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Discrimination Against Pregnancy Can Harm Baby


New research shows that discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace has profound effects on the baby and the mother, both before and after birth.

“The stress that women have during pregnancy as a result of the perceived pregnancy discrimination can increase their chances of having post-partum depression. And for their baby, we’re finding that they’re giving birth earlier, the birthweight for their babies is lower, and the number of doctor’s visits for the child increases,” said Ashley Mandeville, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Management at Florida Gulf Coast University.

She says that doing away with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace can be tricky because people respond differently.

“Some women need maybe more time off, more flexible hours, but some want to lean into their work during pregnancy and take on those challenging projects.”

So how can a manager help lessen these harmful health outcomes? Talk to your employee.

“Help by having an open dialogue and open communication,” Mandeville said.

She and her colleagues published their work this month in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit .

Cary Barbor is the local host of All Things Considered and a reporter for WGCU. She was a producer for Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius XM, where she hosted a live interview show with authors of new books called Books and Authors. She was a producer for The Leonard Lopate Show, a live, daily show that covered arts, culture, politics, and food on New York City’s public radio station WNYC. She also worked as a producer on Studio 360, a weekly culture magazine; and The Sunday Long Read, a show that features in-depth conversations with journalists and other writers. She has filed stories for The Pulse and Here & Now. In addition to radio, she has a career writing for magazines, including Salon, Teen Vogue, New York, Health, and More. She has published short stories and personal essays and is always working on a novel. She was a Knight Journalism Fellow, where she studied health reporting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and followed epidemiologists around Kenya and Alaska. She has a B.A. in English from Lafayette College and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Massachusetts.