34 Believable Excuses To Get Out of Work While Pregnant

A few of the best excuses to use when requesting time off from work during pregnancy are:

  • Morning sickness
  • Swollen feet and/or ankles
  • Back, neck, shoulder, or hip pain
  • Doctor appointment
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Cold or flu
  • Couldn’t sleep the previous night
  • Illness outbreak at the office

You definitely should not abuse your employer’s sympathy and kindness, but sometimes taking a day for yourself can do a world of good.

Worried about losing your job over missed time due to pregnancy-related issues? 

The United States Department of Labor states that:

“Employers must treat women temporarily unable to perform their jobs due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition the same as any other temporarily disabled employees similar in their ability or inability to work.”

A word of warning: Don’t overdo it! Excessive missed absences might jeopardize your job.

1. Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a misnomer because while this nauseous feeling can occur in the morning, it can also plague you all day long.

Let your boss know that your morning sickness has become an all-day affair to skip work and get some rest.

2. Lower Back Pain

No one questions a person who looks like they are carrying a bowling ball underneath their shirt when they complain about back pain.

Some pregnant people struggle with lower back pain more than others do, but it is a valid excuse for anyone growing a person inside their body.

3. Doctor Appointment

You are going to have a ton of doctor’s appointments while you are pregnant.

Your boss won’t be able to keep up with when they all are, so you can throw in an imaginary one on occasion and score yourself some rest.

Just make sure you have enough time off to attend all the appointments that are actually taking place.

4. Exhaustion

During the early days of my first pregnancy, I took a nap during one of my breaks at work and woke up with marks on my cheek from where I had been sleeping on the carpet.

The exhaustion is real! It’s so real that you can use it to get a day off any time.

5. Dizziness

It’s normal to get lightheaded or dizzy when you’re pregnant. Keep snacks around, and make sure you don’t stand up too quickly.

In fact, many people lump dizziness in with morning sickness, so you can use it as a reason you need to take a day to drink some tea and nap.

6. Nausea

Smells, sights, or tastes can set off a very real nausea response in pregnant women, as can fluctuating hormones.

That’s why nausea is a solid reason to request a day off at any point during the pregnancy to stay home and enjoy some pregnancy popsicles. It’s always a believable excuse.

7. Swollen Feet and Ankles

Some women experience swelling of the feet and ankles while they are pregnant while other women don’t.

Whether or not you do, it’s still an excuse most bosses won’t question.

With my twin pregnancy, I once had swollen ankles so badly that my boss took one look at me as I walked in the door and sent me straight back home!

8. Hip Pain

Your baby is making a home out of your body, and your hips get to suffer the brunt of this.

Hip pain can make walking, standing, or sitting for too long uncomfortable.

If you have a job that requires tons of physical exertion, you will have to be extra careful not to strain your hips during this time.

Taking a day off and blaming hip pain is a believable excuse.

In fact, your hips may hurt so often that this isn’t even really a lie when you tell your boss.

9. Neck or Shoulder Pain

You will carry your baby in your arms once he arrives, but until then you will carry him with your whole body.

That leads to pain in your neck and shoulders as you try to stay upright while your stomach lurches forward.

Use this as a great reason to stay horizontal on the couch for a day.

10. Spotting or Bleeding

One of the first signs of pregnancy is the absence of a period. That’s what makes spotting or bleeding while pregnant so scary.

While spotting can be a normal part of a safe pregnancy, it can also be cause for concern.

No one wants a pregnant woman at work if she’s bleeding, so this excuse will get you a day off with no questions asked.

11. Illness Outbreak at the Office

When you’re pregnant, you don’t want to get sick. A simple case of the flu landed me in the hospital when I was carrying my twins. 

While it’s not impossible to avoid every germ, an illness outbreak at your place of work is an absolutely valid reason to take some time off or work from home.

Certain illnesses can negatively impact your pregnancy, and it’s not worth taking the risk of catching something by going into an office that you know is a cesspool of germs.

