TIME Family

Couples With Marital Stress More Likely to Have Daughters

Parents Baby Daughter
Mother and father are shown kissing their baby daughter. Chris Ryan—OJO Images RF/Getty Images

“Girls may well be surviving stressful pregnancies that boys can’t survive”

They’re always blaming the children. After years of research showing that couples with daughters are more likely to divorce, Duke researchers Tuesday offered up an interesting explanation as to why: female embryos are better at toughing it out.

Duke economist Amar Hamoudi co-authored the study, which analyzed longitudinal data from a random sample of Americans between 1979 and 2010. Their results showed that women who reported higher levels of relationship stress, linked to a increased prevalence of later divorce, were more likely to give birth to girls.

“Girls may well be surviving stressful pregnancies that boys can’t survive,” Hamoudi said. “Thus girls are more likely than boys to be born into marriages that were already strained.”

Research has widely documented men’s higher mortality rates from birth to age 100, and recent studies have shown that the “female survival advantage” may even begin in the womb. Hamoudi suggests that science needs to take a closer look at this critical life stage.

“It’s time for population studies to shine a light on the period of pregnancy,” Hamoudi said. “The clock does not start at birth.”

TIME Civil Rights

New Guidelines Could Help Many Pregnant Workers

Jacqueline Berrien
Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jacqueline Berrien speaks at a Middle Class Task Force event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House in Washington, in this Tuesday, July 20, 2010 file photo. Charles Dharapak—AP

Any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is now a form of illegal sex discrimination

(WASHINGTON) — New federal guidelines on job discrimination against pregnant workers could have a big impact on the workplace and in the courtroom.

The expanded rules adopted by the bipartisan Equal Employment Opportunity Commission make clear that any form of workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers by employers is a form of sex discrimination — and illegal.

Updating its pregnancy discrimination guidelines for the first time in more than 30 years, the agency cited a “persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices.”

The guidelines spell out for the first time how the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to pregnant workers. And they emphasize that any discrimination against female workers based on past or prospective future pregnancies is also illegal.

Joan C. Williams, a law professor at the University of California’s Hastings School of Law in San Francisco, said the new guidelines issued this week can have two major impacts: steering EEOC investigators to be more sensitive to the sometimes special needs of pregnant workers and giving employment lawyers more ammunition in defending clients who were victims of such discrimination.

Williams, an expert in the field whose work is cited three times in the EEOC’s new 60-page “enforcement guidance” on pregnancy discrimination, called the toughened stance of the EEOC “a significant victory.”

Williams, who co-authored a 2011 study called “Pregnant, Poor and Fired,” said the main impact may by erecting “very, very, simple and very, very commonsense” guideposts for EEOC investigators, as well as providing strong ammunition for employment lawyers whose clients are victims of such discrimination.

“I think it will make a really big difference,” she said in an interview. “This is also the direction the courts have begun to go in, and that’s why the EEOC said, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.'”

The guidelines were last updated in 1983. EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline A. Berrien suggested the update was needed and timely. “Despite much progress, we continue to see a significant number of charges alleging pregnancy discrimination, and our investigations have revealed the persistence of overt pregnancy discrimination, as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices,” she said in a statement.

The new guidelines prohibit employers from forcing pregnant workers to take leave and acknowledge that “employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers.” After childbirth, lactation is now covered as a pregnancy-related medical condition.

It’s not just women who will benefit.

The guidelines say that when it comes to parental leave, “similarly situated” men and women must be treated on the same terms.

The update comes two weeks after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a case involving the EEOC’s duty to try to settle charges of job discrimination before filing lawsuits against employers.

The issue has gained increasing attention — and vexed business groups — as the Obama administration ratchets up its enforcement of the nation’s anti-discrimination laws.

The latest EEOC data shows a 46 percent increase in pregnancy-related complaints to the EEOC from 1997 to 2011.

In its report, the agency cites specific, real-life examples of what it considers illegal discrimination. It used only first names and did not reveal locations, occupations or employers. Among them:

— Three months after “Maria” told her supervisor that she was pregnant, she was absent a few days due to an illness unrelated to her pregnancy. When she returned to work, “her supervisor said her body was trying to tell her something” and she was let go.

— Shortly after Teresa informed her supervisor of her pregnancy, “he met with her to discuss alleged performance problems.” Even though Teresa had consistently received outstanding performance reviews during her eight years of employment with the company, she was discharged.

