Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Studying

During the period of pregnancy, during the first weeks following childbirth and during breastfeeding, mothers enjoy special rights and protection measures.

The protective provisions of the Ordinance of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), also known as the Maternity Protection Ordinance (OProMa), apply to any dangerous or arduous activity during pregnancy or maternity.

Below you will find the activities concerned for which protective measures are necessary, depending on the conclusions of the risk analysis, from the beginning of pregnancy and sometimes until the end of breastfeeding. The activities at risk are summarized in the synoptic table (only in Fr, De, It) of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SSEA).

Maternity protection measures (Fr)

Synoptic Table (Fr)

  • General
    • A risk analysis must be carried out by an occupational hygienist or an occupational physician for so-called strenuous or dangerous work. To obtain your risk analysis, please contact the University's occupational hygienist as soon as possible, ideally as soon as you know you are pregnant.
    • The risk analysis must be carried out by a specialist: the results are recorded in writing, together with the recommended protective measures.
    • You have the right to have access to all the information necessary for the risk analysis and assessment of the situation at the place of study.
    • In the case of dangerous or strenuous activities: a medical certificate must be issued if the activity is to be continued without restriction or under certain conditions, or if the activity is to be interrupted. A medical exemption must also be issued for subjectively arduous activities.
    • On request, a medical certificate of unfitness can be issued by the gynaecologist on the basis of the conclusions of the risk analysis. This legal prescription is not of the same order as the sick leave that the gynaecologist may issue during pregnancy and related to the course of the pregnancy. This is a certificate attesting to the incompatibility between the pregnant woman's activity and the legal requirements for the protection of pregnancy.

    • Smoking areas: pregnant women or nursing mothers should not be exposed to the effects of hazardous chemicals, which would be harmful to both mother and child, as in passive smoking.
    • Pregnant women and nursing mothers should be able to lie down and rest in adequate conditions (nursing or rest rooms, infirmaries, etc).
    • Monitoring the state of health and the effectiveness of protective measures is the responsibility of the doctor following the pregnancy.


    Toward risk analysis


  • Hard work and dangerous substances

    Hard work or work involving hazardous substances must not endanger the health of the mother or child. This includes :

    • moving heavy loads;
    • movements and positions that lead to early fatigue;
    • work involving shocks, jolts or vibrations transmitted to the body;
    • work in high or low temperatures and work involving humidity;
    • work involving harmful rays or noise above 85 dB;
    • work involving hazardous chemicals or micro-organisms;
    • highly demanding working time systems.


    Toward risk analysis

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