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Former Google Employee’s Pregnancy Discrimination Suit Moves Foreward

A former Google employee whose memo alleging discrimination against pregnant women went viral is moving forward with her claim against the company.

“As a Google employee I witnessed pregnancy discrimination, and then was faced with it in my own life,” Chelsey Glasson, who worked at the Mountain View, Calif. company for more than five years as a user research lead and manager, said in a statement Wednesday. “And, like so many women, I felt threatened by retaliation for reporting the discrimination. This memo, which I published internally at Google and has been read by over 11,000 Google employees, states clearly why we must continue to fight this bias.”

Glasson added that employees who bring up pregnancy discrimination are often silenced or forced to suffer consequences that damage their careers in the long term.

“With a goal of shedding light on pregnancy discrimination and advocating for needed public policy and other changes, I will move forward with legal action,” she writes.

Two Google employees who helped to organize the 20,000-strong global walkout also alleged that the tech giant retaliated against them — a claim that the search giant has denied. The massive walkout was in response to issues of sexual harassment, as well as pay inequity and racial justice.

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India Cracks Down On Its ‘Rent-A-Womb’ Industry

India has long been regarded as the rent-a-womb’ capital of the world because of its barely regulated market that has allowed a reproductive trafficking industry  to thrive, but that may be coming to an end.

“Due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy, the practice of surrogacy has been misused by surrogacy clinics, which leads to rampant commercial surrogacy and unethical practices,” a new bill banning surrogacy in most cases reads.

Womens rights groups have called out these ‘baby factories’ for benefiting mainly the rich at the expense of  poor, uneducated women who don’t understand the impact of surrogacy on their bodies and emotions.

A recent study conducted on infertility clinics in New Delhi revealed that a lot of the women are not fully aware of the risks and complications of repeated egg donations and pregnancies.

Last month, the Indian government called this move “the need of the hour” and passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament), which has put in place strict conditions on what constitutes legal surrogacy in India.

According to Vice:

In India, the surrogacy market is thriving. Commercial surrogacy was legalised in 2002, though it was later banned in 2018. Surrogate mothers in India reportedly earn anything between Rs 4,00,000 to Rs 1.2 million (US$5,628-16,885) per birth, depending on the location and the clinic. But the proposed bill wants to ensure that this booming industry comes to an end.

The proposed bill only allows those Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years, to opt for surrogacy. Additionally, the surrogacy will only be allowed for “altruistic” reasons for the married couple, who should be aged between 23-50 (for female) and 26-55 (for male). The surrogate mother herself should be a “relative” to the couple, along with being “an ever-married woman having a child of her own and between the age of 25-35 years”.

We’ll be monitoring developments.

 

Report: Parents Are Ditching the Name ‘Alexa’ For Their Baby Girls

alexa amazon echo device

alexa amazon echo device

According to recent data, Amazon‘s Alexa-enabled virtual assistant device is causing parents in the UK and America to abandon it a choice for their baby’s name, the UK Telegraph reports.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of girls born in England and Wales in 2018 and named Alexa has reduced by more than 50% since 2017.

Nick Stripe, from the ONS, said: “We’ve seen a similar pattern in the American baby names data, so something must be going on.

“It has dropped by more than 50%, so I think there is probably evidence of a link.”

Although only 301 girls were given the name in 2017, the number fell to 118 in 2018.

Can you blame the parents? Who wants their baby named after a robot who too many people abuse with silly queries?! Ha!

See How Amber Rose is Promoting Sensuality in Pregnancy

Amber Rose promoting swim wear pregnant

Mode and actress Amber Rose has always been about women embracing their sexuality and refusing to be slut shamed for doing so, therefore it should come as no surprise that she chose to promote a line of swimsuits she is brand ambassador for the way she did.

The “Slutwalk” founder shared a post of herself in a red and white cow print top and bikini bottom while sitting on a luxe upholstered chair, bearing her belly and with her legs parted open facing the camera. Wow!

I am a big proponent and advocate for pregnant women being seen as sensual and sexy even while carrying life, so this is a wow-worthy moment.

No respectability politics over here.

Rose is expecting her second child with her boyfriend, rapper Alexander “AE” Edwards  . She is mom to 6-year old Sebastian Thomaz, who she shares with her ex fiance, rapper Wiz Khalifa.

According to BCK Online, Rose is expecting another son.

Saving For A Baby: Tips and Myths

couple cooking
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Babies are an expensive prospect: in the US, the average cost of delivery alone is upwards of $10,000, although much of that is covered if you have health insurance. Though the costs associated with having and raising a child are enormous, there are a number of ways you can save and reduce expenses to make the decision a financially solvent one. The bottom line is, regardless of your financial situation, planning for the future will help you avoid adulthood burnout as you celebrate bringing new life into the world. 