— Birah, a woman from Nigeria, claimed that when she was visibly pregnant with her second child, “her supervisors increased her workload and shortened her deadlines so she could not complete her assignments, ostracized her, repeatedly excluded her from meetings to which she should have been invited, reprimanded her for failing to show up for work due to snow when others were not reprimanded, and subjected her to profanity.”

Protections for pregnant women vary widely around the globe — as does enforcement. Sweden bans discrimination because of pregnancy and requires companies employing more than 25 people to help both men and women combine work and parenting. Egyptian laws give pregnant women the right to work fewer hours and three months’ paid leave after birth — requirements women’s rights groups say prompt employers to hire men. And in Mexico, laws prohibit discrimination against pregnant women, but there is little enforcement by the government.

The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the updated U.S. guidelines, which were approved Monday on a 3-2 partisan-line vote by the Democratic-led commission.

“Pregnancy is not a justification for excluding women from jobs that they are qualified to perform, and it cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than co-workers,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.

TIME Television

6 Things the Real Masters of Sex Taught Us About Sex in 1970

Before they were on Showtime, they were on the cover of TIME

Showtime’s acclaimed series Masters of Sex comes back for its second season this weekend, but before it was a hit show, the real Virginia Johnson and Dr. William Masters graced the May 25, 1970 cover of TIME to talk about their groundbreaking adult sexual education.

“The greatest form of sex education,” Masters once said, “is Pop walking past Mom in the kitchen and patting her on the fanny, and Mom obviously liking it. The kids take a look at this action and think, ‘Boy, that’s for me!'”

While sexual myths of penis size and libido boosters still exist today, Masters and Johnson were the original debunkers. This is what their research concluded in the 70’s.

1. Penis size has nothing to do with sexual effectiveness.
2. Baldness is not a sign of virility.
3. There is no physiological difference, as Freud first proposed, between a clitoral orgasm and a vaginal orgasm.
4. Humans can remain sexually active well into their ninth decade. “All that is necessary,” says Masters, “is reasonably good health and an interested and interesting partner.”
5. Intercourse is not dangerous at any time during pregnancy—unless, says Masters, it is contraindicated by “ruptured membranes, pain and bleeding.”
6. Masturbation is not harmful.

Catch up on William Masters and Virginia Johnson by reading their 1970 cover story now and see what happened in the first season of the hit series.

TIME celebrity

7 Celebrities Who Successfully Hid Their Pregnancies

Eva Mendes For New York And Company Spring 2014 Collection Pop Up Store Launch Party
Eva Mendes for New York And Company Spring 2014 Collection Michael Tran—FilmMagic

Mum's the word

The Internet exploded Wednesday when multiple reports revealed that Eva Mendes is pregnant with Ryan Gosling’s child. But the shocked reaction wasn’t just due to the fact that Mendes is procreating with our collective boyfriend, but also because, if OK! Magazine reports are to be believed, the actress managed to hide said pregnancy from the paparazzi for a whopping seven months.

Although a due date has yet to be confirmed, Mendes wouldn’t be the first mega-star to keep her baby bump under wraps for an impressively long period of time:

Beyoncé

2011 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Beyonce reveals pregnancy at 2011 MTV VMAs Jeff Kravitz—FilmMagic/Getty


As expected, Beyoncé was the queen of pregnancy reveals. The icon let everyone know she was pregnant on her own terms — surprisingly exposing her nearly 5 month baby bump at the end of a live performance at the VMAs. Blue Ivy was born in January 2012.

Adele

The BRIT Awards 2012 - Show
Barely-pregnant Adele performs during The BRIT Awards 2012 Jon Furniss—WireImage/Getty


English pop star Adele successfully hid her pregnancy for seven months in spite of attending awards shows through her fifth month. The star successfully snuck into shows late, wore loose-fitting clothes and dodged the press. Her son Angelo was born in October 2012.

Isla Fisher

On Set Of "Burke And Hare" In London - March 1, 2010
Isla Fisher hid her pregnancy from cast-mates on set of “Burke and Hare” Neil Mockford—FilmMagic/Getty


Isla Fisher hid her second pregnancy with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen from co-workers while filming Burke and Hare. Co-stars didn’t notice that Fisher was three months along and only pretending to squeeze in corsets. Elula — whose name was kept hidden for six months — was born in August 2010.