12. Contractions

Contractions aren’t always just something you get to experience during labor.

Braxton Hicks contractions show up to give you some practice rounds, and they hurt.

Though they tend to lack the consistency of actual contractions, they are enough of an excuse to use if you need a day to watch reality TV instead of dealing with people at work.

13. Hemorrhoids

Since around 40 percent of pregnant women have the pleasure of experiencing hemorrhoids, this is a totally valid excuse to use when you want a day to rest at home.

No boss is going to ask further questions once you say hemorrhoids, so don’t worry about having to explain.

A pregnant lady in a pink shirt sitting in front of her laptop looking stressed and uncomfortable.

14. Hazardous Work Environment

Not every work environment is safe for a pregnant woman.

If you are working in conditions that are questionable or being asked to perform tasks that can put your pregnancy at risk, you need to call out of work.

Conditions should be safe and suitable before you return.

15. High Blood Pressure

Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure closely while you’re pregnant.

While some women have no issues with their blood pressure, other women will watch their blood pressure increase during pregnancy.

Tell your boss that the stress of your job will not help an already high blood pressure reading, and kick your feet up for the day.

16. Preeclampsia

Going right along with high blood pressure is preeclampsia.

Fingers crossed you do not have to deal with this while pregnant since it can cause a variety of complications for you and your baby.

However, if your employer refuses to believe that high blood pressure can be a sign of a bigger problem, you can always remind them that it is one symptom of preeclampsia.

17. Hormones Are Out of Control

Your hormones absolutely will be out of control throughout your pregnancy, so this is a valid excuse from month one right up until the baby pops out.

Changes in your hormone levels can leave you feeling exhausted, weepy, and every emotion in between.

Take a personal day to meditate through the overwhelming feelings, and blame your hormones.

18. Loss of Bladder Control

One of the things I miss most about my life pre-pregnancy is bladder control. In fact, the loss of it can start while you’re still pregnant.

If you’re not too embarrassed to share this information with your supervisor, you can even blame your failing bladder on why you need to call out for the day.

A baby resting on your bladder means navigating a work experience that could get messy on a hard day.

19. Depression or Stress

Hopefully, you won’t experience a wide range of difficult emotions while pregnant.

However, changing hormones as well as practical worries about raising a child can cause anyone to feel more blue or stressed than usual.

You can take a mental health day and let your boss know you need some mind recovery time.

20. Pregnancy Complications

You can experience mild or major pregnancy complications, and pretty much every supervisor should be aware of this fact.

While some complications can be scary and require monitoring by a doctor, you can also just experience some pregnancy discomfort that makes going to work feel impossible.

Think insane amounts of gas, an aversion to all smells, or a child kicking you in the kidneys 24/7. 

21. Fainting

Feeling lightheaded or like you’re going to faint is not pleasant, and your employer certainly doesn’t want you falling and perhaps getting injured while at work.

To avoid this possibility, it might be best if you call in sick. 

22. Headache/Migraine

Pregnancy often brings about hormonal fluctuations that may contribute to headaches or migraines.

Requesting time off occasionally to manage these headaches allows you to prioritize self-care, ensuring a healthier and more productive work environment in the long run.

23. Gestational Diabetes

With gestational diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels becomes a top priority, and it’s perfectly understandable to need a day or two here and there to manage the condition.  

24. Were Unable To Sleep the Night Before

Sleep disturbances are not uncommon during pregnancy, and a restless night can leave you fatigued and less able to perform at your best.

When you find yourself struggling with insomnia, it’s important to be honest with your employer about your need for rest. 

25. Cold/Flu

Contracting a cold or the flu while pregnant can be particularly challenging because your immune system is already working hard to support both you and your baby.

Communicate your situation to your employer, emphasizing the need for a brief break to focus on your health and prevent the spread of illness to colleagues in the workplace.