Before You’re Expecting

If you know you plan on one day having children it’s a worthwhile idea to start setting aside money in a savings account. You can use a traditional savings account or find a fixed deposit account to accrue higher interest on your savings. Expecting parents often use fixed deposit accounts because the money is deposited for a stated period of time with a fixed interest rate, meaning that you can cash in on your savings once the baby arrives. It is also important to review your health insurance policy to make sure you are covered for the costs of delivery and aftercare. 

When You’re Expecting

If you’re expecting, financial considerations will likely play a factor in how you prepare for the arrival of a baby. You can set up a college savings account for your child, either in a traditional savings account at your bank or a 529 account. The money in a 529 plan may be used to pay for the college expenses and K-12 tuition of the beneficiary, tax-free. Finally, you may need to think about life insurance if you don’t own it already in order to ensure your children are financially solvent if something happens to your or your partner. 

After You’re Expecting

If you’re a new parent: congratulations! There’s no need to panic about not saving for your newborn right away. The best thing you can do is to start setting aside money and look for ways to save on baby costs, many of which can be reduced drastically by careful planning. As with any financial decision, it’s crucial to ask yourself: does my baby need this? There will be times you might feel pressured to buy pricey add-ons your baby doesn’t need. Always research items carefully before you make a purchase decision. 

Financial planning is only one part of a joyous, occasionally stressful new phase in expecting a  baby. Though it’s an important consideration, don’t let it overtake your life: trust that things will work out and do your best to plan along the way.

Study: You Can’t Be a Good Mom Unless You Take ‘Momcations’

 A recent study revealed that the average mom works 98 hours every week, the equivalent to not one, but two full-time jobs and working overtime.

Therefore, health and wellness experts are saying that self-care for moms is not an option but a requirement for being a good mother.

Alone time even in the form of a mini vacation alone is needed to feel refreshed, and it can make a big difference in a mom’s ability to cope, focus and do her mom duties.

They also say momcations can improve a woman’s relationship with her partner and can relay an important lesson about the value of balance to her children.

So there you go!

Science says take that vacation or go on that Girls’ Trip and quit feeling guilty about it!

How Much Teachers Get Paid In Each State {Infographic}

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

As students head back to school, we see lots of stories about creative teachers who employ great tools and tricks to stimulate their students. We also articles about how teachers spend their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.

Teachers are not paid as high as many other professions though it varies from state to state. The folks at Business.org wondered what the average salary was across the United States and summarized the findings in an interesting graphic:

Interesting Findings: 

  • On average, entry-level teachers are paid 21.8% less than other workers in their states. 
  • Colorado has the largest pay gap–40% less than the average salary in the state. That’s especially bad when you consider that Louisiana (our top-ranked state) pays about $7,000 more per year—even though the cost of living in Louisiana is lower.
  • Even though the District of Columbia had the highest starting salary for teachers, the area still ranked low on our list (#50) because of the higher-than-usual deficit between teachers’ salaries and the average salary for the area (37.2%).

(To be fair, though, the average salary in DC is abnormally high—probably due to the high concentration of highly paid politicians and lobbyists in the area.)

  • Despite its low ranking, DC actually has one of the best starting teaching salaries in the nation after you adjust for the area’s cost of living. So DC may be one of the best places for teachers to live if you’re focused on maintaining the highest possible standard of living.
  • The pay gap does not seem to correlate with student performance–Connecticut ranks #32 for teacher compensation but maintains #5 for student test scores. (But to be fair, shouldn’t the standard of living for teachers be just as important?) 

Methodology: To develop its ranking we compared the average starting teacher salary to the average salary for all occupations in each state. The starting average teacher salaries were sourced from the National Education Association. The average state salary for ‘all occupations’ came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. For more information check out their report.

2019 MTV VMAs: Moms on the Red Carpet

mtv vma red carpet moms

If you’ve followed this blog for the past 10 years, you know I enjoy spotting on Red Carpets the celebrity women who’ve been spotlighted here before when they were expecting a baby.

Last night, on August 26, the MTV Video Music Awards were held in New Jersey for the first time at the Prudential Center.

One of our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alums, Cardi B won for Best Hip Hop video for her song “Money” (she was nominated for Artist of the Year too but lost to Ariana Grande). She was also nominated for Best Pop video for “Please Me” with Bruno Mars and Best Dance and Best Power Anthem for “Taki Taki” and “Wish Wish,” respectively.

One other featured mama from the past Alicia Keys was nominated for the Best R&B video for the video for her song “Raise a Man” but lost to former Fifth Harmony girl band member Normani.

The show caters to younger audiences so I have to admit I’ve had to watch the nominees right before publshing this post. Shame. lol In any event, congrats to the winners and shout out to the moms who looked fab on the red carpet including:

Adriana Lima in Sally LaPointe with Chopard jewelry and Christian Louboutin heels.

