Archive for the ‘
Pregnancy News ’ Category
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Of course by now we’ve all heard about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s despicable move to blame two families and their “distressed babies” for the reason that all AOL employees were getting their retirement benefits slashed (Super-professional, mister!). But now it’s coming out that this isn’t his first tirade against women with pregnancy complications. (As if these women can help it!).
According to a lawsuit, which was recently published by Valleywag, when Armstrong was Google’s vice president of national sales, he was accused of discriminating against a woman who was pregnant with quadruplets. Christina Elwell, a former sales executive says Armstrong promoted her to Google’s national sales director of North America in late 2003, and even sang her praises as to her huge contribution to the company when Google went public in 2004. But in April 2004, when Elwell told Armstrong she was having medical complications with her pregnancy that would prevent her from traveling by plane for a few weeks (but still could travel by train or car to important meetings), she says she was demoted—just weeks after she lost two of her unborn babies. What sort of evil person would lump on extra stress at a time like that?!
Oh, but it just keeps getting worse. He told her about the demotion by showing her an organizational chart with her position deleted. He called her—to her face!—an “HR nightmare,” said he no longer wanted her in his New York office, and eventually fired her over the phone (which is pretty much the cowardly equivalent of your junior high boyfriend breaking up with you in a folded-up note passed to your friend in home room). And his stellar reason for ruining her life? Because he had “a gut feeling” that it was the right thing to do.
Google found that Elwell had been improperly fired and rehired her at a low-level position she says was comparable to an internship (not cool, Google!). As she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, she lost her third baby, and ended up delivering only one of her quadruplets. Once she was back to work fulltime and told she had no chances of getting her higher-level job back on the sales team, she quit and left the company for good.
Though neither side is legally allowed to speak of the settlement, one was reached through arbitration, supposedly leaving Elwell in a very good place financially. Yes, money is nice and it helps put a roof over your head, but it doesn’t seem that important when you’ve lost three babies, your job that you were really freakin’ good at, and someone has tried their best to make you feel worthless. No pregnant woman should be put through this kind of nightmare!
TELL US: What would you like to say to AOL Chairman Tim Armstrong about his lovely pregnancy policies? Have you ever been discriminated at work for being pregnant? Share your stories!
Image of Tim Armstrong via Twitter.
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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
When you first find out you’re pregnant, you’re absolutely elated. Then you start to think, How am I—or we—going to afford a baby?! Well, it’s a million times worse when you’re counting on a paycheck and suddenly you don’t have one.
That’s what happened to Floralba Fernandez Espinal. She had worked hard for two years at Unique Thrift in the Bronx, carrying heavy piles of coats, jeans, dresses and shirts from the storeroom to the showroom to be sold. It was not an easy job, but one the 22-year-old was happy to have, especially since she was three months pregnant.
She had suffered a miscarriage last year, so Floralba was understandably worried that having such a physically-demanding job might be putting her baby at risk. According to the New York Times, she had seen other pregnant workers be temporarily transferred to other positions, like working the cash register or tagging clothes, so when she told her boss she was pregnant, she asked if she could do the same. Her boss’ warm and fuzzy response? “Bring in a doctor’s note.”
Days later, she handed her supervisor a note from her doctor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which clearly stated: “No lifting, pushing or carrying heavy objects or loads.” But instead of moving her to a less-strenuous job, her manager told her to get to work as if it was business as usual. Out of fear of losing her job, when she needed it most, Floralba did as she was told.
Three hours later, her manager told her to gather her things and go home. She was being put on unpaid leave. Thinking on her feet, she decided to record the conversation on her cell phone so she could take it back to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union she’s a member of for help. There seemed to be little they could do—until a new law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, went into effect in New York City last week. The law requires companies to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees—like providing a stool for a pregnant cashier, or allowing frequent bathroom breaks.
Once the law went into effect, Floralba’s attorneys sent Unique Thrift a letter demanding her job back with back pay and allowing her to be assigned to a temporary position that complies with doctor’s orders. A meeting is set to take place this week. Fingers crossed all goes well for Floralba. The last thing a pregnant woman needs is to have to worry about being out of work—mamas-to-be have enough to worry about!
TELL US: Have you ever experienced on-the-job discrimination because you were pregnant?
Can’t wait to find out the gender of your baby? Use our Ancient Chinese Gender Predictor to find out now!
Image of pregnant woman at work courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, January 30th, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit I’m super-sappy, and I like to document everything. There are certain things I will cherish forever: the photo of the “+” pregnancy test, telling me I was going to have my son, Logan; the first outfit my husband and I bought for the baby when we found out we were having a boy; the hospital ID with Logan’s name on it. The list could go on and on. BUT even I think it’s creepy to have a lifelike fetus doll made in your baby’s likeness—from 3D and 4D ultrasound images.
