Some women find that they can adapt their working environment to cope with their PGP symptoms, others find that they need to stop work altogether. If you are pregnant, you are entitled to certain rights, such as paid time off for antenatal appointments (this includes physiotherapy).
Tell your employers and colleagues about your PGP. Many people won’t know anything about PGP and won’t know how to help you. Often, if you explain your situation and give them information about PGP, employers are more likely to be supportive.
Talk with your manager or supervisor to see if you can modify your working practices, for example:
You can ask your employer for a risk assessment of your workplace. You may require adjustments to your work environment to enable you to do your job, such as supportive seating to help you to better manage your symptoms.
Book an appointment with your GP or midwife to arrange to be medically signed off work. It can be hard to stop working and you may find it helpful to talk to other women on our Facebook support group about how they manage PGP and work.
If you are experiencing long-term PGP, work can be very challenging. Pushing yourself to manage in your role can contribute to the physical and emotional symptoms you may be experiencing.
It is never too late to get effective manual therapy treatment for PGP. If you have been unable to find an experienced manual therapist, please visit our Recommended Practitioners page or contact us for more information.
You may find it helpful to discuss a phased return to work with your employer following your maternity leave. This can enable you to get the correct treatment and allow you time to rest your pelvis and manage your work and family life between treatments.
It is illegal to be discriminated against or made redundant because you are pregnant, but the legislation in this area is complex. If you feel that you are not receiving the right support from your employer, you can seek expert advice from your work trade union, your local Citizens Advice or Working Families.
There are several charities that advocate for maternal rights in relation to employment.
Maternity Action offers information and an advice line to help you understand your rights at work.
Pregnant then Screwed campaigns for the rights of pregnant women and mothers. They offer advice on employment rights and can provide mentors for people going through tribunals at work.
If your pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) symptoms mean you can’t work, it can be difficult to manage financially. If your partner is employed, their employer may offer benevolent funds or other health or welfare support.
If you have had PGP for more than three months and expect it to last another nine months, you may be entitled to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). See www.gov.uk/pip/eligibility for more information.
If you are unable to work at all and are no longer receiving statutory maternity or sick pay, you may be entitled to an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). You can claim for this benefit alongside a PIP. See www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility.
Visit the Working Families website for more information about benefits you may be entitled to.