twin pregnancy and work

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    Any of you that has been pregnant with twins and working? I am wondering how long into my pregnancy I will be able to work and how many hours. I work as an anesthesiologist about 60-70 hours a week in a pretty busy OR. I thought I would be working until I was in labor and just then go upstairs to L&D. But now I know that probably I will not make it that far even if everything during the pregnancy works out fine.
    By the way, I enjoy reading all the messages on this boards. It is nice to be able to hear from so many other women physicians and know that you are not alone “out there”.


    I had a singleton pregnancy but have a friend who made it to 34 or 36 weeks before delivering twins, and worked right up until. She was working about that much in a residency.

    Have you read “Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician”? Can’t remember the author’s name, but she had a twin pregnancy while in private practice. You might search on for it – you can probably get it for cheap – or your library. I thought it was a good resource.

    Best of luck to you!



    My second pregnancy was a twin pregnancy. I am a general surgeon and taught in a residency program. I also thought that I could go for a while until quitting since I worked all the way to within 3 days of delivering my first daughter. I was wrong. I had premature labor at about 30 weeks and had to go home…not bedrest but I was very tired with just the smallest exertion. I started to go crazy and thought I would go grocery shopping but barely made it. I had my twin daughgters at 35 weeks by scheduled c section. They were differnet sizes and only one placents was seen so we elected to take them early. If you havea ny specific questions, i would be happpy to write you back. Michele


    Thanks for your responses. It is good to know that there is a chance to work until the end of the pregnancy. I guess it will depend on how the pregnancy goes and how the twins do. I just don’t like the idea of sitting (or laying in bed) at home for too long. Right now I’m close to the 11th week and I have been nauseated most of the time. I’ve been taking Zofran around the clock. But if I stay at home, I have all the time of the world to think about how bad it feels to be sick. So I prefer to be at work. It keeps me busy all the time so unless I get to feel very bad I don’t think much about it.
    Many people discouraged me of working “so much” and were telling me how I would end up being at home after the 20th or 24th week with a twin pregnancy. I know I have to be more careful but if I can I want to definitively work until very close to delivery. I am glad though that my group has received the news very well and has asked me what changes I would like to make. I guess not everyone has that chance (I know I wouldn’t have had that support during residency).
    Well, thank you again.
    Dana 😉


    I just saw your post thanks to Sethina.
    My second pregnancy was twins, they are now 5yrs. old. I was doing a research internship during the 2nd trimester. I did deal with more fatigue and nausea, but it didn’t keep me from working. I’ve met alot of Mother’s of Multiples through a support group, and the pregnancy experience varies widely. I was put on bedrest at 31 weeks (shortly after my internship ended) and delivered healthy boys at 35 weeks. Some women have much more trouble carrying multiples, but many I met went nearly to term, one even had to be induced at 40 weeks! Stay off your feet as much as you can when you get closer to 30 weeks, then maybe you can avoid the dreaded bedrest!
    As for nausea, I found upping my protien intake really made a difference for me.
    Good luck!


    Originally posted by DrSleep:
    [b]I am glad though that my group has received the news very well and has asked me what changes I would like to make. I guess not everyone has that chance (I know I wouldn’t have had that support during residency).

    It’s great to hear that you have such an understanding group!! At least you know that you have options available to you.

    I had a singleton preganacy and worked until 1 1/2 weeks before delivery. That worked well for me because it gave me a chance to get things done at home. (I was massively “nesting!”)

    I wish you well!


    My advice to a patient with the exact same situation is a few weeks ago is to cut back after 28 weeks significantly. Studies do show that in twin pregnancies only that the incidence of preterm labor can be significantly decreased if activity is decreased. This means no sex and very moderate work. For someone in corporate america, it would mean going to work for forty hours a week, but then coming home to a house that the husband deals with! Best of luck to you.


    Thanks for your responses!!!
    I realize that things may vary a lot -pregnancy and work. This past week I was second call twice and first call once. One of our collegues left the group so we’ve been working more hours. And no telling about my first call. I finished at 3am and got a call at 4am (thank God something I could handle by phone), and called back on my post call day to work when we usually get it off. I also was feeling short of breath one of those days which made me very frustrated since I couldn’t keep up with my normal fast pace and it is still early in the pregnancy. So definitively, I will be planning on cutting back my work hours and calls probably on the 28th-30th week and earlier if I need to.
    The personnel in the OR has been very nice and taking care that I am not in the room if ther is a C-arm , not pushing beds, not moving patient’s around, etc. I can’t complain about that.
    The sonogram this week (12th week) showed that the babies are doing well (one of them just very hyperactive-hehehe). It seems that there is a membrane but it looks very thin so my OB doctor thinks they might be identical. I am not sure if that carries more risks or not (I guess depending on if there is one or two placentas). I still need to read more…..
    Well, sorry for the long message. I just missed the boards this week since I didn’t get much of a chance to sit in front of the computer.


