Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Women bearing live children not only ones needing empathy

There is a continuing dialog over maternity leave--but what about those who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth?

I had two miscarriages before bearing my daughter, who is now 33. I still think about the misses, though.

Cradled, a Waco-based nonprofit helping bereaved families, says employers need to be more empathetic.

Infant mortality in the US is down 11 percent since 2006. But still birth and miscarriage rates have stayed the same.

One in four women will suffer a miscarriage before the 20th week of pregnancy.

This played down in the workplace.

At one company--yes, the notorious Amazon--a woman who had a stillbirth left because she was told she would be monitored to be sure her focus stayed on her work.

Hospitals now often give the bereaved parents handprints and footprints of stillborn babies--along with their wrist bracelets.

At work or anyplace else, it is not helpful, these bereaved women say, to tell the mother she can always have other children or it's God's will, or the baby was probably deformed anyway.

Fifteen percent of women will suffer clinical depression.

So, employers, be compassionate about time off, maybe send a card, or if there is a service, some flowers. And for heaven's sake do not ask the woman if "she is over it yet."

For more info--go to http://cradled.org. Maybe a coworker could suggest the site--the boss, no. It would seem too much like "Here, go to this site and get yourself together."

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