For a study, researchers sought to determine if the absence of organizational support for clinical work reductions during pregnancy was related to serious pregnancy problems. Few women lessen their clinical responsibilities when pregnant, despite the risk of demanding operating schedules. US surgeons who had delivered at least 1 live baby electronically completed a survey. Lack of workplace support was defined as wanting but unable to reduce clinical responsibilities during pregnancy due to workplace/training program failure and/or worries about financial penalties, the burden on colleagues, the requirement to make up missed calls, and/or being perceived as weak; and disagreeing colleagues and/or leadership were in favor of obstetrician-recommended bedrest. The correlation between a lack of assistance at work and severe pregnancy problems was established using multivariate logistic regression. Of the 671 surgeons, 437 (65.13%) reported a lack of pregnancy-related workplace assistance, and 302 (45.01%) had serious pregnancy difficulties. Major pregnancy problems were more likely to occur in surgeons without workplace assistance than in those who did (odds ratio: 2.44; 95% CI: 1.58-3.75). About 110 surgeons out of 671 (16.39%) were prescribed bed rest, and 38 (34.55%) disagreed with the leadership’s or their colleagues’ backing. Around 417/560 (74.5%) of the surgeons still working wanted to cut back on their hours but were discouraged by a lack of support at work. Surgeons’ poor obstetric outcomes are linked to a lack of workplace support for reducing clinical responsibilities. This workplace barrier that may be changed prevents surgeons from taking the best possible care of their children and themselves. Departmental regulations should enable a fair reduction in clinical workload without imposing financial penalties, requesting make-up work for missed call obligations, or placing undue pressure on coworkers to protect the health of expecting surgeons.

 

Source: journals.lww.com/annalsofsurgery/Abstract/2022/09000/Lack_of_Workplace_Support_for_Obstetric_Health.9.aspx