All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"

GOP Senators Offer Paid Maternity Leave For Staff But Not For Other Americans

January 26th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Last week President Obama signed a memorandum that would allow employees at federal agencies to take up to six weeks of paid parental leave and he believes the policy should be extended to those in the private sector. Since then, reporter Jen Senior of The New York Times decided to  cover the disparities between maternity leave at GOP senators’ offices and the private sector states Jezebel.

After writing to 100 Senate offices, only 26 offices responded to Senior, giving her insight on their policies. In her investigative report, Senior found that most Senators offer over six weeks of paid maternity leave to their staff:

“15 Democrats, two independents and nine Republicans — said they provided paid leave of some kind. What this means, practically speaking, is that all of them go above and beyond what the Family and Medical Leave Act requires — 12 weeks of unpaid leave, assuming both employee and employer meet the requirements. The traditional liberal rap on the Republican Party is that its policies are hostile to working women. But that’s clearly not how Republicans conduct themselves as bosses on Capitol Hill.”

For example, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida gives his staff as much paid maternity (12 weeks) and paternity leave (6 weeks) as possible. Wyoming’s Mike Enzi follows suit with six weeks of paid maternity leave too. Senior also notes, some Southern GOP senators may also allow their employees to supplement sick and vacation days along with maternity leave.

“One might expect this from Democrats, who, as a matter of principle, believe that governments have an obligation to care for their citizenry when the free market fails to do so,” writes Senior. “But it’s more surprising from Republicans, who generally speaking, do not. The question is, why?”

Senior posed this question to Republican Senator Deb Fischer (Nebraska) who offers six weeks of paid parental leave and an extra two if the mother had complications during her pregnancy. Fischer revealed (her opinion) that there is a “difference between the government requesting employers do something and requiring them to do it.” For her office, Fischer noted she set aside money for there to be funds for paid parental leave. Funds were cut from other departments or employee benefits such as minimizing the amount of staff travel. As for the private business sector, Senator Fischer believes it is up to private business sectors to make the decision if they can afford paid parental leave.

Do you think it’s fair for GOP staffers to receive paid leave but for GOP Senators to vote against the same policy for American citizens?

8 Creepy Things That Can Happen During Pregnancy

January 21st, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Corbis

If your partner wants kids and you don’t, here are some facts that could get him on your side. If you’re already pregnant, these are just possibilities you should know about, but no need to freak out. Here are creepy things that can happen during pregnancy.

Sh!t Your Friends Talk About You Once They Find Out You’re Pregnant

January 14th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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To pregnant women everywhere, you deserve to know that if most of your friends don’t have children yet, they’re not as enthusiastic behind your back as they are in front of your huge belly. Here is the sh*t your friends say when they find out you’re expecting.

Pregnant Employee Fired For Frequent Bathroom Use

December 8th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Have companies declared it open season on pregnant women’s jobs? Dawn Steckmann, a former technician at Maxim Integrated Products, was fired for taking too many bathroom breaks while pregnant with her second child. Steckmann developed a bladder problem during her pregnancy that made her go to the bathroom frequently.

In court documents acquired by People magazine, a Maxim Integrated Product supervisor told Steckmann they terminated her employment because she did not clock out when using the bathroom. According to their reasoning, she was stealing company time. Maxim Integrated Products proposed Steckmann could have been goofing off and “watching a movie” during her bathroom breaks. Steckmann says her supervisor told her “not to bother” clocking out when she used the bathroom, which makes sense.

Steckmann will be suing her former employer for $400,000 in a gender and discrimination lawsuit. She also noted that her supervisor “seemed unhappy” when she told him she was pregnant for a second time. This is not the first time Steckmann has complained about her job. After working at Maxim Integrated Products for 10 years, Steckmann stated, she has observed male co-workers received better treatment than women and were disciplined lightly. Thanks to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s updated guidelines, Steckmann may win her case; the improved guidelines say women’s medical issues should receive the same treatment as male medical treatment.

