We all get older. We women get older. And we’d like to pretend that time stands still while we do what we want to do,what we need to do.
But we don’t live forever. And if you want to get pregnant,you can’t put it off forever.
The WSJ has this article about the ticklish subject
Doctors have to discuss with their patients their life goals:
Some day is approaching and I don’t want you to get to the point where you figure out that you finally want to have kids and it will be much harder for you at that point
Its a real thing. In some ways,I kinda wish I’d started sooner. But I’m very glad I didn’t wait any longer.
Robert Riech was secretary of Labor under Clinton when FMLA was passed
He wrote this message to talk some more about his concern for working mothers
He’s a politician,so he says this:
The best way to celebrate Mother’s Day would be to acknowledge that most mothers are now in paid work — or seek to be — and,as working mothers,deserve better.
I think we do. I congratulate you on your hard work this mothers day. And I hope that you all are able to reach for your heart’s desires,and your family’s needs.
Marissa Mayer recently took on the role of CEO of Yahoo.
She has been a Silicon Valley executive for a long time,and Yahoo decided to bring her on even while she is pregnant.
I wish her the best,and am pretty inspired.
I think Yahoo deserves some credit for faith in a woman’s ability to do a couple things at once. It does depend on the woman.
The Wall Street Journal had an article about women in the workplace this month.
Here are some excerpts:
You would think the problem would be solved by now…”Almost nine in 10 CEOs agree that tapping female talent is important to ‘getting the best brains’ and competing in markets where women now make most of the purchasing decisions.”
…Companies are still bleeding female talent at an alarming rate…”
One executive they interviewed urges women:
“For God’s sake,nominate yourself for promotions. You’re holding yourself back.”
What are we waiting for,ladies? Corner offices,benefits and high pay are just begging for us to take them.
Right? Why on earth are we not jumping at these goodies?
Deep in the story,after we had to flip to page B9,they go on to say:
There is evidence that the U.S. is losing ground. Women are making huge strides in emerging economies such as India and China.
What could possibly be different between America and India and China?
You can wipe off the sarcasm I am dripping all over this post and see the answer here.
All the commenters mention childcare,or dependent care as the big reason to opt out.
I am pretty sure that China and India have a better system for providing childcare than America does. Maybe it is cheaper,maybe it is easier to obtain,maybe there is a greater social acceptance for an educated mama giving the children to the care of another person,but I am pretty sure that most of the reason “Companies are still bleeding female talent” is the very very female concern of the children.
There was mention of male executives having to learn to listen to female voices during meetings. However,there was no mention of the more obvious problem of how to adjust the workload to better accommodate female childcare concerns.
If we are in such demand,come where we live and figure out how to make it worth our while to run your companies.
A friend was talking with me the other day about a job opportunity. She had just become pregnant after months of trying and was very happy about her baby-to-come.
But a former colleague had contacted her and wanted her to take a big-deal position in a new endeavor he was starting.
Legally,she had to be at her job for a year to be able to retain the position during maternity leave.
The question was,should she go out on a limb? Should she take this demanding job and risk it?
She hadn’t even told her current employer about her pregnancy. Discussing it with a potential employer was not something she wanted to do.
These are exactly the sorts of things women are having to ask themselves these days.
When talking about work -life balance,it might be hard to figure out how to measure work and life. But the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) decided on a very few criteria for their recently released study and they included:
“employment rates for women who have children”
Well,yeah,children. Work and life in some sort of balance. That’s a very good way to measure work-life balance.
The U.S. has a very high rate of working women with children-73% of women with children are in the work force. This despite the fact that the U.S. is the only OECD participating country without a federal paid parental leave. Of course,as readers of this site and The Pregnant Professional know,there are paid leave benefits for parents in different situations,just not at the federal level.
In any case,American Moms work hard! 73% of moms are tucking away a paycheck while tucking in their kids at night. I’m proud of us!
North Carolina got to see the power of a pregnant professional at work this June.
Police officer Malydia Owen jumped into a pool to save a drowning teenager. She was 6 months pregnant,and now this poor kid owes his life to a mother-to-be!
This is who we are. This is what we do.
Thank you,Malydia,for showing us how to do it so well.
