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3 things women should know about infertility + the workplace

1. Benefits for fertility treatments are not created equal.

3 things women should know  about infertility + the workplace

Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. Though the majority of people on this planet (90%) want to have a baby at some point in their lives, one-in-eight couples struggle to conceive.


Armed with the knowledge that fertility treatments are not only one of the most stressful things a person or couple will endure in their lives, but also one of the most important, Deborah and her husband Jake have made it their mission to help TTC couples to find the right doctor.

The couple had several traumatic experiences on the road to conception, and after spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant, Deborah and Jake were motivated to not only find a reliable doctor themselves, but also to ensure that others in their situation didn’t have to experience what they did.

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They created Fertility IQ, a place where those searching for the right fertility doctor or clinic can access unbiased, verified reviews about fertility specialists around the country.

But what does it mean to be a working woman, a lady boss if you will, while seeking or undergoing treatment?

Deborah Anderson-Bialis shares three things YOU need to know about fertility in the workplace—

1. Benefits for fertility treatments are not created equal.

Some companies offer complete coverage for fertility treatments, and many more offer nothing at all—the breakdown of which companies are most generous may surprise you (Starbucks baristas are eligible, which equates to a 50% salary increase if they use the benefit).

Even within companies that offer coverage, those benefits aren’t applied equally— it’s very common for these benefits packages to discriminate against lesbian couples and single mothers, because patients must meet the clinical definition of infertility (having heterosexual sex for a year without getting pregnant).

Finally, be prepared to do some research on exactly what your employer offers. This is one area where employers do a terrible job communicating to employees about the benefits they’re entitled to. This can be because the benefit is expensive when lots of employees use it, and because they’re squeamish about the fact that benefits don’t apply to everyone equally.

2. The experience of undergoing fertility treatments, and even your chance of success, could vary wildly depending on where you work.

Kicking off this morning at #fertilityiqbasecamp this morning introducing all our fertility journeys.

A photo posted by Deborah & Jake @ FertilityIQ (@fertilityiq) on

FertilityIQ data shows that teachers have significantly higher success rates with fertility treatments than women in male-dominated fields (think investment banking and engineering). Why? It’s hard to be sure, but when we’ve interviewed teachers, they highlight their supportive work environment, and the ability to take the summers to focus on treatments. Women in male-dominated professions talk about the stress of managing treatments without letting others in the office know what’s going on.

3. Real talk: fertility treatments will probably have implications for you at work.

Many women I talk to describe leading a double life while trying to get pregnant using fertility treatments. They don’t want their employers or co-workers to know what’s going on, but they’re often running late after morning monitoring appointments, and they need to block themselves off from work travel without a clear time frame. This is obviously stressful, even on top of the added stress of the fertility process itself.

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If you’re a company considering offering fertility benefits, consider this. Of those employees who ultimately had a successful pregnancy, 72% believe that “working for my employer helped me have my child.” Thus, IVF coverage likely drives meaningful improvements in employee retention, and makes a credible case for return on investment.

More Motherly Insights

Since creating Fertility IQ with her husband, Deborah has had a baby of her own. Now, she’s here to share a few of her insights as a new mother.

How do you make your mornings run smoothly?

Having my nanny come early! I’ve realized there is so much to juggle in the morning – pumping, feeding my son, cleaning those pump parts, and getting out the door to work. I also really want to spend quality time with my baby in the mornings. Having my nanny come early means I can do the annoying (largely pump-related) stuff without stressing about keeping baby happy, but I can also play with him when I’m done.

The lifehack or tip that has changed your life. . .

Instacart!!! I love to cook, I’m not a fan of food delivery, and, while I wish I had time to hit the produce aisles in search of the perfect meyer lemon, it doesn’t make the cut in my daily priorities. I order just about daily from Whole Foods via Instacart—I love that I still get the benefit of daily fresh food and cooking without the time commitment.

What superpower have you discovered as a mom?

Filtering out other people’s opinions. As an entrepreneur, as a pregnant woman, and as a mother, people have infinite pieces of (usually unsolicited) advice. Learning to stick with my gut and filter most of that out (while politely nodding, of course), has been key to keeping my sanity.

This quote inspires me. . .

“I wish this was around when I was trying to get pregnant.”

Women from the FertilityIQ community are constantly emailing me with this exact sentence—usually after they take time out of their own busy lives to contribute feedback on their fertility doctors to help women who are just starting, feeling alone, lost, and wondering where to turn with a fertility issue. It really inspires me to keep working hard every day to make the fertility process better.

To me, ‘Motherly’ means…

FUN. I think it’s too bad that when I hear most people talking about motherhood, it’s usually a description of martyrdom. To me, being motherly means engaging on a child’s level, often in a silly, fun, happy way.

Haley Campbell is the founder of Beluga Baby and creator of the ultimate bamboo baby carrier. She is a regular contributor to Motherly and is an avid advocate for entrepreneurs, and for the new generation of mothers making the world their own.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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