Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy News ’ Category

The EEOC’s New Rules: Good for Pregnant Workers and ALL Working Families!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

If, like me, you’re committed to working throughout your pregnancy—and returning to work after babies—you’re going to want to read this.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has made updates to its rules on discrimination and pregnancy for the first time in more than three decades.

It’s against the law to discriminate against employees who are pregnant (or were in the past, or might be in the future), and the commission made clear that adjustments may need to be made for pregnant workers—including providing the option of light duty—and clearly forbids employers from forcing a pregnant employee to take a leave of absence when she is able to carry on working.

And the new, tougher rules on pregnancy aren’t the only good news in the update: breastfeeding and parental leave are also addressed. The commission makes clear a policy regarding breastfeeding, characterizing lactation as a medical issue subject to legal protections. That means lactating moms must be provided a private location as well as the scheduling opportunity to pump milk.

Furthermore, employers who provide parental leave (separate from medical leave related to the actual childbearing or childbirth recovery) must do so equally for men and women.

It goes without saying that any improvements in support for pregnant women in the U.S. are good for working families overall.

Living in the only industrialized country in the world without any paid leave for parents of newborns (let that sink in), I’m happy and relieved whenever I see good news that suggests movement in the right direction here in America (and I can better manage my jealousy of my Australian friend currently on a year of paid maternity leave through various benefit channels)!

Pregnant? See how your belly will grow over the next weeks and months. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!

Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With
Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With
Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With

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Over 35 and Pregnant (or Hoping to Be)? Here’s Good News!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

At 35 weeks into my twin pregnancy, I’m 36 years old—with my 37th birthday coming up in two weeks. I have joked all along that these kiddos are welcome to enter the world any day they’re good and ready, with the exception of July 15, because that’s my day to be a princess forevermore!

All birthday jokes aside, I know all too well from personal experience that being pregnant after 35 comes with a huge swirl of scary rhetoric, with the phrase “advanced maternal age” following you like a dark shadow to every appointment and every test result. Even scarier, perhaps, is the swirl of rhetoric surrounding women in the 35-and-up category (so, basically, all of my closest friends) and their reduced chances of conception.

Well, there’s good news out now for those consumed by such worries: The Daily Beast notes that commonly cited statistics that suggest one out of three women older than 35 will not get pregnant after trying for a year come from an analysis of statistics as old as 350 years! And indeed, more modern studies suggest much better results: “About 80 percent of women 35-39 will get pregnant naturally in a year of trying,” according to the Daily Beast. “That’s barely different from the 85 percent of under 35’s who will succeed.”

And beyond even that, the Beast cites a study that suggests 92 percent of 35 to 39-year-old women had at least one normal embryo to transfer after a single IVF cycle. So to sum up, these newer studies both conclude that stats for both natural and IVF conceptions seem much stronger for women through their late 30s than prevailing discourse might otherwise suggest.

And furthermore, a new study published last week and cited in the Washington Post found that women who conceive naturally after age 33 have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before the age of 30. (Though that statistic is not uncomplicated, as this analysis shows.)

So what do you make of all this: Are new studies convincing enough to crush mythologies surrounding pregnancy after 35?

TTC? Talk to other women trying to get pregnant. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

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Kids Before Marriage? It’s Totally Normal for the Newest Generation of Parents

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Regardless of your personal feelings about pregnancy outside of marriage, it’s apparently time to accept that it’s the new reality in America.

We’ve all seen anecdotal evidence of this—including all kinds of examples set by Hollywood types—but new research findings make the trend officially, statistically clear: According to a new Johns Hopkins University study using results from millennial parents, 64 percent of all mothers gave birth out of wedlock at least one time. Yes, that’s well over half. It’s approaching two thirds. So it’s safe to say, it’s a completely ordinary lifestyle across the entire category that includes the newest generation of parents—like it or not.

Drilling down a bit, the paper shows the biggest divide along the lines of education: People with four-year college degrees more typically had children later in their 20s, and most were married at that time. Women without such degrees were typically younger when they delivered, and three-quarters of those were not married at the time of at least one child’s birth.

Even more specifically, in the category of women who dropped out of high school, 87 percent had at least one birth outside of marriage. But in the category of four-year-degree holders, it was just 25 percent.

Further parsing the data, Slate points out that many of the non-wedlocked women in the study were not single, but living with partners at the time—so the kids were technically born into two-parent households. But, “the problem is that cohabiting couples don’t always last. Their relationships fare better than parents who aren’t living together at all, but frequently the mother ends up raising a child alone,” Slate notes.