H/T Cosmopolitan 

“Shove Off From Here” Pregnant Woman Confronts Anti Abortion Advocates, Leaves Them Speechless

December 5th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Pregnant Woman Confronts Anti Abortion Advocates

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Abortion is a tricky, moral debate for a whole lot of people. Personally, it’s a decision I can’t see myself making; but I can say with certainty, judging someone else for making that very difficult decision is not cool.

Bringing a life into the world is not something to take lightly. And it’s not a decision someone should pressure you into or attempt to make for you. Which is the problem I have with people who protest and attempt to shame women in front of abortion clinics. It’s not just a problem in the southern, conservative states in the U.S.Apparently it’s an issue in London as well.

And one woman, who happened to be very much pregnant herself, had had enough of it. She told the protestors who were filming the women entering the clinic that they were wrong on so many different levels. And even called one protestor, who admitted that she had had an abortion herself, a hypocrite for attempting to deride others for a decision she had made herself.

The woman happened to be an advocate for girls and women who have been molested and abused. So she knows the complexities of the issue.

She went IN. And the group was left speechless afterward.

The video is compelling, no matter what side of the argument you’re on. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Among The Many Obstacles Pregnant Women Face On The Job, Add Business Travel

December 4th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Airline Discrimination Against Pregnant Women

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Pregnant women face all sorts of obstacles in the workplace. Add business travel to the list. Inc. lists the various issues: seats are uncomfortable for pregnant women to fit into; depending on the length of the flight, they would need to remain seated. When it comes to security, pregnant woman are endlessly questioned when they choose to not go through scanners. On top of all that, one of the perks of business travel are the points. Pregnant women run the risk of missing out on that as well.

Morra Aarons Mele founder of WomenOnline/The Mission List, who was expecting her third child, had to put flying on hold during her last two weeks of pregnancy. When she called to put her miles on hold as well, airlines told her no. She  shared with Medium Post:

 “American Airlines said she could ‘repurchase status lost at the end of 2014.’ Virgin America and Delta didn’t have any ‘maternal leave’ policies either. The one airline that did have a maternal leave policy was British Airways, which offered to put Mele’s miles on hold if she sent them a doctor’s note.”

Mele believes when travel policies are regressive, it shows they are not made to encompass the different life stages for women. “[F]requent flier status is a subject of near obsession for business travelers, and with good reason. It’s not about perks, but about making life on the road bearable. If you don’t have status in the world of airlines, you probably won’t make it out of Chicago in a snowstorm in time for that big meeting, or get home for your family. It’s a big deal.”

Mele adds a few more stats: 70 percent of women in the work force have children under the age of 18 and are the breadwinners in their families. With inflexible airline policies, women are run the risk of losing money on airlines they remain loyal to throughout their careers.

Did traveling change for you, once you became pregnant?

Revealing Photos Of Childbirth In Sub-Saharan Africa

November 7th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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22-year-old woman finds out she's 9 months pregnant while vacationing in Europe with her three best friends; gives birth days later.

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From BlackVoices

According to the World Health Organization, a woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death — that is, the likelihood a woman would eventually die of a maternal cause — is 1 in 160 in developing countries. In developed countries, the probability is 1 in 3,700.

In his intimate series “Birth is a Dream,” photographer Paolo Patruno takes you inside public and private hospitals in rural Africa, providing a rare glimpse into a version childbirth far from the Western vision of white walled hospitals and scrubs. The images are at once strikingly personal and ultimately universal, depicting the often unseen circumstances of one of humankind’s most ubiquitous rituals.

See the photos at BlackVoices.com 

Things That Happen During Pregnancy That People Don’t Warn You About

September 23rd, 2014 - By Opal Stacie
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Although being pregnant is beautiful, there are some downsides to being an expectant mother. Your hormones get all out of control, your appetite either increases or diminishes due to morning sickness, and why didn’t anybody mention how tortuous the last month of pregnancy could be? I’ve been pregnant three times and have two children ages 4 and 1. Besides the basics that I mentioned above, pregnancy can come with a ton of “side effects” and changes that people really don’t tell you about beforehand. Here are a few things I wish someone had warned me about so I could have been prepared…

“BBWLA” Star Brandi Maxiell Talks Battling And Beating Ovarian Cancer And The Infertility Issues That Came With It

September 18th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Pic Courtesy of Maxiell

Pic Courtesy of Maxiell

This month, in order to spread more awareness to our community about ovarian cancer, MadameNoire is speaking to several ovarian cancer survivors about their journeys.

