Should Your Job Honor Your Doctor’s Note if you’re Pregnant? The US Supreme Court Says Yes

Courtesy of The New York Times

Courtesy of The New York Times

Kudos to Peggy Young for doing what many would be afraid to do. She sued her employer, United Parcel Service (UPS) because they refused to honor a note from her prenatal provider that requested light work duty. Young was pregnant and could not lift more than 20 pounds without jeopardizing the safety of her unborn child.  UPS, with the backing of large corporations with deep pockets, challenged Young’s request so she took them to court – and lost. However, with the determination of a fearless mother, she didn’t blink at the lower court’s rejection of her case. She took it all the way to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court which agreed with Young and essentially said the both UPS and the lower courts were wrong. Pregnant women deserve the same rights and consideration as any other person who has a disability.

While our country is far from being perfect, the thing that sets us apart from others and makes us a great nation is our rule of law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act under Title 7 was established in 1978 to protect the rights of pregnant women. 70% of our country’s workforce represents women who have children and 6.5% of all discrimination cases. Here is how it protects pregnant women:

  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers
  • An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work.
  • Any health insurance provided by an employer must cover expenses for pregnancy-related conditions on the same basis as costs for other medical conditions. An employer need not provide health insurance for expenses arising from abortion, except where the life of the mother
  • Pregnancy-related benefits cannot be limited to married employees. In an all-female workforce or job classification, benefits must be provided for pregnancy-related conditions if benefits are provided for other medical conditions.

Young is to be commended for her courage to speak up and the US Supreme Court should be commended for listening.

Would You Use Laughing Gas During Labor?

Nitrous oxide shutterstock

Labor pain is an experience that most women would prefer to avoid and who can blame them? No one likes pain but unfortunately those cramp-like symptoms are a signal that a new life is about to enter the world which is both exciting and inspiring.

It has been scientifically proven that the childbirth experience is much smoother, faster and less complicated when a woman is not in pain although her uterus is contracting. The treatment of labor pain is therefore very important. The gold standard of treatment for labor pain is to give a woman an epidural (or medicine in her back) as long as the baby does not need to be delivered as an emergency. An epidural prevents pain because it blocks the pain signals that come from the spine cord and is a very effective method when performed by skilled hands.

However, there’s a “new” trend of using nitrous oxide emerging in birth centers for women who would prefer not to have an epidural. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used in dental offices for pain relief. It is also used in Europe, New Zealand, Asia, and Australia for labor pain relief.

In 2012, the FDA approved equipment that allows nitrous oxide to be used for labor pain management in the U.S. Actually; the use of gas for labor relief can be traced back to the 19th century when a dentist (Dr. William Morton) introduced ether for pain relief and the following year, an obstetrician (Dr. James Young Simpson) used chloroform during childbirth. Queen Victoria allegedly used chloroform for the delivery of her 8th child.

Courtesy of Mentalloss.com

Courtesy of Mental_floss.com

 

Is nitrous oxide safe for the delivery of our 21st century’s babies? Here’s what we know so far based on government studies:

  • 54% of women who used nitrous oxide reported pain relief as compared to 94% of women who had an epidural
  • Nitrous oxide does not appear to affect Apgar scores of babies at birth

Who shouldn’t receive it?

  • Women with asthma, emphysema or those with severe lung problems
  • Women with Vitamin B 12 deficiencies

The American College of Nurse Midwives thinks nitrous oxide is safe to use during labor? Would you use nitrous oxide during labor? Please send your comments to www.drlindaburkegalloway.com

 

 

Love Your Reflection: Feel Fabulously Attractive During Pregnancy

beautiful pregnant woman

One of the things I love about blogging is the great people that I meet and the collaboration and passion that we share. Today, I’d like to introduce you to my guest blogger, Diane M. Daniels, The Diva Style Coach. She has some fabulous information for pregnant women who want to remain “fabulously attractive” during their pregnancy. Enjoy!!

INTRODUCING DIANE:

You can love who and what you see in the mirror all the way through your pregnancy. Try these simple, yet effective ways to help you feel more beautiful inside and out.

