All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"
It always catches me off guard when people remark, with some astonishment, that they can’t believe I grew up in an environment with mostly women and managed to have very little drama.
My father was the only male in a house full of women. (Four daughters, a wife, and my aunt who moved in with us when she was about 13 until she went off to college and grad school). I thought it was a relatively normal environment to grow up in; but when people (usually girls) would say, “Nuh-uhn, all those females?! I couldn’t take it!” I began to think that maybe it wasn’t as normal as I thought.
I realized that the reason why a house full of women was never a big deal for me was because of the mindset that my father instilled in us. He always told us that we were family and at the end of the day we needed to always be there for each other. Growing up with this in my mind helped me to deal with any sense of competition and jealousy and helped us each to develop a sense of camaraderie.
That eventually translated into my everyday life. So I don’t understand women who can’t have female friends. There are already too many things playing against women in this world for us to be fighting each other. If, for no other reason, we need to help build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
So that’s how I try to live my life, but there was a time where even I struggled because this chick… was trying me.
A few months after my (ex)husband and I started dating, I became acquainted with a woman named Amanda.*
When I first met her, before he and I started dating, she was rude. However, I shrugged it off because life is too short to try to make someone like you. But once he and I became more serious, she was around, and she was just… so… extra. I’d never seen anything like it before in my life, but I was committed to ignoring it.
After I became pregnant and we married, I guess I just assumed that her negativity would stop. It didn’t. In fact, she just continued to go even harder. She would text my ex-husband about how much weight I was putting on (she didn’t know I was pregnant then), asking what he even saw in me, and I was just irritated.
One night while we were driving, he told me that the reason she was probably so aggressive with the both of us was because he was “talking” to her before I came along.
All of a sudden, things clicked, and my father’s words came back into my mind. I told my guy that I wanted to apologize to her because, as a woman, I’ve been in her shoes before. I’ve been with a guy once before who I was “talking” to. I was thinking it was leading to something, and then all of a sudden I saw him holding hands with his “girlfriend” without a single notice. I wanted to let Amanda know that I empathized with her, and never wanted to rub our relationship in her face. Maybe we could have a clean slate. However, my guy begged me not to because, “It’s my role to talk to her. Don’t get in the middle of it.”
“Well, are you going to talk to her?” I asked.
So the next day, while interacting with her, I saw her in a new light. But as I tried to give her an encouraging “We-Are-Women” smile, she not only continued to be the most irritating person I’ve ever had to endure, she seemed to get worse. It was almost as if she was getting joy from any type of pain she could inflict on me, my feelings, and my relationship.
After a while, the new light I saw her in not only dimmed, but turned into a haze of anger. I thought to myself, I’m trying to be sympathetic to this girl about her feelings, and she’s going to continue to disregard mine?! I mean, all the time I felt guilty about her heartbreak and any way that I may have made her question herself, but she just CONTINUES to act crazy! And if she sends one more text to him talking about my fat thighs…
But things changed when I had my first ultrasound and the little baby, who is now my adorable four-year-old, started kicking her legs. It brought everything back full circle for me.
At that moment, it wasn’t my duty to protect Amanda’s feelings and it wasn’t my duty to be indignant. It was my duty to protect my child because I knew that at the end of the day, whatever I felt, my child felt. It was up to me to make sure that her environment was one of peace as she didn’t deserve to have her health compromised just because mommy couldn’t keep her cool.
After a while, I stopped crossing paths with Amanda. However, as I raise my daughter with the same knowledge that my parents raised me with, I try to instill in her that self-preservation is the greatest strength she can hold.
Even though a few years have passed, I recently reached out to Amanda to give her not just the apology that I wanted to offer long ago, but to add to it now. I wanted to tell her that not only did I understand her behavior, but I no longer held it against her. I also wanted to let her know that in this world there seem to be forces trying keep Black women at odds, especially along shade lines. I wanted to let her know that if she ever needed something that I was capable of helping her with, I would. My father always said, “We have bigger things to worry about than each other,” and that’s an example that I’m trying to set for my daughter.
Amanda never responded.
Millennial women aren’t looking forward to being called mommy any time soon. According to a new study, millennial women are having babies at the slowest rate of any generation in U.S. history. The study from the Urban Institute found it’s not because this generation is putting their careers first but rather for economic reasons.
Between 2007 and 2012, birth rates among American women in their 20s dropped by 15 percent. Financial challenges drive “young women who aren’t worried about the biological clock to say, ‘Things are tough right now. Let me put this off because I can,’” co-author Nan Astone, senior fellow at the Urban Institute tells The Washington Post.
By 2012, millennials reproduced at a pace that would lead to 948 births per 1,000 women—“by far the slowest pace of any generation,” the report said.
And surprisingly the decrease was across all races. Hispanics saw the largest drop; from 2007 to 2012, the rate dropped 26 percent (1,570 to 1,158). For African-American women the rate declined 14 percent (1,216 to 1,046) while white women experienced a 11 percent rate decrease (976 to 866).
With many millennial women finding it hard to land jobs and are still living their parents, motherhood doesn’t seem like a desirable option.
And a lot of millennials are still single, again for economic reasons. Marriage rates have dropped also in all racial groups. More than a quarter of never-married Americans, aged 25 to 34, have not gotten married because they’re not “financially prepared,” a recent Pew survey found.
Dr. Minkailu Bah who serves as Sierra Leone’s Education Minister has declared girls who are of school age and “visibly pregnant” would not be able to attend school, take exams or be friends to other non-pregnant students. Another government official also believes that if pregnant girls associate with non-pregnant girls, they would encourage them to conceive children at a young age too.
For eight months, students were on a school hiatus because of the Ebola outbreak. Before their students return to school, Dr.Bah revealed that it was an “unspoken rule” to not allow pregnant students to enrolled in school. However, he has decided to make the rule official. Sierra Leone’s Conference of Principals support the new law because they believe pregnant girls “lack self control.”
Although Dr. Bah and others feel as though the girls they are banning lack control, RFI reports that many teen girls have been sexually assaulted during the Ebola crisis. Also, there was a pressure for girls to perform sexual transactions in order to earn a living. Education advocate Chernor Bah says there are steps being taken to create pregnant alternative education classes.
He says of the pregnancy issue in Sierra Leone, “They don’t have the structures to do that, they don’t have the infrastructure to do that, it’s a violation of human rights. It’s very sad. It’s very painful because we’re seeing a visible number of pregnant girls in the country today. And we know why this is. It was a crisis before Ebola, it’s been made worse due to Ebola, and this policy just makes it worse and punishes the victims.”
Currently there is a petition against Dr. Bah’s decision in order to get the girls to be allowed back in school. The petition also calls for there to be sexual and reproductive healthcare information classes and services for rape survivors.
It’s disheartening to hear that pregnancy shame continues to ensnare young women who conceive a child but not the young men who participated in the sexual act or crime. This new ordinance could drive young women to have an unhealthy perception and relationship with themselves or their children.
From The Grio
Tavon White used to run his Baltimore jail. He later testified to the vast network of smuggling drugs and cell phones that he and other gang members had been part of, and both a federal judge and prosecutor praised him for his work on the case. In a scandal that has lasted over two years and has seen 35 different defendants plead guilty to involvement in the scheme, White described how the Black Guerrilla Family gang ran a smuggling operation inside the prison itself. White has even fathered four children with corrections officers during his time there.
Read more about White at TheGrio.com
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?