~ Work, The Department of Transportation and Pregnancy
I'm starting my thirteenth week and not a lot is happening at this moment so I will begin by telling a little about my work and the rules regarding my work.
The Department of Transportation (which by the way is what is set up by the government to protect people who work to provide transportation of various things from air, land, etc..) tells us how long we can work per day, how many we can work in a week etc... Being a truck driver, regardless if you are hourly paid or paid by the mile, you cannot work more than 70 hours in a 7 day period. However, you cannot exceed 14 hours per day. That 14 hours consists of 2 types of work, they classify them as driving, on-duty not driving. You also have 2 other types of off duty. They are Off duty (which defined as off duty, free to come and go as you please from the truck, not working) or sleeper berth time (which is time you spend in the bunk of a truck sleeping and/or resting). I am a local driver which means I do not have a sleeper on my truck, so by law I can work 14 hours a day. BUT no more than 11 of those hours can be spent behind the wheel of a truck. The other three have to be on duty, not driving. (That generally means, sitting on a dock somewhere, or while eating lunch or hung up at a shipper or changing trailers).
Enough about that, now about D.O.T and pregnancy, as of this week according to a lady I spoke to in Washington, D.C., there are no rules or regulations about drivers being pregnant, meaning as long as a woman can perform her job duties, she can work. However, due to the increasing number of female drivers, they are considering looking into it within the near future, which could be anytime between tomorrow and two years or more from now.) The only thing they are looking at doing in reference to a pregnant woman is setting a limit as to how far along in her pregnancy she can work as long as her pregnancy is normal and healthy, which I will be the first to admit needs to be done. There are hazards out there that while they aren't safe necessarily for anyone, they can become dangerous for a woman who is pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses, your body changes in many ways. You have an increased need for potty breaks, and it's not always easy to find a place to stop which can lead to holding it too long and possible UTI's. Getting in and out of the truck is a long way down, your center of gravity is changing, you're at higher risk from falls. The floor of the truck I drive is roughly 5 feet to the ground, that's a long way down.
My employer has been fairly understanding with my pregnancy so far. They are asking for something in writing from my doctor every month or when I go, but have otherwise been business as usual so far. Not a major problem except that I am pregnant and every week my little one is getting bigger, and while at this point bigger is not much, I am now officially starting to really feel pregnant. I haven't had any morning sickness, I have had to fight some nausea but I recognized what seemed to aggravate it and started avoiding those things. My legs started swelling this week, not a lot but enough to notice the difference. I have an appointment next week with my doctor as a precaution and also for my check up. Hopefully we will also find out what was causing me to have that blood in my urine last month since I went to a urologist and he did some ultrasounds on my urinary tract. I will update more later about that later.