Monica in Libertine

Heidi Klum in Nedo with Judith Leiber handbag and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry

Blac Chyna in Attico

Whitney Port in Balmain

Lil Kim

Jenni “JWOWW” Farley in liastublla

Nicole “Snooki” LaValle in The Snooki Shop

Back to SchooL: Free School Haircuts, Supplies and Immunizations Guide

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

With the economy on the downturn slightly, some families may be feeling the pinch and purchasing school supplies, getting immunizations and paying for haircuts and style could be a bit much for the budget.

Luckily, a lot of barber shops, religious, community and civic groups have organized events where they help parents out.

We’re already deep into back-to-school season and several of these have passed but I managed to dig up a few more in my area, DC, Maryland and Virginia and a few others. Do a Facebook, Google Events or Eventbrite search for one near you.

Here are the ones I found. Good luck!

District of Columbia

Washington, DC

What:  Back to school physical exam, Birth Control options for college students, STI discussion and primary care needs for medicaid /private pay

Date: Thru Aug 31, 2 PM

Where: 1331 H Street Associates, 1331 H St NW, Washington, DC

More deets/sign up: Eventbrite

Maryland

Baltimore

What: Free Backpack & Haircuts School Supply Giveaway

Date/time: September 2nd, 8:00am to 12:00pm

Where: Paul’s Beauty Warehouse, 1821 Whitehead Road, Baltimore, MD, 21207

More deets/sign up: 92.Q Website

Bowie

What: Back to School – Free Backpacks; Come to a free back-to-school event, get free school supplies and sign up for tutoring and other academic support.

Date: Sat, August 31 10 AM – 2 PM

Where: Bowie Church of Christ, 2518 Kenhill Dr, Bowie, MD

More deets/Sign Up: Eventbrite.com 

Centerville

What: The Queen Anne’s County Department of Health will be hosting Back to School (BTS) Immunization clinics beginning in late August. If your child cannot get the vaccines from their healthcare

Date: Tue, Sep 3, 8 AM – 12

Where: Queen Anne’s County Department of Health 206 N Commerce St, Centreville, MD

More deets/signup: Facebook Event Details

Charles County

Where: The Charles County Department of Health provides immunizations through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program to eligible children living in Charles County. Our goal is to educate and assist caregivers with making decisions that will protect them, their children, and the community. We offer back-to-school, childhood, and preteen and adolescent vaccines.

Eligibility Requirements

A child is eligible for the VFC Program if he or she is younger than 19 years of age and is one of the following:

  • Uninsured
  • Covered by Medical Assistance
  • Underinsured (has health insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native

When:

Tuesday, August 27, 20191:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday, September 10, 20191:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday, September 17, 20191:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday, September 24, 20191:00 PM – 6:00 PM

More deets/signup: Child Health/Child Immunizations

Columbia

What: Free Back to School Vaccination Clinic

When: Tue, Sep 3 – Thu, Sep 5

Where: Howard County Health Department, 8930 Stanford Blvd, Columbia, MD

Deets: From Facebook.com: The following vaccines will be available..

Prince Federick

What: Free Back to School Immunization Clinic

When: Wed Sep 18 2019 at 09:00 am

Where: Calvert County Health Department, 975 Solomons Island Rd N, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678,

Temple Hills:

What: FREE Back to School haircuts and hairstyles is BACK! Now taking appointments for Sunday, Sept 1st ONLY.

When: Sun, Sep 1, 10 AM – 2 PM

Where: Vision Impact Center

4544 Beech Rd, Temple Hills, MD

Deets/Please register at http://vicback2school.rsvpify.com. *Serious inquiries and appointments only.

Philadelphia

What: 2019 Bookbag Giveaway & Back-to-School EXPO

When: Sun, Sep 1, 11 AM – 4 PM

Where: 6630 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19138

Deets: reachphiladelphia.org

Texas

Houston

What: Committed to creating a community of healthy children, Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program will administer the vaccinations to children, 6 weeks to 18 years of age, who need immunizations.

  • Children must qualify for the Vaccines for Children program (no insurance, have insurance that does not cover vaccines, or have Medicaid)
  • No pre-registration is required but space is limited.
  • Parents and guardians must bring child’s immunization records and must accompany child. 

When: every Thursday in August 2019., From 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Children’s Museum of Houston 

Deets:  Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program

Virginia

Newport News

What: Free haircuts & open to the public.

When: Friday, August 30, 2019 from 11am-3pm

Where: Doris Miller Community Center, 2400 Washington Ave., Newport News, VA 23607 

Deets: call 757-247-8603 for hair appointments. 