Jennifer Garner

Sea Change Idea Forum Panel Discussion - History Of Progressive America
Actor Ben Affleck, Marian Wright Edelman and a pregnant Jennifer Garner attend the Sea Change Idea Forum Panel Discussion August 27, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage) Jeff Vespa—WireImage/Getty


Jennifer Garner also successfully hid her pregnancy — and morning sickness — from her fellow cast members while filming The Invention of Lying. “We only found out when it was announced in the press,” co-director Matthew Robinson told the New York Post. Seraphina was born in January 2009.

Ali Larter

Rochelle Gores Fredston Hosts Communities In Schools Los Angeles West Shopping Event at ARCADE Boutique
Ali Larter rocking a baby bump at Communities in Schools Shopping Event on July 29, 2010 Alexandra Wyman—WireImage/Getty


Ali Larter and her husband escaped to Europe for the first months of her pregnancy to keep their expectant status secret. She revealed her baby bump four months in when she “just want[ed] to live my life” again. Theodore was born in December 2010.

Evelyn Lozada

Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada hid her baby bump for six months. When fans asked how she did it, Lozada tweeted, “LOL – It was pretty easy. Just stay home & mind your own business…” Leo was born in March 2014.

TIME Sports

Pregnant Olympic Runner Finishes 800-Meter Race

A pregnant Alysia Montano runs in the opening round of the women's 800 meter run during day 2 of the USATF Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California on on June 26, 2014.
A pregnant Alysia Montano runs in the opening round of the women's 800 meter run during day 2 of the USATF Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California on on June 26, 2014. Ezra Shaw—Getty Images

The crowd cheered as she crossed the finish line

Alysia Montano ran an 800-meter race at the U.S. Track and Field Championships on Thursday while 34 weeks pregnant.

The five-time national champion posted a time of 2 minutes and 32.12 seconds, nearly 35 seconds shy of her personal best of 1:57.34 from 2010, according to the Associated Press.

The 28-year-old Olympian received approval from her doctor to race. By running, Montano says she hopes to clear up any misconceptions people have about running while pregnant.

“What I found out mostly was that exercising during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby…I did all the things I normally do…I just happened to be pregnant. This is my normal this year,” Montano said.

The American Pregnancy Association encourages women to exercise during pregnancy: “Being active with 30 minutes of exercise on most or all days can benefit your health during pregnancy. The important note is that you want to seek to be active and get your blood flowing.”

The relaxed pace is something Montano will likely blow past when her doctor gives the thumbs up to run again after the baby is born.

 

TIME Pregnancy

5 More Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

5 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman
Sebastian Pfuetze—Getty Images

Last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mila Kunis had a bone to pick with fathers-to-be who say, “We’re expecting.”

“You’re not pregnant,” declared Kunis, who’s expecting her first child with fiancé Ashton Kutcher. “Do you have to squeeze a watermelon-sized person out of your lady hole? No.”

Health.com:10 Ways to Boost Your Odds of Getting Pregnant

Pregnancy seems to short-circuit the tact filter in everyone around you. If you’ve ever been pregnant, chances are you’ve got a long list of weird, offensive, and/or annoying things people have said to you. Here are my top five.

“You look like you’re going to pop any second!”

Translation: YOU ARE HUGE! This is usually said toward the end of your pregnancy, when you’re tired and achy and you feel like a beached whale anyway. The only reason people who say this don’t get smacked more often is because the pregnant lady in question can’t waddle over to them fast enough.

“OMIGOD you’re sooooo tiny!”

The flip side of the above. In a culture where you’re supposed to sport a fashionably petite “bump” (but not put on pounds anywhere else) and lose the weight 10 seconds after delivery, I think this is generally meant as a compliment. But it was still annoying to hear during my first pregnancy, when I was struggling to gain enough. Rule of thumb: Don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s body. At all.

Health.com:12 Ways to Soothe Heartburn in Pregnancy

“Are you supposed to be eating that?”

A friend of mine was once given a hard time by a waiter when she ordered a glass of wine at a restaurant on her anniversary—the only alcohol she touched her whole pregnancy. What a pregnant woman eats and drinks is between her and her doctor. The rest of you: butt out.

Health.com:10 Proven Sperm Killers

“[insert traumatic birth story here]

During my first pregnancy, I remember sitting frozen in abject horror as a group of my female coworkers, veteran moms all, regaled me with stories of all the terrible, weird, and just plain icky things that had happened to them during childbirth. If a first-timer actually asks you to share your birth story? Great, share away! But if you feel compelled to volunteer the tale of your stalled induction, four hours of pushing, and third-degree tear to someone you barely know, maybe it’s best to keep it to yourself, sister.

