Pregnant at Work: Provider Knowledge and Practice Toward Obstetric Patients in the Workplace [12M]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Prenatal care providers (PNCP) routinely provide recommendations about work activities in pregnancy; yet there is little data on the knowledge surrounding a woman's legal rights or consensus about practice. Our study assessed PNCP knowledge and practice toward work accommodations in pregnancy.

METHODS:

A survey of PNCP in a tertiary care center in New York (NY) was performed. The survey included questions about PNCP demographics and their knowledge of pregnant women's legal rights. The survey also gave four case scenarios, based on real-world litigation, to assess PNCP practice patterns.

RESULTS:

There were 204 PNCP surveyed with a 27% (56/204) response rate. Most were general obstetricians (53%) with public insurance patients (68%), who reported that they filled out workplace forms 1–2 times a week (60%). Only 35% of PNCP knew that NY State law does not require employers to give healthy pregnant women accommodations at work; but 69% had knowledge of legislation protecting pregnant workers' rights and 88% correctly identified “reasonable accommodations.” PNCP favored having pregnant women continue to work with accommodations in all case scenarios; 10% would have women with a prior second trimester loss stop work entirely.

CONCLUSION:

PNCP knowledge about and practice towards pregnant women in the workforce vary widely. The majority of PNCP lack knowledge of NY State Laws but understand “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant working women; PNCP would likely benefit from further education surrounding legal rights for pregnant women in the workplace and standardization of practice surrounding this issue.

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