26. Anxiety Attack

Pregnancy can sometimes bring heightened emotions and anxiety.

Requesting a day to collect yourself can be essential for managing your mental well-being.

If your boss has ever suffered through an anxiety attack, they’re sure to sympathize!

27. Blurred Vision

Blurred vision during pregnancy can be a result of hormonal changes or fluid retention.

Being unable to see clearly is certainly not conducive to a productive day at work.

28. Can’t Stop Crying

Emotional fluctuations are common during pregnancy, and sometimes you might find yourself unable to control tears.

Most employers would rather not deal with long crying jags at the workplace that could affect the productivity of others. 

29. Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy can be uncomfortable and potentially harmful if left untreated.

Many people have experienced a UTI at some point in time and will understand your hesitancy about coming in to work while suffering through the infection.

30. Shortness of Breath

As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience shortness of breath due to the growing uterus putting pressure on your diaphragm, so this one is a very believable excuse.

If you truly find it challenging to breathe comfortably, contact your healthcare provider right away. 

31. Pelvic Pressure/Discomfort

Pelvic pressure and discomfort are common during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages.

Most employers would rather you stay home until symptoms subside than risk going into early labor while at work.

32. Need To Track Fetal Movements

Monitoring fetal movements is a crucial aspect of prenatal care.

Emphasize to your boss the importance of these monitoring activities for ensuring the well-being of your baby.

33. No Transportation

If you encounter transportation challenges during pregnancy, such as car trouble or no longer being able to take public transportation comfortably, it’s important to inform your employer.

This might be an ideal time to bring up the possibility of working remotely from home if that’s your end goal.

34. Abdominal Pain

Experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy can be distressing and may require attention and rest.

In many cases, pain across your abdomen is caused by stretching ligaments, but the thought of a pregnant lady having belly pains at the office is likely enough to convince your employer to give you the day off with no questions asked.

A young pregnant woman holding her back as if in pain while at work.

Signs of Overworking While Pregnant

Overworking during pregnancy can have negative impacts on both the mother’s health and the developing baby.

Signs of overworking while pregnant may include:

  1. Persistent Fatigue: Feeling excessively tired despite adequate rest is a common sign of overworking. If you find it challenging to recover your energy levels even with proper sleep, it could indicate that your work is too demanding.
  2. Increased Stress Levels: Overworking can lead to heightened stress levels. If you notice a significant increase in stress, anxiety, or irritability that correlates with your workload, it may be a sign that you’re taking on too much.
  3. Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty sleeping or insomnia can be a result of excessive stress and workload. If you’re finding it hard to unwind and relax, it may be an indication that you need to reevaluate your work demands.
  4. Physical Discomfort: Overworking can contribute to physical discomfort, including headaches, muscle tension, and back pain. If you experience persistent physical discomfort, it’s important to assess whether your workload is a contributing factor.
  5. Poor Concentration and Productivity: Overworking may lead to a decline in cognitive function, affecting concentration, memory, and productivity. If you notice a significant decrease in your ability to focus on tasks, you could be pushing yourself too hard.
  6. Irregular Eating Habits: Overworking can disrupt regular eating patterns, leading to irregular meals or skipped meals. Poor nutrition can have adverse effects on both maternal and fetal health.
  7. Neglecting Self-Care: If you find yourself consistently neglecting self-care activities, such as exercise, relaxation, or leisure time, it may indicate that your work commitments are taking precedence over your well-being.
  8. Decreased Job Satisfaction: Overworking may lead to a decline in job satisfaction and overall morale. If you find yourself consistently unhappy or unfulfilled at work, it’s essential to evaluate your work situation.
  9. Lack of Boundaries: Overworking often involves a lack of clear boundaries between work and personal life. If you find it challenging to disconnect from work during non-working hours, it may indicate an imbalance in your workload.

Overworking during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

If you notice signs of overworking, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and the health of your baby.