To work or Not to work....that is the question

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
To work or Not to work....that is the question
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 6:58pm

I'm currently living in India. Due to the time difference between the US and India, those of us that work for US based companies, work night shift. Currently my shift is 5:45 pm - 3:15 am. I see no issue with it. I've been working it long enough and I'm adjusted fine. However.....Indian doctors don't think women are cut out for night shift and the first thing they tell females (well, anyone really) is that due to health concerns, they need to get off the night shift. Naturally my doctor told me the same at my very first appt. She says it's due to not getting proper rest and eating on time, which is crap because I sleep just fine (generally) and eat three times a day. Additionally I'm considered to be high risk because of my age and my medical background (no concrete proof of any prior pregnancies, mc's etc - it's a long story I'll save for another day).

The problem is, my husband is adament I quit my job if my employer can't give me a day shift position. My employer can't, and my husband knows that very well (we met while working for the same company). Additionally my employer is paying me a mint, by Indian standards and they're sponsoring the visa that allows me to be here with my husband. Furthermore, I don't want to quit. I'll go mad within the first week and I'm sure be way more stressed out then if I was at the office. We've discussed me staying with his family (remember - this is India) until the baby's born, but as much as I adore our weekly visits, cannot imagine a more vivid version of my own personal hell.

Please don't get me wrong, in no way am I saying I'm putting my job or my salary before the health of my child. What I'm asking is - what is the real risk? Should I just clam up and quit? On a selfish note, I know if something does happen and I lose the baby, my husband and his family might harbor some resentment which will just pile ontop of the resentment I already have for myself in such a situation. Is it better just to do everything the doctor says in order to be on the safe side, that way if something does happen, at least I can say I did everything per Dr's orders?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 10:25am

I personally think that if you are focused enough about making sure you get enough sleep and nutrition then I see no reason you shouldn't continue to work.  If the culture in India has a large proportion of people working the late shift to match up with the US hours of operation, then I have to imagine that there are plenty of people going through this same schedule....meaning it should be easier to sleep during the "off" hours because others are too, right?  I don't see how this is different than sleeping from 9pm-5am, working from 8am-5pm and eating three meals throughout the day.......especially since this is the schedule you currently hold.  Perhaps if you were looking to move into this schedule I could see potential issues with your body adjusting, but you're already adjusted.....I'd stay working (my opinion).

I guess one question I have, that you didn't seem to address, is what will you do once the baby has arrived?  Will you continue working the night shift, or will this be difficult to manage with your DH's work schedule?  Maybe if you plan to leave the workforce after the baby is born that should be taken into consideration now?

I went back to work after my DD was born and I LOVE I'm all for you continuing to work throughout the pregnancy and beyond, but if you don't plan to continue working after the birth, maybe the fight with DH isn't worth it now.....KWIM?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2009
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 11:32am

I don't have any medical background, but in my opinion, if your body is already used to the night shift, there's no reason to change now.  For all you know you won't be able to easily adjust to a "normal" schedule and have sleep deprevation.  I say whatever is going to cause you less stress during your pregnancy is what you should do.