Employment in relation to NVP. Time lost from work



1.   Of 206 working pregnant women, 65% lost no time from work due to NVP. The remaining 73 (35%) lost 4,528 hours of work. The average loss of time per working woman who required time from work in the study was 62 hours. The average loss of time from work for all working women was 22 hours. Assuming 57% of women work during pregnancy then approximately 8.6 million hours per year of paid employment in England and Wales are lost through pregnancy sickness symptoms. (50) 363 women in study.

2.   Employment outside the home made no statistical difference to the amount of nausea and vomiting, neither did the type of work carried out. Manual, non-manual or student groups were compared. 75% of 243 employed, complained of NVP. One in four actually needed to take time off work. (27) 243 women in study.

3.   In 12% of 948 cases, emesis was so pronounced and/or of such duration that it rendered ordinary work impossible. (6) 948 women in study.

4.   All 147 women admitted to one Obstetrician or two nurse-midwifery practices for pre-natal care in the U.S.A were asked whether or not nausea and vomiting during pregnancy affected their ability to perform daily activities. 120 (83%) replied in the affirmative. 41 (34%) said that symptoms were sufficiently severe that they were obliged to alter their daily schedules in some way.
Four out of five in group one with the severest symptoms stated that they would not plan or welcome another pregnancy. Five out of five in group one were unable to perform their normal house-keeping duties. Three out of five in group one worked outside home. All stopped work for 3/12. (54) 147 women in study.

5.   Women employed outside the home, manual or service workers experienced more severe nausea symptoms than did clerical or secretarial workers. 100 women in study. (48)

6.   In a study of 611 American women who exhibited the more severe symptomatology of  NVP, two thirds worked outside the home and lost a mean of 206 hours of paid employment. (88)

7.   Over half of women in employment took time off sick from work, with an estimated 808 working days lost among women prior to interview. In these early weeks 14 women (4%) resigned from work, 95 women (28%) made changes in their work schedule, coming in later or leaving earlier, and 221 women (65%) thought they were less attentive at work. 593 women with nausea and/or vomiting in study. (81) 593 women in study

8.   78% of women in the study population lost some time from outside employment. Study population, 260 women who contacted the health-line in Canada presented with more severe NVP than the average in the population. (91) 260 women in study.

9.   We suggest that an appropriate role for care givers is to encourage frequent periods of  rest. It may be important to assist in educating employers of the need for some women to take leaves from work or modify their work schedule while they are experiencing NVP. (108) 124 women in study.

10.   Because fatigue seems to exacerbate NVP, women should be encouraged to increase their rest, especially when they are symptomatic. It would seem appropriate for health care providers to adopt a liberal attitude toward providing leaves-of-absence from work. Such policy should ultimately shorten the number of days lost from work. (115)

11.   Among women who have worked, 494 (14%) reported that they had stayed away from work because of NVP. The length of leave was stated by 437 women. The average length of leave was 13 days but the mean was 5 days and two thirds (289) had less than 10 days leave. The total number of days sick leave because of NVP was 5583 days. NVP caused some 28% of all sick leave during pregnancy before week 28. (132) 3675 women in study.




Time lost from work due to NVP was significant.

(50) (27) (6) (54) (81) (88) (91) (108) (115) (132)                        Total:            Ten References

Pooled population 7064 women in 10 studies


Approximately 30% of working pregnant women need to take time off work due to NVP.

(50) (27) (6) (54) (81)                                                                     Total:            Five References

Pooled population 2294

Pregnancy Sickness Support

Volunteer log-in

Pregnancy Sickness Support

Become a volunteer                 Forgot password?