The idea is that you can actually cradle your baby before he or she is born—which could sound like heaven for some mamas-to-be. But all I can think of are horror movies with crazy spinster ladies talking to themselves while rocking their imaginary babies to sleep.
3D Babies is the brainchild of husband and wife team Gerard and Katie Bessette, who thought families everywhere would want three dimensional replicas of their gestating fetuses. As Smithsonian.com reports, for $800 parents-to-be can order custom figurines of their 24-week baby, measuring eight inches. For those who prefer pocket-sized versions you can get a 4-inch sculpture for $400 or a 2-inch one for $200.
The way it works is parents submit one to five 3D and 4D ultrasound images of their baby and 3D Babies creates a digital image that captures the fetus’ one-of-a-kind facial features. Then the future mom and dad get to further tailor it by choosing a skin tone and the position of the baby—either tucked or in the fetal position with arms and legs raised, revealing the sex of the baby. Voila, then you have a keepsake to cherish long after your baby is born.
TELL US: Do you think it’s cool or kooky to have a life-size replica of your 24-week fetus?
Image via 3D Babies.
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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
NPR reports that according to a study in Fertility & Sterility, more than half the 1,000 women ages 18 to 40 from different races, ethnic groups and socioeconomic levels surveyed didn’t realize that folic acid supplements need to be taken at least a month before conception to prevent neural tube defects, and many didn’t know that the older a woman is the higher the risk of miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. About a quarter of women didn’t know that obesity, smoking and irregular periods can all decrease fertility.
So what does increase fertility? Elevating the pelvis during sex or using specific positions does not, which more than a third surveyed did think boosted the chances of conception. Only 10 percent of women knew the optimal time to try each month to get pregnant.
Dr. Jessica Illuzzi, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Yale University School of Medicine, says an astoundingly low number of women are aware that you have to have intercourse before ovulation to get pregnant. “About 60 percent thought the best time was after ovulation.” But the ideal window of fertility is actually two days before you ovulate. Who knew? Um, I mean, of course I knew that. Didn’t you?
Illuzzi goes on to say that it’s probably best to have sex on both of those peak days rather than listening to doctors usual advice for couples trying to conceive—which is to have sex every other day—because then you might miss your fertile window. But don’t get overly ambitious and have sex multiple times a day thinking more sperm means more chances of getting pregnant. In fact, Illuzzi warns, “If he ejaculates too often, his sperm count goes down.”
So there you have it, some big baby-making misconceptions have been debunked!
TELL US: How do you think you would have scored on this survey? Did you learn anything new from the results?
Image of couple in bed courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, January 16th, 2014
When you’re pregnant, and especially when you’re getting into your third trimester, you can’t help but be soooo excited! You’re counting down the days till you can finally meet the little nugget you’ve been carrying inside you. You can’t wait till you can hold him, count his little fingers and toes, and take in all of that yummy new baby smell.
Now imagine you’re seven months pregnant, and in full nesting mode, getting every last detail perfect for the arrival of your mini man—a little brother for your older son. Then, the government sends a gang of people to abduct you, and hold you down on a table while that baby you have been dreaming about is forcibly aborted. You scream out begging them to stop, but they keep right on going. Within minutes, your baby is gone, and you will forever feel like a piece of you is missing. Your son will never be a big brother. How can you just pick up the pieces and pretend like it never happened? You can’t!
No, this is not the plot to some Hollywood blockbuster. This is the story of Gong Qifeng, a Chinese woman who was seven months pregnant when she was given an abortion against her will, because she was pregnant with her second child—which violates the country’s strict One Child Policy. The even sadder part is that Gong’s story isn’t that out of the ordinary in her country, and many women who’ve been forced into abortions end up having mental breakdowns (like Gong, who was recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia) or commit suicide.
According to the 2012 Department of State Human Rights Report on China, 590 women are committing suicide a day in the country. Two of the factors cited include “the traditional preference for male children, and birth limitation policies.” The Chinese government is said to be easing up on the Once Child Policy, because they are now allowing people who are only children to have two kids. But that is only if they are granted a permit before getting pregnant—talk about planned parenthood!
If a couple gets pregnant a second time without government permission, it’s considered a crime and the woman could be subjected to a forced late-term abortion if and when the government finds out she’s pregnant. To date, the Chinese Communist Party boasts that it has prevented 400 million lives through the One Child Policy. There’s no way of knowing how many of those lives were lost to late-term abortions, and how many women are mentally, physically and emotionally scarred for life from this sick and inhumane policy. What a complete nightmare these women have to endure. My heart is breaking for each and every one of them.
TELL US: What would you do if you lived in a country that had a One Child Policy?
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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