The fact is, the youngest generation of parents is playing by different rules than their own parents and grandparents. And instead of debating whether or not it’s right for them to make the choices they are making with respect to their reproductive timelines, our efforts as a country are probably better spent figuring out how to channel resources to modern families—the kind of families that actually most commonly exist, not the kind of families that people with outmoded philosophies wish could still be the norm.

Pregnant? Estimate the big day with our due date calculator. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!

Pregnancy Month by Month:  Preparing for Labor
Pregnancy Month by Month:  Preparing for Labor
Pregnancy Month by Month: Preparing for Labor

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Some Moms Opting for Early Delivery—But at What Cost?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

As a worrier, my twin pregnancy arc has looked something like this: Without too many real symptoms in the early stages, I worried I might not really still be pregnant. Following that, I coasted seamlessly into the stage of worrying about delivering dangerously early.

Now, at nearly 34 weeks, I’m hoping I can continue to cook these nuggets until they’re really big and strong — a chance many multiples moms I know would have given almost anything to have. Alas, in particular when it comes to carrying multiples, the threat of pre-term labor is very real, and the fear of it — or the reality of it — consumes many parents to be.

Despite that, and despite growing evidence that supports the idea of better health outcomes for babies who reach full term, it turns out that many women are delivering early electively.

According to new research from the University of Minnesota and published in the journal Medical Care, more than 3 percent of babies delivered in the U.S. are coming into the world early and without valid medical justification; if that doesn’t seem like a huge figure, consider it’s about 120,000 babies across the entire population each year.

So what does early mean? A baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks of pregnancy. And the study showed that early delivery without medical reason “at between 37 and 39 weeks is associated with health problems for mothers and babies” alike, according to HealthDay News.

According to the study, women were more likely to opt for early induced labor if they were 35 or older, were white with higher education, were insured privately, and delivered their babies in rural or non-teaching hospitals.

Those choosing to deliver early by C-section tended to be younger than 20 or older than 35, black, have higher educations, and gave birth at smaller hospitals.

The study further suggested that babies born early by elective C-section were much more likely to have longer hospital stays as well as respiratory issues than babies born at full term. Further, babies born early after elective induced labor also faced longer hospital stays.

“There are misunderstandings about when a baby is ready to be born,” study leader Katy Kozhimannil said in a news release. “Since our findings show there are differences in who is having an early elective delivery, the importance of a full-term birth needs to be communicated to all women, not just those who may traditionally be considered high risk for elective procedure or high risk for poor outcomes.”

Pregnant? Estimate the big day with our due date calculator. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!

Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 9
Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 9
Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 9

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Do Pregnancy Tests Belong in Bar Bathrooms?!

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Home pregnancy test commercials would have us believe that every one of those products is used in a sparkling clean residential bathroom, with two smiling partners sharing big news. But life is rarely so cut and dry.

Exhibit A: In an effort to combat Alaska’s problem with fetal alcohol syndrome—the highest of any state in the union—a new state-funded program will offer free pregnancy tests in the bathrooms of 20 bars and restaurants starting at the end of this year, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Binge drinking is epidemic in Alaska, with women 20 percent more likely to do so in their child-bearing years compared to other places around the country. And according to the Daily News report, the program will attempt to study if posters that warn women against drinking during pregnancy work better when they are plastered to pregnancy test dispensers instead of just posted on a wall. The messages will be two feet tall.

“This is not a strategy for the chronic alcoholic who is drinking regardless of whatever message they see,” Jody Allen Crowe, whose Minnesota organization is involved with the program, told the Daily News. “This is really focused on the 50 percent of unexpected pregnancies, to find out they are pregnant as early as possible.”

While the program struck me as pretty shocking at first, there’s plenty of evidence out there in the world to suggest it’s just the kind of thing that might work. For instance—and I think this is a fair comparison—only a few days ago, The New York Times reported that new legislation in Australia that replaced logos with gruesome health warnings on cigarette packs appears to have reduced household consumption of tobacco by close to 5 percent over the last year ending in March.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, as they say, and it seems to me that shocking messages just might reach a set of temptation-prone but otherwise rational people—and those without cases of clinical addiction.

But I’d love to hear your take on it: Are pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms a good idea?

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Tips for Taking an At-Home Pregnancy Test
Tips for Taking an At-Home Pregnancy Test
Tips for Taking an At-Home Pregnancy Test

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