We first spoke to BreAnne Middleton and LaTrisha Reid. Now we’re chatting with Brandi Maxiell, reality star, wife and mother. At the age of 24 she was diagnosed with cancer and struggled as her health and body went through the wringer. Maxiell was declared cancer free in 2008 and thought it would be smooth sailing from there. But the reality star says that her body still was going through turmoil nearly two years later, and she struggled with infertility issues.  Now 30, Maxiell has overcome a lot, kept her faith and positive outlook and has good health and her son (whom she calls her “miracle baby,” born in 2011) to show for it. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition spokesperson shared her journey with us and inspiring words for women battling with ovarian cancer, or any cancer, for our “Survivor Series.” 

MN: Could You Describe What That Day Was Like When You Found Out You Had Ovarian Cancer?

Maxiell: I was 24 and I was stage 1C, I believe.

I was devastated because it was something that I…I was healthy. I’m healthy. My family’s healthy, everybody’s healthy so it was something that was new to me. It was kind of like I was in a movie. ‘Are you serious right now? Cancer? Not me!’ It just didn’t really hit me or register. I just really thought it wasn’t true.

I had got engaged and I wanted to stay with my husband for a year, live with him and see how things were and all these things. But I started planning my wedding after I got cancer because it was like, let’s just do this thing. Let’s get married. It was kind of like one of those things where we were like, what are we waiting on?

MN: Did You Have Any Symptoms Or Pain Beforehand That Let You Know Something Was Wrong?

Maxiell: I had every symptom. I had back pains and I went to the doctor and they told me it was just back pains, so they gave me medicine for it. But after I was taking the medicine for it I was like, my back still hurts. My stomach? I was bloated. It looked like I was four or five months pregnant. I was huge! I had to use the bathroom like every five seconds. Sometimes I wouldn’t even make it to the bathroom. I would have to pee and then I would pee in the bed and be so embarrassed because my fiancée, my husband now, was like ‘This is embarrassing.’ It was just crazy. I was like, ‘what’s going on inside of my body?’

MN: After You Got The News, What Did You Do Next?

Maxiell: When I got the news, I knew my blood levels were crazy so I did every research possible, but they knew it was cancer. They just didn’t know what stage I was in. For like a week after I got the news I was in fear for my life because they knew something was wrong and they had to do immediate surgery. I literally thought–you know when you think of cancer, you think of death. I was thinking, ‘what the hell did I do with my life to deserve this? What’s going on? What are you telling me? What are you asking me? What do you need?’ Because it was like, how did I get this? I didn’t know if it spread or if it did anything until I got the surgery.

I remember my mom telling me that she was praying really hard. She said ‘I spoke to God and he wanted me to know that everything is going to be okay. He’s going to let you know that everything’s okay.’ I remember having that surgery and my mom wrote in her journal, she said, ‘when you came out of surgery the first thing you said was, Mom I spoke to God and he let me know that everything was okay.’ And I was like, ‘that’s crazy! I didn’t say that.’ I do remember feeling like everything was okay, but I went into surgery so tensed up so scared for my life.

MN: I Know You Said You Had Side Effects And Your Body Went Through Hell During Treatment. Could You Elaborate?

Maxiell: I had every possible thing wrong with me. With the cancer, after the surgery, I had blood clots and I passed out. I went to the hospital and they said I had blood clots in my lungs. I had to deal with that. I had to deal with chemotheraphy, blood clots, dealing with the right medicine to take and what not to take. Then I had bad side effects to the chemotherapy once I was done with it. My body was out of wack, even after I was cured, for about a year and a half or two. And then the fertility issues came about.

MN: How Did It Feel When You Found Out You Were Cancer Free After All That?