Borrowed this from another website:
- Each year in the United States,there are approximately six million pregnancies. This means that at any one time,about 4% of women in the U.S. are pregnant.a
- Only 25% of couples actively trying to conceive will experience pregnancy within the woman’s first cycle. However,90% of couples will achieve pregnancy within the first 12 months of actively trying.a
- Approximately 10% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many miscarriages often occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.a
- Each year,1.2 million women in the U.S. choose to end their pregnancies through early termination.a
|Just 3% of all pregnant women will give birth to twins|
- About 3% of all pregnant women will give birth to twins. This rate is an increase of nearly 60% since the early 1980s. However,17% of pregnant women over 45 will give birth to twins.b
- Nigeria has the highest twinning rate in the world at around 4.5%. Some experts attribute this number to the large consumption of yams in Nigeria.b
- Just under 500,000 babies are born each year in the U.S. to teenage mothers.a
- After delivery,approximately 13% of U.S. women are diagnosed with post-partumdepression.b
- The average size of a full-term baby in the U.S. is 8 pounds. This is an increase from an average size of 6 pounds 30 years ago.a
- The largest baby ever born weighed in at over 23 pounds but died just 11 hours after his birth in 1879. The largest surviving baby was born in October 2009 in Sumatra,Indonesia and weighed an astounding 19.2 pounds at birth.g
- Less than 1% of women in the United States choose to deliver their babies at home,while 30% of Dutch women opt for home births.a
- Approximately one in three babies in the United States is now delivered by cesarean section. The number of cesarean sections in the U.S. has risen nearly 46% since 1996.a
- According to a Time Magazine article published in 1945,the longest pregnancy on record is 375 days (as opposed to the usual 280 days). Amazingly,the delivered baby was only 6 pounds,15 ounces.f
- The highest number of surviving children from a single birth is eight with Californian Nadya Suleman giving birth to octuplets in January 2009. The octuplets were made up of six boys and two girls and celebrated their first birthday on January 26,2010.d
- Fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date,50% are born within one week of the due date,and 90% are born within two weeks of the date.a
|A pregnant woman should eat approximately 300 extra calories per day|
- Pregnant women at a healthy weight should eat an extra 300 calories per day. This amount is roughly equivalent to a serving of yogurt and half of a bagel.e
- While not all pregnant women will crave pickles and ice cream specifically,pregnancy cravings are rooted in the body’s extra need for minerals and comfort-inducing serotonin.e
- Despite several rumors to the contrary,microwave ovens do not pose a threat to an unborn fetus.a
- During pregnancy,a woman is more likely to experience bleeding gums and nosebleeds due to hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the mouth and nose.e
- Milk production and lactation can actually begin as early as the second trimester in some women.e Carrying a baby “high” or “low” is dependent on a woman’s body type and is not a reliable predictor of the baby’s gender.e
- Approximately 70% of expectant mothers report experiencing some symptoms of morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy.a
- Pregnant women usually experience a heightened sense of smell beginning late in the first trimester. Some experts call this the body’s way of protecting a pregnant women from foods that are unsafe for the fetus.e
- Many women experience thicker and shinier hair during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and consumption of extra vitamins. New hair volume gained during pregnancy typically begins to fall out after three months post partum.e
- While the feet do not actually get longer or wider during pregnancy,most women do gain up to half a shoe size,due to increased fluid volume in the foot.e
Looking professional while pregnant at work is a big deal. Even if you don’t feel put-together,it’s nice to know you look put-together.
When I was working,I couldn’t find maternity clothes to fit me. I’m a big lady–nearly six feet tall. And the large in maternity didn’t even fit me in my first trimester. I found that disheartening!
I gave up and just went into the plus-size area of the store. One of my mottos:We can do anything with knit!
I did get sort of buried in the billowy fabric sometimes,but it was clean and crisp. The maternity clothes are special,but I was just big.
No one is shocked to see mothers in the workplace.
But what is new news is that women are sharing an increading load of the financial breadwinning for their families. In ’95,women with jobs had from 36% to 40% of the earnings in a family. Now,with the great recession upon us,that percentage has shot up to 43-47%.
Women’s wages are supporting their families. We working women are not going to stop working. AND we are not going to stop having children.
So let’s talk about maternity benefits. I want to focus on the federal laws that apply to pregnant women and new parents. There are two categories of maternity benefits. The first is disability.
Disability coverage is mentioned often in employee benefits,so technically that is one advertised maternity benefit. In 1977 it was not considered a protected disability,but In 1978,Congress created the Pregnancy discrimination Act that gave pregnant women the same protections that any kind of disability was granted. At some point,a pregnant woman will become disabled,and this category of benefit will cover the disabled period for a woman.
How difficult the pregnancy is varies. A few women will need bedrest. A few women will be very little affected. The state of California codified the period of disability for a woman as 6 weeks after childbirth. California even provides some financial assistance during this time,which is more than the feds do.
But after the disability period ends—or concurrently,depending out your situation—a period of bonding and baby-caretaking happens. This is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act,a federal law which allows mothers AND fathers to take up to 12 weeks of protected time off to bond with their child.
Families who are planning a pregnancy or are already living through one need to have this information about what protections and sources of income they can expect. As I said initially,it is not easy to discover.