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Working during pregnancy: special considerations

This page provides information about special considerations around pregnancy and maternity. The guidance has been developed by the RCOG Trainees’ Committee but is also relevant post-CCT, and covers:

  • Assisted conception treatments
  • Adoption
  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth and loss of a baby

Assisted conception treatments

Trainees don’t have a statutory right to time off for assisted conception treatments; however, as assisted conception is part of the O&G specialty, hopefully you would be given a sympathetic hearing.

Try to engage with your Educational Supervisor or College Tutor. You don’t have to tell them your situation, but with at least 6 appointments to attend at various times, together with a physical and emotional rollercoaster to ride, it may be prudent to get support at work.

Adoption

Advice for prospective parents is extensive and not within the scope of this guidance. From a financial point of view, you’re entitled to the same leave and pay structure as trainees having a biological child. Get individualised advice early. You can also read the BMA’s advice for those considering adoption (information for BMA members only).

Premature birth

If your baby is born early, you’re entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay as if your baby had been born at full term. If your baby is born before the 11th week prior to your expected week of childbirth, you should seek individual advice about leave and pay to determine when your maternity leave starts. If your baby is born before the 11th week prior to your expected week of childbirth and is in hospital, you may consider splitting your maternity leave entitlement, taking 2 weeks immediately after the birth and the rest when your baby is discharged.

Miscarriage, stillbirth and the loss of a baby

Losing a baby is devastating, and trainees in women’s health will be all too aware of the fantastic highs and incredible lows of pregnancy.

In the case of miscarriage before the 25th week of pregnancy, normal sick leave provisions apply.

In the case of stillbirth after the 24th week of pregnancy, the woman is entitled to the same amount of maternity leave and pay as if her baby had been born alive.

Just as every pregnancy is different, so is every person’s grief. Trainees should take the time to grieve and not feel they have to rush back to work.

Find out more

Please see the list of useful resources for further information about working during pregnancy and beyond.

This section also includes:

Always discuss specific issues with your employer. You can also seek individualised advice from the BMA. You can also use the RCOG Trainees’ Committee and your Trainee Representative as a source of support.

Elsewhere on the site

Out of programme (OOP)
Advice on taking time out of the training programme, including for a career break such as maternity leave
Less than full-time (LTFT)
Information about less than full-time (LTFT) training, including how to apply