other staff feel about nappy changing? Is it considered to be an unpleasant chore generally in your setting or is it seen as an opportunity to spend a few minutes interacting on a one to one basis and supporting a close key-person relationship? Do the other staff mind doing extra nappies while those who are pregnant are exempt? If they don't mind, should you? If they do mind perhaps it needs to be discussed at a staff meeting.

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I think you are being reasonable to expect staff to return to work after appointments. Unless there is something particularly stressful about the appointment I can't imagine any reason not to.

 

As far as nappy changing goes I would check that there are no risks related to changing children who are recently vaccinated etc. Once you are happy about that side of it I would suggest that until their bump is causing difficulties, they should carry on as normal. I do wonder however if there could be an issue with morning sickness? I found changing nappies incredibly difficult when I had morning sickness and perhaps if that is the case it might be kinder to let them off?

 

How do the other staff feel about nappy changing? Is it considered to be an unpleasant chore generally in your setting or is it seen as an opportunity to spend a few minutes interacting on a one to one basis and supporting a close key-person relationship? Do the other staff mind doing extra nappies while those who are pregnant are exempt? If they don't mind, should you? If they do mind perhaps it needs to be discussed at a staff meeting.

 

We operate a key worker system where by they change their own children's nappies, but I know some of the staff aren't particularly fond of doing it at the best of times. That's a good point about the morning system and I will take that into account. But mostly it all seems to be about the lifting of the children. The one lady is in the Baby Room working with under 13 months, so I don't see that as a massive issue until at least around the 6 month pregnant mark.

 

Glad I am not being too unreasonable in my expectations. Thanks for your feedback.

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I think you are being very reasonable. We already ask our staff to arrange appointments times at reasonable times and not bang on lunch time. Yes they get paid for their antenatal leave but if they do not return then they shouldnt get paid for the rest of the afternoon, although if they are contracted to them hours then our staff are told to come back, depending on circumstances obviously. With regards to nappy changing we do exactly what you do and risk assess each individual and yes they are asked to do nappies on the floor, there is no reason why they cannot.

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With regards to nappy changing we do exactly what you do and risk assess each individual and yes they are asked to do nappies on the floor, there is no reason why they cannot.

 

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this. I am currently 7 months pregnant although I only look about 4 (it's a girl thing!). I struggle to get on and off the floor not because of the size of my bump, but because of the full up feeling I have most days. I wouldn't be happy at being asked to change nappies on the floor for this reason. Added to that, it's not just bump size but also general aches and pains which go hand in hand with pregnancy.

 

With regard to ante natal appointments, I am fortunate in that I work mornings so can arrange them in my own time, but if I was in full time, day nursery type of setting, I would like to think that I would at least attempt to rearrange appointments so that they are at the start/end of the day. I think you are right and that this person seems to be taking liberties with the system, particularly if she is not returning to work and has appointments booked for the middle of the day.

 

I don't think it would be unreasonable to request staff try to sort appointments earlier/later in the day.

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Sorry, but I have to disagree with this. I am currently 7 months pregnant although I only look about 4 (it's a girl thing!). I struggle to get on and off the floor not because of the size of my bump, but because of the full up feeling I have most days. I wouldn't be happy at being asked to change nappies on the floor for this reason. Added to that, it's not just bump size but also general aches and pains which go hand in hand with pregnancy.

 

With regard to ante natal appointments, I am fortunate in that I work mornings so can arrange them in my own time, but if I was in full time, day nursery type of setting, I would like to think that I would at least attempt to rearrange appointments so that they are at the start/end of the day. I think you are right and that this person seems to be taking liberties with the system, particularly if she is not returning to work and has appointments booked for the middle of the day.

 

I don't think it would be unreasonable to request staff try to sort appointments earlier/later in the day.

 

Thanks for your reply. And you are right about nappy changing, each person needs to be assessed individually. I think from my own experience many of the staff who have become pregnant have automatically said from day 1 - that's it, can't do nappies, can't lift. If you are talking heavy older toddlers, then fair enough, but I am talking in two particular cases light babies. I guess I get wound up as I then get complaints of other members of staff who don't see them as being reasonable. They are however, very sympathetic in the later stages of pregnancy when it obviously is much more difficult, especially if you work until 6 weeks before. I actually think the changing mat is the better option rather than on the floor where you bump gets in the way!!!

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going to be a bit controveraia but hay thats me i think your right and being fair. personally i would say if they can not change a baby on the floor and find being pregnant is too risky for them to do the changin etc then i would seriuosly consider if they should be in work at all! If you cant get down to change a child, how can you get down to their level to support their needs, engagement etc poor children

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going to be a bit controveraia but hay thats me i think your right and being fair. personally i would say if they can not change a baby on the floor and find being pregnant is too risky for them to do the changin etc then i would seriuosly consider if they should be in work at all! If you cant get down to change a child, how can you get down to their level to support their needs, engagement etc poor children

 

 

Got to say I agree with this and I say it as someone who worked till 4 weeks before baby was born. I gagged at changing dirty nappies due to morning sickness but did it anyway, I got the clinbing frame out of the shed and set up, I lugged bikes around. I am not saying I recommend that a pregnant woman does all that, and given my history I should not have been doing all that. but if you have other staff that are not going to do stuff, you just get on with it (and get cross later!)

 

I did tell a parent of a very hefty 3 year old (with special needs that caused him not to want to walk out though physically capable of doing so) that she would have to come in and pick him up rather than my carrying him out to her anymore and did say 'I'm pregnant, I can't do it anymore'.

 

A thought, the pregnant staff who have issues with doing nappies etc, is this generally first babies?

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Hi,

 

I know it can be a nightmare with pregnant staff because you feel so responsible for them and want to ensure that you are not putting them at risk. As far as nappy changing goes what do parents who have more another child do when they are pregnant?? They change their own children's nappies. Also I agree with a previous post that said about whether or not the staff should be at work at all, if they are not prepared to change the children what else are they not prepared to do, catch them if they're falling etc. Having said all of this I do realise that everyone is different but if staff are announcing from as soon as they foind out that they are pregnant that they can't change nappies then this sounds like more of an excuse to me.

I don't even know if this makes sense - I'm very tired :o

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Hmm, an interesting thought re: first babies. I was definately one of those who suddenly couldn't do anything because I was pregnant. I was even a little bit precious when I was pregnant the second time but still did all the jobs I had to do. This time, I am far more relaxed about the whole thing and I will change nappies and I will sit on the floor with the children at circle time (although it takes me forever to get back up again!). I don't see an excuse not to lift small babies on to the changing mat, it was the changing on the floor thing I was referring to.

 

I agree with Lyanne, if you are open and speak to the parents/other staff members about struggles you may be having, you are far more likely to get a less resentful response.

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