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More than third of women experience 'crisis pregnancy'

New figures show that nearly half of women reported financial concerns as a reason.

File photo
File photo
Image: Katie Collins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MORE THAN A third of women in Ireland describe having a crisis pregnancy and nearly half said it was partly because of financial concerns, according to a new survey.

The survey was undertaken by the Health Service Executive’s Crisis Pregnancy Programme and involved the experiences of more than 2,000 women whose children were born between July 2007 and June 2009.

Overall, 33 per cent of mothers said their pregnancy had been emotionally traumatic or represented a crisis for them.

The survey indicated there was a strong link between unfair treatment at work and a crisis pregnancy. Among the findings were:

  • 30 per cent of women said that unfair treatment in the workplace related to their pregnancy
  • 5 per cent reported they were dismissed, made redundant or felt they were being treated so badly they had to leave their job
  • 30 per cent said they experienced problems with maternity leave such as being pressured to return early and being contacted by their work during their time off.
  • Almost a quarter of women believed that after giving birth, their opportunities for promotions in work decreased upon their return.
  • A fifth believed their opportunities to undergo training at work had decreased.
  • 49 per cent of women experiencing a crisis pregnancy reported financial worries as a consideration
  • 13 per cent of women stated that their health was negatively affected by employment during pregnancy
  • 8 per cent experienced a crisis pregnancy in which work issues were a contributing factor
  • Better educated women who are on higher incomes were more likely to avail of extended, unpaid maternity leave than those who are on lower incomes.

In the findings the HSE said that financial concerns related to crisis pregnancy were becoming a bigger issue.

The profile of those experience such a pregnancy was changing with more than half of those reporting a crisis pregnancy being married and in their early 30s according to the study.

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Hugh O'Connell

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