Problems Pregnant Women Face at Workplace- How to Deal With it

Pregnancy-related issues, such as health and safety hazards, should not be ignored since they can have detrimental effects on expectant mothers, their unborn children, and their families as a whole.

What impact does it have on you?

For women, pregnancy is generally a physically and emotionally taxing time. The last thing you should be concerned about when expecting a child is job stability. For expectant mothers, experiencing ongoing stress as a result of discriminatory conduct at work poses a significant risk to their health.

Furthermore, maintaining financial stability is necessary for raising a child in a proper setting, and certain employer activities may jeopardize this stability. In order to effectively care for themselves during pregnancy, women require flexible work schedules.

Discrimination based on pregnancy is real:

According to a survey by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 20% of women said that they experienced prejudice from coworkers and employers when they were pregnant. Furthermore, 10% of women reported feeling deterred from going to prenatal checkups.

Nearly 31,000 complaints against pregnancy discrimination were made between 2011 and 2015, based on EEOC data that is currently accessible. The industries that reported the most incidents were those in health care and social support. Black women filed about 28.5 percent of the charges, while white women filed 45.8 percent.

According to a different Women’s Aid Organization poll, over half of the women questioned stated they had unstable employment while they were pregnant, and roughly 31% indicated they purposefully put off getting pregnant out of concern for losing their jobs.

What does discrimination entail?

For the majority of women, pursuing a professional career offers them social, intellectual, and personal fulfillment rather than just a means of subsistence. Still, a lot of women have difficulties at work just because they are expecting. When compared to their male counterparts, women are significantly disadvantaged by this kind of discrimination, which can take many different forms.

Formally speaking, pregnancy discrimination is the term used to describe the unfair treatment of expectant women who are dismissed, denied work, or subjected to other forms of discrimination because of their pregnancy or desire to become pregnant. Discrimination based on pregnancy can take several forms, such as:

Refusal of maternity leave
Not receiving a promotion
Rejected promotions or downsizing
Insults or obnoxious remarks
Absence from the most important assignments
Pay disparities
Compelled to take a break

Dangerous situations at work:

When it comes to carrying out professional responsibilities, women are without a doubt equally strong and resilient as males. But the unborn child inside of them is fragile and needs tender care. Everything you do, including your work, emotions, and diet, will have an impact on the unborn child.

Some jobs involve physically demanding responsibilities, such standing for extended periods of time. Although this may be uncomfortable for the expectant mother, the unborn child is in grave danger. According to a study, pregnant women who stood for extended periods of time gave birth to babies with heads that were about 3% smaller. Data from more than 4,600 pregnant women were included in the study. Given that smaller heads may be harmful to brain development, this is a concerning fact.

Additional health issues that might result from prolonged standing during pregnancy include:

elevated blood pressure
back discomfort in the lower back
worsening Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction symptoms
early delivery edema

While it is widely known that drinking and smoking are bad during pregnancy, there are also negative impacts on the fetus from jobs that require pregnant workers to be around hazardous chemicals or fumes.

Chemicals can enter your body in a few different ways, such as through skin contact, inhalation, or inadvertent ingesting. Knowing the entire impact of any chemicals you may be exposed to at work is crucial because these substances have the potential to cause miscarriages, birth defects, and developmental issues.

When limbs and organs are developing in the first trimester of pregnancy, exposure to chemicals can be particularly damaging. The type of chemical, the form of contact, and the length are just a few of the many variables that affect the outcome of chemical exposure.

Working long hours

It’s challenging for most people to work long hours without becoming totally fatigued. However, this is particularly difficult for expectant mothers and dangerous for the unborn child’s health.

Research indicates that expectant mothers who work over 25 hours a week give birth to infants who may weigh as much as 200 grams less than typical. Smaller babies are more likely to experience learning challenges, respiratory difficulties, digestive disorders, and heart defects.

This occurs for several causes. Exercise can lower blood flow to the placenta, which makes it more difficult for the fetus to receive enough nutrition and oxygen. Similarly, the strain brought on by extended workdays may also be a factor. Additionally, pregnant women who work long hours run the risk of getting pre-eclampsia.

Addressing these issues:

It is your duty and right as a pregnant woman to ensure the safety of the unborn child without jeopardizing your work.

Recognize your rights:

A federal statute known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was created to protect expectant mothers from discrimination at work. Companies with fifteen or more workers are required to abide with this law.

This regulation forbids discrimination in terms of compensation scale, hiring, firing, training, and promotions. According to this, expectant mothers ought to get all the support and accommodations required of any other individual who is temporarily incapacitated.

Within 180 days of the harassment, you have the right to submit a charge against your employer if you were the victim of pregnant discrimination.

Recognize your options:

Even in the greatest of circumstances, pregnancy can be a daunting experience. Giving your child’s needs first priority is a sign of a mother. It is best for your child to explore other options if you believe that your personal, career, or educational circumstances prevent you from being a parent. Being pregnant is just the start of a lifetime commitment that isn’t always able to keep up with professional goals.

Keep the infant and yourself safe:

Most women are able to work through the third trimester of pregnancy, despite the fact that pregnancy itself can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Also, you might be able to work up to labor if your pregnancy is deemed low-risk and you don’t have any health issues. But it’s crucial that you do proactive measures to protect the infant and yourself, like:

If at all possible, change careers to something more baby-friendly.
Utilize safe work procedures when around chemicals.
Pay close attention to your personal hygiene.
Take regular pauses.
Speak with your doctor about any potential risks.

In summary

The issue persists even though a lot of businesses these days are more sensitive to the requirements of expectant mothers than they were ten years ago.

It may be challenging for women to pursue their careers due to issues they encounter in the workplace. However, women may overcome obstacles if they have the correct education.