Exploring Work Policies for Women Returning to Work After a Miscarriage
Women have the innate responsibility to bear children in order to maintain the society to which we have become accustomed. Prior to more recent decades, it was believed that a woman’s sole purpose was to birth children and care for them and her husband in the home. As traditional gender norms were challenged, more women entered the workforce, but this did not replace their obligation to birth future generations. Unfortunately, all pregnancies do not end with a healthy newborn in tow and the impact of a miscarriage can influence the overall daily functioning of the women who have miscarried. As women continue to enter the workforce, it is paramount that employers create policies for protection in times of traumatic events such as a miscarriage. The loss of an unborn baby should not translate into a potential loss of wages and/or a job position. There is currently a policy in place that protects the job position of a woman following the birth of her child, but this policy fails to acknowledge the 15%-20% of women who become pregnant but do not birth a living child. The proposed policy presented in this article could be utilized as a tool for acknowledging the fact that miscarriages can debilitate to the women that experience them, severely impacting their ability to work. A woman does not choose to miscarry, and her job security should not reflect her inability to choose or further punish her following the loss of a baby.