Norflok

What: Better Barbers Back To School Bash!  GRADES K-12 Come out and join us at our first annual Back To School Bash! We will be providing *free haircuts, LOTS of school supplies, food, drinks, snacks, games and prizes for the children! Come out and celebrate the beginning of new and successful school year. School supplies will be distributed on a first come first-served basis. We currently have 121 bags to give away and the child must be present to receive a bag. If you’re vegan don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We are looking forward to seeing everyone

When: Friday, August 30, 2019 from 2-5pm

Where: Better Barbers Tidewater Dr 7468 Tidewater Dr unit B, Norfolk, Virginia 23505 

Deets: Facebook Event Better Barbers Back To School Bash!

What:Village Family and Partners Back2School Expo, This is an annual community effort to help youth and families prepare for the school year that is right around the corner. Come and join us in this fun event for children of all ages.FREE backpacks & school supplies. MUSIC BY DJ NAKYLLA

When: Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 1-5pm

Where: Military Circle Mall, 880 N. Military Circle Mall, Norfolk Virginia 23502

Deets: Facebook Event

Virginia Beach

What: Haircuts & Book Bags – Back to School Bash 

When: Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 12-2pm

Where: 2180 McComas Way Ste 113, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456

Deets: Facebook Events

Hampton

What: Mobi Wash Cares: Back2School Bookbag Giveaway,  Come and enjoy food, fun, games, prizes, and FREE BOOKBAGS. Your kids will leave happy, tired, and, most importantly, PREPARED for school!

When: Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 10am-2pm

Where:  Gray’s Missionary Baptist 380 Union St, Hampton, Virginia 23669 

Deets: Facebook Events

What: Free Backpacks and school supplies

When: Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 12-2pm

Where: We Serve The City 2180 McComas Way Ste 113, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456

3 Real Housewives of Potomac Stars Who Shared Their Miscarriage Loss Stories With Fans

Editor’s Note: I’m reposting this article because the old one, published a few months ago, has a fatal technical error and in light of National Rainbow Baby Day recently, I wanted to reshare it!

“I really don’t think I fully dealt with my miscarriage until until I found out I was pregnant again,” an emotional Monique Samuels shares during a testimonial to last Sunday’s new episode of Bravo TV‘s Real Housewives of Potomac. “The fear and the loss just came back to me so I really had to just sit back and leave it in God’s hands”

These comments were made during her testimonial in between scenes of a party she threw last year before the birth of her third child last year, celebrating her Rainbow Baby.

A Rainbow baby is a sustainable pregnancy or live birth following the loss of a previous pregnancy or baby.

FYI: A “Unicorn baby” is one that is birthed after infertility.

About her decision to host a celebration, the wife to ex veteran NFL legend Chris Samuels: “I thought this was a good way to celebrate new life to not forget it but to learn from it and move on,” she added.

During the episode, Monique referred to her miscarried child as “her angel baby” and later released several doves in the air in honor of all the other Angel babies out there.

“I know a lot of us women share the same story and a some of us don’t choose to express and share with others but I encourage us to because there’s healing in sharing, ” she added before opening up the mic later for other women in the audience to share their stories.

During the event, her cast mate Ashley Darby, who is currently pregnant accepted the opportunity to speak about having a miscarriage at age 19 and a more recent one with her restaurateur and businessman husband, Michael Darby.

Michael broke down in tears and actually left his wife’s side at a guest table temporarily.

Another castmember of the show, Katie Rost, also is familiar with tragic pregnancy loss.

Rost, a Housewife from Season 1 and currently a “friend of the Housewives” Season 4, suffered a late term miscarriage around 4-5 months of pregnancy.

She was pregnant with her fourth child with her boyfriend, a man named Jacob, earlier this year when she miscarried.

According to an Instagram social media post by Rost, Jacob infamously snapped a highly disturbing and graphic bathroom photo of Rost laying on the floor shortly after the loss happened.

She posted the photo on her Instagram page before taking it down, but not before the gossip press got their hands on it and made it a story.

While in a vulnerable state, snapping a pic is not kind but I do not want to judge her decision to then post such a private and sacred moment on social media but yeah, that’s a heavy situation.

Photo of Rost’s kids and another young girl from Rost’s GoFundMe page

Rost is currently involved in a bitter custody dispute with her ex husband James Orsini over visitation rights with her children, son, James Rocco Orsini and twin daughters Renee Rost Orsini and Kathryn Rost Orsini who she lost full custody to. She has previously accused James of being mentally, physically and financially abusive to her.

Editor’s Note:

I could relate to Samuels’ later comment on the show about living in fear after getting pregnant again.

After I lost my first ever pregnancy about 17 years ago, my husband and I were extremely anxious and scared our second would end the same, with another loss.

We even went as far as purchased a portable ultrasound so we could constantly monitor the baby’s heartbeat anytime we wanted without having to go to the doctor’s for an appointment.

Now baby Samuels, Chase Omari, is here and Baby Darby is on the way and with a gig as a Friend of, hopefully Rost is in a better place and getting more support.