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Research examining the experiences of women in the workplace has, to a large extent, neglected the unique stressors pregnant employees may experience. Stress during…
Research examining the experiences of women in the workplace has, to a large extent, neglected the unique stressors pregnant employees may experience. Stress during pregnancy has been shown consistently to lead to detrimental consequences for the mother and her baby. Using job stress theories, we develop an expanded theoretical model of experienced stress during pregnancy and the potential detrimental health outcomes for the mother and her baby. Our theoretical model includes factors from multiple levels (i.e., individual, interpersonal, sociocultural, and community) and the role they play on the health and well-being of the pregnant employee and her baby. In order to gain a deeper understanding of job stress during pregnancy, we examine three pregnancy-specific organizational stressors (i.e., perceived pregnancy discrimination, pregnancy disclosure, and identity-role conflict) that are unique to pregnant employees. These stressors are argued to be over and above the normal job stressors experienced and they are proposed to result in elevated levels of experienced stress leading to detrimental health outcomes for the mother and baby. The role of resilience resources and learning in reducing some of the negative outcomes from job stressors is also explored.