“Are you planning to breastfeed?”

And this is your business…why, exactly? Though I suppose answering this one is good practice for dealing with all the breastfeeding busybodies you’ll meet after the baby is born.

Health.com:7 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy With Diabetes

So what should you say? How about this: “Congratulations! You look beautiful.” That’s something every pregnant woman does want to hear.

This article, written by Jeannie Kim, originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Depression

No, Antidepressants During Pregnancy Don’t Harm Babies’ Hearts

Silhouette of Pregnancy
Getty Images

The latest study finds no significant increase in heart malformations in babies whose moms used antidepressants during pregnancy

That should reassure the 8% to 13% of women who take antidepressants while expecting. Concerns about the risks of the drugs, primarily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), on the developing fetus prompted the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to add warnings about the risk of heart defects in babies born to moms taking antidepressants. While studies have shown up to a three-fold increase risk in some congenital heart abnormalities associated with antidepressants, doctors couldn’t be entirely sure the higher risk wasn’t due purely to chance. Now, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that may indeed be the case, thank to the work of Krista Huybrechts, in the division of pharmacoepidemiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and her colleagues.

In their analysis involving 949,504 pregnant women, 64,389 of whom used antidepressants during the first trimester, the rate of heart defects in newborns was similar between the groups. “Based on our study, there is no evidence to support a substantial increased risk of cardiac malformations overall,” she says.

She and her team specifically focused on adjusting for potential confounding factors that could explain the heart malformations, such as age, how many children the women had had, diabetes, hypertension and use of psychotropic medications. Even after accounting for these effects, they found no strong association between antidepressant use and heart defects.

While the findings should be reassuring for expectant mothers who take antidepressants, Huybrechts says that “heart defects are one factor in a whole range of potential risks” associated with the drugs. Some studies hint, for example, that the medications may contribute to hypertension in newborns, as well as other adverse health conditions. “The study provides quite solid evidence of the low risk in terms of cardiac malformations, but the treatment decision should consider the whole range of other potential adverse outcomes,” Huybrechts says. “[Decisions also need to consider] potential risk of not treating women who are severely depressed and required pharmacologic interventions. It’s one piece of the puzzle but definitely not the whole answer.”

TIME States

Alaska to Put Free Pregnancy Tests in Bar Restrooms

The program will help combat the state's high rate of fetal alcohol syndrome

The University of Alaska is leading a state-funded program to put free pregnancy tests in the bathrooms of 20 bars and restaurants across the state starting this December.

The two-year, $400,000 program is designed to combat Alaska’s rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, which is the highest of any state in the country, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Women of child-bearing age in Alaska are 20 percent more likely to binge drink in comparison to the national average.

“This is not a strategy for the chronic alcoholic who is drinking regardless of whatever message they see,” said Jody Allen Crowe, who founded a Minnesota organization that leads a similar program and is helping with the project. “This is really focused on the 50 percent of unexpected pregnancies, to find out they are pregnant as early as possible.”

Republican Senator Pete Kelly, who has said before that birth control is for women who “who don’t want to act responsibly,” first proposed the program.

[Anchorage Daily News]

TIME Family

Mila Kunis Gets Unbelievably Candid About Childbirth

Mila Kunis on the cover of the July issue of Marie Claire Marie Claire

This is the definition of real talk

Mila Kunis is really not sugarcoating pregnancy. Earlier this week, the actress jokingly called out Jimmy Kimmel for saying “we’re pregnant” when referring to the baby he’s expecting with his wife. And now that Kunis is preparing for the birth of her first child, it sounds like she knows exactly what she wants.

“Two people are allowed in my delivery room,” Kunis told Marie Claire for its July cover story. “My doctor and my significant other [her fiancé Ashton Kutcher]. And he is staying above the action. He’ll be head to head. Not head to vag. Unless he wants to risk his life and see. But I wouldn’t if I were him. I highly doubt he wants to see that being ripped apart and shredded. Because it will be shredded. It’s just a matter of how badly.”

Luckily for Kunis, Kutcher is probably familiar with how the female body looks after giving birth. After all, the actor was married to Demi Moore, who has three children with former husband Bruce Willis, for eight years.

And Kunis recognizes that there are perks of being pregnant, namely her breasts growing. “They’ve tripled in size,” Kunis said. “I was a 34A; now I’m a 36C. I’m so excited! I’m telling everyone I know, ‘Go ahead, touch them!'”