    Hi Dr.Sleep,
    My situation is a bit different, since I’m only a med student but I do have twins. I would say you should expect (or at least be ready for) the unexpected. I had my schedule all planned out, was feeling great, going to classes, the gym, etc. and all of a sudden, got put on bedrest at 24 wks. I was in preterm labor, and didn’t even know it. So much for my plans of finishing the quarter and taking all my exams. After various scares, mag sulfate, and total bedrest (that means not even being able to get up to use the bathroom or shower – & I HATE BEDPANS!), they finally had to induce me at 38 wks. So who knows?! Anyway, after being a total control freak about my life, I was forced (kicking and screaming) to change my approach. I also knew for certain that having to lay on my left side for wks, use a bedpan, and be hooked up to 3 monitors was WAY better than having 24 or 25 or 26 wk twins. When the neonatalogists come to your room at 4 a.m. to get you to sign consents for central lines, & tell you about the risks of retinal, intestinal, etc.etc. complications, it really puts your priorities into perspective. So I endured, and I’ll probably be a better dr. for it.

    I don’t want to scare you! and I wish you much luck and an easy pregnancy and delivery. I know that the culture we’re in teaches you to be tough and tune out your needs, but this is the time to pay attention! Being a mom teaches you a lot about yourself that you never knew. All the best!


    Thanks twinmom for your message. I realize that things can change suddenly, so I’m trying to ‘expect the unexpected’. Calls are getting tougher for me some times. I already told that I was not going to do more calls after Nov 20th, but it might be earlier. Probably I will not do more weekend calls after September. I need to take time to plan ahead for the what if’s (what if I go in preterm labor, what if my OB puts me on bed rest, etc.) I already started looking and reading what does my disability plan covers, but I still need to do the numbers -how much should I save, how much will my bills be, etc.- mainly because my income is more than my husband’s and we are just moving to a bigger house (we didn’t know that I was pregnant at the time we made an offer!!!).
    Hopefully I will not have to count on this but if something happens I will be happy to be prepared.


    I’m not a Dr. (just now on the path) nor have I had twins, but I did have pre-term labor and bedrest w/ all three of my children, one of which was born at 33 weeks.

    First, I laughed at twinsmom description of “total bedrest” because I was put on modified bedrest for most of my bedrest time. When I read the desciption of my instructions on my disability form as modified bedrest, I asked the Dr. because she had told me I had to lay on my side all the time…not even sit propped up to work on the computer. She said, “Ahhh, but you can get up to go to the bathroom.” 😮 That gave me a whole new perspective of TOTAL bedrest.

    DrSleep, I hope your disability is comparable to the one I had. My company’s policy is dependent on how long you’ve been employed, but essentially bedrest constituted shortterm disability and “X” number of weeks are covered at full pay (up to a maximum & X depends on length of employment) and then “Y” number of weeks more are covered at half pay. I was fortunate in that I had enrolled in an insurance supplemental that kicked in the other half pay when the company half pay started. Bottom line – I didn’t have to go w/o pay until the 7th week post birth. By then, it was my choice to stay longer at home.

    Good luck w/ those twins. Twinsmom is so right about the discomfort (I use that word lightly) of bedrest being so much better than babies born too early. My 33 weeker was really quite big and healthy for a preemie w/ virtually no complications (no intubation, infections, setbacks, etc.), but was still in the NICU for 3&1/2 weeks.


    Thanks Renee for your reply. To tell you the truth I have not read all the papers from my disability insurance. I am getting tired and sleppy more frequently now, so I do not look forward to read something (or doing anything else than going straight to bed) after getting from work during the weekdays. And the last 2 weekends I have been busy (weekend call on the first weekend and my parents finally came to visit on the past weekend). So, hopefully I will review it starting today. I did take a short look at it and it looks like they were not very specific on certain issues. We signed up for this insurance on June 15 and I didn’t know about my pregnancy until the end of June. Also, I thought that I was around 4 weeks less that what my OB thinks I am. So…. it looks like the real LMP was at the end of April (instead of the end of May?). I don’t know how the company will interpret this and if it will even cover me or not. I don’t know if what the company sends to the policyholders is just a brief descriptioon of the terms. I’ll have to read them first and then ask if there is something in written more specific.
    Anyway, thanks for the info.

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