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The Only Women Who Get a Career Boost From Being Pregnant

By Monica Bielanko |

Being pregnant certainly helped my writing career.

Generally, when a woman gets pregnant it stalls her career a bit. Of course this depends on exactly what the woman does for a living but pregnancy can inhibit certain physical activities and, of course, most women like to take maternity leave which means they’ll be away from work for a significant amount of time and, like it or not, employers take all that into account when deciding who gets the big promotion.

Women who are pregnant or have children are often overlooked for certain promotions or special projects, passed up for male counterparts who also have children. Employers are worried that women with children will have more distractions and conflicts with their work schedule than men with children because it’s assumed that women are the ones who will be calling in sick to stay at home with an ill child.  Additionally, women who announce pregnancies are overlooked for special projects given to others who won’t be taking time off when a baby is born.

Even if you maintain a steadfast work ethic while pregnant, coworkers begin to doubt a pregnant woman’s dedication to the job.  It happened to me when I was a producer at a television news station.  Although, in my case, my coworkers happened to be right.  I was generally not happy to be at work while pregnant because I was either sick or tired and basically counting the seconds until maternity leave kicked in.  I was also in the midst of transitioning to a whole new career so, when they sensed my lack of dedication, they were correct.  However, that’s not the case for millions of other women who work their butts off while pregnant…  they still lose at least a little traction in the work world because of their condition.

That said, there are a couple women whose careers can take off because they are pregnant.

As Lindsay Cross over at Mommyish writes, “no matter how hard working mothers try, pregnancy can be a serious drain on your professional life…Unless, of course, you’re a minor celebrity or reality show personality.”

Think of women like Tori Spelling, Kendra Wilkinson or Melissa Rycroft, all of whom scored lucrative reality show deals largely due to pregnancies.

These women don’t have actual careers to be interrupted by nine months of pregnancy. And if they do have a career, it’s largely centered around how much people talk about you in the press. Therefore, protruding abdomens provide a whole new world of opportunity for falling stars. Those baby bumps give them something new to talk about and market. It gives them a blog on People or Us Babies. It gets them mentioned on Celeb Baby Laundry.

These women make a living off being featured in trash mags and reality shows.  Given America’s fascination with the pregnancies of anyone even halfway in the spotlight, a pregnancy will only add more dollars to bank accounts.  The Kardashian sisters know this to be true.  It certainly thrust Kourtney into the spotlight when previously she was the sister no one knew.  I’m sure Khloe’s eventual pregnancy will drive ratings for her show with Lamar Odom.  And who wants to place bets on Kim getting her own show with her new husband and that series will revolve around Kim’s first pregnancy?

It even works for A-list celebs desperately trying to stay relevant.  Their careers will only get a boost by a pregnancy a la Beyonce making a big deal of her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards.

But hey, I’m not judging. Melissa Rycroft scoring a reality show based on her life as a new mom isn’t much different to what I’m doing over here. Those of us who write for Being Pregnant here on Babble can count ourselves as one of the lucky few who got a career boost from pregnancy. Other than that, I can’t think of any other careers in which being pregnant would be beneficial, can you? And if you could make a living off being pregnant and being a mom, would you do it?

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About Monica Bielanko

monica-bielanko

Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “The Only Women Who Get a Career Boost From Being Pregnant

  1. Reva Seth says:

    Thanks for this post Monica – it raises some interesting questions (especially about why we are so fascinated by other people’s pregnancies!)

    I’m currently working on my second book which is based on interviews with women who did better professionally after having children – if anyone in the Babble community has a story to share or knows someone I should speak with – would love to hear from you.

    You can find out more about the project a: http://www.themomshift.com or reach me directly on twitter: @RevaSeth

  2. Digital Molly says:

    Great post Monica. I do have to say that working after having kids has taught me many lessons and kept me at my job for financial security. BUT hasn’t necessarily increased advancement in the work place.

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