On a more sentimental note, the actress explained how her long-time friendship with her That 70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher blossomed into a relationship. “One day, it just changed,” she said. “All of a sudden, it wasn’t the same. And I was really proud of myself for acknowledging that. The best day of my life so far was the proposal. I cried. I was a mess. Not to discredit any relationships in my past, but this relationship is different.”

[Marie Claire]

TIME Parenting

Yes, Mila Kunis, WE Are Pregnant

Mila Kunis is pregnant. And so is Ashton Kutcher. (Sort of.)
Mila Kunis is pregnant. And so is Ashton Kutcher. (Sort of.) Jon Kopaloff—FilmMagic

Maybe we can't physically carry and bear that baby, but we can—and do—share in the pitfalls and joys

The road to completing our family was fraught with four years of bad luck and emotional torment. So when we finally got a positive pregnancy test and then made it to the 12-week mark, you know what I shouted to anyone who would listen?

“WE’RE PREGNANT!!”

But according to Mila Kunis, the actress and ridiculously beautiful person who is having a child with Ashton Kutcher, my words were poorly chosen and out of bounds.

Kunis, in what was actually a really funny segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live, corrected the host when Kimmel said he and his wife are pregnant and expecting a child in February. Then she launched into a fake public service announcement.

“Hi, I’m Mila Kunis with a very special message for all you soon-to-be fathers. Stop saying, ‘We’re pregnant,’” she joked. “You’re not pregnant! Do you have to squeeze a watermelon-sized person out of your lady-hole? No. Are you crying alone in your car listening to a stupid Bette Midler song? No.”

Even though I’m someone who says, “We’re pregnant,” the bit made me laugh and I thought it was well done. I even posted it to Facebook with a message saying I disagreed with the premise, but had a good laugh.

And that’s when things got ugly.

Apparently some women are very touchy about the whole “We’re pregnant” thing. Comments like “WE aren’t carrying the baby, I am!” and “YOU aren’t going to have your most holy of orifices stretched, I am!” began arriving in droves. And those women are right.

Men cannot get pregnant. Men will never know what it’s like to endure morning sickness, lose control of our bladders (when we haven’t even been drinking), or have a miniature Jean-Claude Van Damme going all Bloodsport on our internal organs. Carrying and birthing a child is something only women have to endure, and the whole process is much harder on them than on us dads.

But that’s not what “we’re pregnant” means when I say it, and it’s certainly not how my wife interprets it. (I asked her.)

“We’re pregnant” means “We’re having a baby.” It means, “As a dad, I’m excited as hell.” It means, “This is actually happening.” But most importantly, when I say “We’re pregnant,” I’m letting everyone know that even though I’m not carrying the baby, I’m fully invested.

I’ll be at all the OB visits, I’ll read the baby books, and I won’t come near you with that smelly food that doesn’t even really smell but you think it smells so I’ll eat in the basement to avoid you vomiting for the 456th time.

Even though I didn’t go through the pains of pregnancy and childbirth, I was with my wife every step. Holding her hair back through the nausea, holding her hand through contractions, and getting her Kit-Kats and grapefruit (yes, seriously) when she had cravings.

Or, think of it this way:

While I’m not a professional athlete, I am a lifelong Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. Fanatic, actually. I’m a crazy person with my sports. That means I sat through the dark years of the Sox and the even darker pre-2001 era of the Patriots. I invested money in the team via tickets and merchandise, I subscribed to the local cable channel that shows the baseball games, I brought them good fortune through a bevy of “lucky” trinkets that absolutely influenced the outcome of games, and I lived and died on every pitch and play.

So despite never donning a Sox jersey or strapping on football pads, guess what I said when my favorite teams won their respective championships?

“WE’RE CHAMPIONS!!”

Even though “We’re pregnant” is technically wrong because it ignores some biological impossibilities, my wife understands and appreciates the intent behind my words. Others might feel differently, and that’s fine, too. To each his and her own.

But during a time when more dads are stepping up and heeding the clarion call for added involvement, I’m not sure striking “We’re pregnant” from the expectant-parent vernacular sends the most productive message. If you have a supportive and doting partner, is this really the hill you want to die on while quibbling over semantics?

All I know is if that + sign ever appears on that magic stick again, my wife and I will happily announce: we are pregnant. And then I’ll stock up on Kit-Kats.

Aaron Gouveia is a husband, father of two boys, and writes for his site, The Daddy Files.

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