Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lack of Maternity Leave and Workplace Discrimination Bad for Pregnant Women’s Psychological Health

Lack of access to maternity leave and workplace discrimination is contributing to poor mental health in pregnant women according to a new study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published by Wiley-Blackwell.

The new University of Melbourne study “Employee Entitlements during Pregnancy and Maternal Psychological Well-being” also finds that almost one-fifth of employed women report that they had been discriminated against at work as a result of their pregnancy.

Lead researcher Amanda Cooklin, and colleagues Associate Professor Jane Fisher and Dr Heather Rowe, from the Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society, surveyed 165 pregnant Australian women, all of whom were employed during pregnancy before the birth of their first child. Ms Cooklin says, “Women who are discriminated against in pregnancy, and/or have no access to either paid or unpaid maternity leave report measurably more distress, fatigue, anger and anxiety than pregnant women who were not experiencing these forms of adversity.”

Of the 165 employed pregnant women surveyed:

Only 60 per cent had access to unpaid maternity leave, despite current legislation requiring all Australian employees to have access to this entitlement after 12 months of continuous employment;

Only 46 per cent had access to paid maternity leave while others were forced to rely on sick leave, annual leave or go without income following childbirth.

Almost one in five women reported pregnancy-related discrimination from their employer in the form of negative or offensive comments or being excluded from promotion or training;

Women who were more highly educated and employed in managerial or professional jobs were more likely to have access to maternity leave than those in low-skilled, low paid occupations.

“Poor ante-natal emotional health is a known risk factor for mood disturbance after childbirth, so it is very important to understand the range of structural and social factors affecting women’s mental health in pregnancy,” Ms Cooklin says.

She adds, “Pregnancy-related workplace discrimination is disturbingly prevalent. About 80% of Australian women are employed prior to the birth of their first child, making employment conditions and events salient factors for consideration in assessments of maternal psychological health during pregnancy.”

Alina Boey | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>