Maxiell: I knew that I was going to overcome the cancer. When I was done with it we had a party. We all went out and hung out and I probably shouldn’t of done it, but I went crazy. I let my hair–well, I didn’t have no hair [laughs]. But I was free. It was just a freeing moment. I was just so happy and felt like I could live my life. I feel like when I have something going on in my life I dedicate my time and my energy to just that. And I felt like I dedicated a lot of energy to the cancer so I could get well, so it was such a struggle. I was so weak. I could barely get out of bed. I could barely eat. But when they said I was done, I think that was the happiest that I’ve ever been in my entire life.

MN: What Advice Would You Offer Women Suffering With Infertility, Whether Due To Cancer Or Not?

Maxiell: I would say to hang in there. I know the struggle. I’m still dealing with it because I want a second child, but I postponed that. But dealing with the whole issue and not knowing, you worry. But the more that you worry, the more that you let stuff get to you, the more that you let things bother you, that’s a health risk in itself. You have to be careful and have positive energy or it all will really wear on your body. And for any woman who can’t get pregnant whether they have cancer or not, there are other options. Of course I want my second child, but I’m so blessed that I have my first baby. So if my doctor says that I can’t have my second child biologically, I can adopt. There are other options.

MN: Have You Forgiven Sundy Carter [Of “BBWLA”] For Comments About Your Struggle To Get Pregnant?

Maxiell: I don’t think about Sundy. There’s nothing to think about. I don’t even want to talk about her. There’s nothing to…I mean, I let go of everything.

MN: Who Was Your Biggest Supporter Through The Whole Grueling Process?

Maxiell: My mom was my biggest supporter. My husband, who was my fiance at the time, was a big supporter. But my mom suffered from that situation probably more than I did. Watching her, I thought I really needed to get well for her. To sit and watch my mom in so much pain, it was just heartbreaking. No mother should have to see their child go through what I went through–not knowing what was going to happen or the future. When I was cancer free, so was she.

MN: How Has Your Journey Changed You?

Maxiell: It changed me because it taught me to live life to the fullest and live every day like it’s your last. You never know what tomorrow will bring. You never know what can be taken from you and I think a lot of people take that for granted.

 

 

Can Baby Fever Damage Your Health?

September 11th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango

There’s nothing worse than wanting to have a child, then realizing, after years of trying, that motherhood just isn’t in the cards for you. It’s one thing to be childless by choice, or as those women prefer to call themselves, “childfree,” but it’s another thing to be childless because of physical issues that are out of one’s control. While there’s always the option of adoption, for some, having a baby of their own is the only thing they want, and when that dream is taken away, it’s hard to recover.

Considered the “unfulfilled wish,” a new study found that after trying with as many fertility treatments as possible, women who still can’t conceive are three times more likely to end up suffering from depression. Even after a decade of realizing that their hope to be a mother will never happen, women still continue to suffer from the disappointment and sadness of not having kids. While some women are able to accept the harsh reality and release their desire to have kids are far less likely to suffer from depression, I think we can all agree that this is no easy task at all.

Scientist studied 7000 women who had taken fertility treatment to see how that extreme level of disappointment or, in some cases, success had affected their lives 11 to 17 years after the treatments. Even after years had passed and the fact for some was that children were impossible for them, 6% still desperately wanted to have kids. So, what does that mean for those women? As Dr. Sophia Gameiro and her team discovered, “We found that women who still wished to have children were up to 2.8 times more likely to develop clinically significant mental health problems than women who did not sustain a child-wish. For women with children, those who sustained a child-wish were 1.5 times more likely to have worse mental health than those without a child-wish.” These are heartbreaking statistics. Even those who already have children, but would like more, still suffer from the depression of not being able to conceive. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.

However, having a child doesn’t mean you’ll be happier. As Gameiro also pointed out, children can be difficult, not just emotionally and mentally, but there’s the stress of it, financial concerns, and just the overall responsibility of providing for someone beside yourself. It isn’t easy to be a parent.

Read more about conceiving a baby at YourTango.com