Positive Thinking

 Practice empowering and encouraging self-talk. Put a positive spin on all the new things you’re experiencing. Let your growing tummy remind you of the joys of motherhood. Focus on your best physical features, whether it’s your eyes or your new bust line.

  1. Welcome support from your loved ones. Accept compliments graciously when your partner or other loved ones tell you that you’re glowing. Surround yourself with family and friends who make you feel good.
  2. Remember that the weight gain is temporary. Take comfort in knowing that you’ll soon return to your usual size. Post-pregnancy weight loss will be even easier if you work with your doctor to stick to sensible eating and exercise habits. This usually means gaining about 25 to 35 pounds over 9 months.

Strategic Dressing

 Buy a variety of flattering maternity clothes. Attractive and comfortable outfits will make pregnancy more pleasant. There are many options that’ll show off your curves without highlighting your abdomen. Look for tie-backs and side shirring on tops. Wrap-around dresses and empire waists are also good choices. Remember to incorporate your favorite colors – the ones that make you feel good and help you love who and what you see in the mirror!

  1. Stretch your wardrobe budget. Shop for styles that will work for all three trimesters. Stomach panels and stretchy fabrics like spandex will expand along with you. Get separates that you can accessorize for both casual and more formal occasions. Use Capsule Wardrobe principles to help you choose pieces that will mix-and-match easily – 10 pieces in 3 different colors can provide you with 20 outfits or more!
  2. Select the right bras. Most women gain a cup size or more. Get professional fittings to ensure adequate support and to make your clothes look their best. If you need additional support, look for stores that carry larger cup sizes or that can order the size you need. You may want to start wearing your nursing bra during your last trimester.
  3. Check your shoe size. Even your feet get bigger during pregnancy. Protect your health and look more graceful by getting shoes that fit. Wedges or chunky heels can give you extra height without throwing off your balance. Focus on comfort first, and then go for simple and classic exteriors that won’t draw attention to your feet.

Additional Suggestions:

 Style your hair. Your hair may grow thicker and more lustrous during pregnancy thanks to changing hormones and prenatal vitamins. Consider wearing it long and wavy to complement your fuller figure. Side-swept bangs, layers, and highlights also help to slim your face. Choose simple hair accessories that will bring the focus to your beautiful face, but not overwhelm your features.

  1. Change your eyeglass frames. If your face gets rounder, you can use eyeglass frames to create the illusion of angles and greater length. Experiment with rectangular shapes and skinny rims, and consider eyeglasses with lenses that change in bright sunlight to avoid having to carry multiple pairs.
  2. Minimize sun exposure. Your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun during pregnancy. Avoid premature aging by wearing protective clothing and using sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Remember to apply sunscreen every day – and lean toward moisturizing lotions to take care of your skin all over.
  3. Treat acne breakouts. Acne is common in expectant mothers. Talk with your doctor about safe treatments. Consult your doctor with safety questions about any health and beauty products you use while you’re expecting.
  4. Banish dark under-eye circles. Some women find that the skin under their eyes appears darker during pregnancy. You can minimize this by getting plenty of sleep. Putting cucumber slices over your eyes also helps. If circles persist, use concealer in a shade close to your skin tone and blend it well. Avoid using mascara and eyeliner on your lower lashes.
  5. Play up your nails. You may be one of the lucky women whose nails start growing faster and stronger. In any case, you can draw attention to your pretty hands by treating yourself to a manicure. Just use phthalate-free nail polish and apply it in a room that’s well ventilated.

 Pregnancy is an incredible experience! Take good care of your baby and celebrate your changing body.

Author bio: Dianne M. Daniels, The DivaStyle Coach, is an irrationally passionate coach, consultant and speaker whose heart’s desire is to help women realize and manifest their most Dynamic, Intriguing, Vivacious and Audacious self – their DIVA – and walk fully into their potential and live their life DivaStyle! You can find her online at http://thedivastylecoach.com, on Facebook as The DivaStyle Coach, and on Twitter as DivaStyleCoach.