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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Pregnancy discrimination can lead to health problems

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination |

Facing discrimination can be stressful and challenging to deal with. It could feel overwhelming, impacting an individual’s physical and mental wellness. It is true, more so for pregnant women already experiencing significant changes within their bodies.

Data shows that 50% of workers in the country are women and around 85% will give birth throughout their careers. Pregnancy discrimination could affect around half of the workforce, making it a significant issue.

The law has provisions protecting pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. However, it remains a severe problem, considering it might cause stress that poses health risks to the pregnant worker.

Research determined that discrimination could adversely affect pregnant women’s health, causing increased stress, higher chances of postpartum depressive symptoms, low gestational ages and potentially detrimental effects on the baby before or after birth.

These health issues could also increase doctor visits, leading to higher medical costs.

Working while pregnant should not be a health risk

The law protects pregnant workers’ rights to reasonable accommodation and other benefits. However, workers must request what they need from their employers to avoid sacrificing their health. Pregnant workers can address their situation by taking the following steps:

  • Contact a human resources representative and request the company’s policy for pregnant workers. These resources should include policies and rights regarding pregnant workers.
  • Avoid extreme stress in the workplace. Scheduling tasks through reasonable timelines and communicating them with workmates could help manage workload and stress.
  • Maintain reasonable boundaries between work and health. Doing so could help workers get enough rest and avoid complications during their pregnancy.
  • Voice needs to the employer and request support. Open communication is also vital for employers to provide reasonable accommodations and other provisions according to their workers’ conditions.

Pregnant workers might feel anxious about their circumstances and how they fit in the workplace. Still, the law is on their side. They can rest assured that working while pregnant would not risk their health and livelihood.