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Month: July 2015

4 Tips for Supporting Working Moms and Pregnant Women

You’re preparing for motherhood and counting down the days until you meet your little one! And if you’re currently in the workforce, you’re probably considering if and when you’ll return to work after your babe arrives.

We’re not going to mince words: taking care of a newborn while also working is no small task. It’s exhausting and you may sometimes feel pulled between multiple priorities. (That deadline! Your bundle of joy!) But keep in mind, if you do plan to go back to the office, you’ll be joining the hardest-working group of employees there is: the working mother.

It might feel stressful now just thinking about it, but we’ve got a few quick tips to help you— and your fellow mama-colleagues — prepare for re-entering the workforce post-baby, even before you give birth:

  • Take your lunch break. This may sound silly, but between growing a small human and busting your behind at work, you need a well-deserved daily break. So go, eat in peace — away from your desk! Enjoy chewing your food uninterrupted and savoring some quiet time. Or use it as a time to connect with other working moms around the office (they might have even more helpful tips for you).
  • Know your rights. If you suspect your employer is guilty of maternal profiling (meaning, employment discrimination against a woman who has or will have children) or pregnancy discrimination, don’t be afraid to speak up. Pregnant women and mothers have as many rights in the workplace as their non-mama colleagues!
  • Encourage mama-friendly work environments. You’re almost a mom now, which means you’re this much closer to being a force of nature, both literally and figuratively. What better time than now to vocalize your support for things like breast milk pumping breaks built into the work day, and an office culture that embraces maternity leave?! Heck, take it one step further and urge Congress to support family leave. Not only will you appreciate your efforts, so will your colleagues who are also mamas.
  • Adopt this mantra: You are doing an amazing job. Not only are you creating and sustaining human life, which requires Herculean effort, but you’re also working. Your mind and body are exerting overtime, no doubt about it. So remember, you are Superwoman. Never forget it.

Maureen Shaw is a writer, editor and proud mama who has dedicated the better part of the past decade to volunteering and working with NGOs and nonprofits. Her writing has been featured widely online, including sherights.com (which she founded in 2011), The Huffington Post, Mic.com, Feministing, Jezebel and more. Maureen holds a Master’s of Arts in Human Rights from Columbia University. You can follow her on Twitter at @MaureenShaw.

Reaching the global target to reduce stunting: What will it cost and how will we pay for it?

The world is currently badly off track to meet the global stunting target to reduce the number of children under five who suffer from stunting by 40% by 2025.

Current investment levels are woefully inadequate to reduce the number of stunted children from the current level of 159 million to the target level of less than 100 million. Urgent action to scale up financing is required, but until now the funding needs and financing scenarios have been unclear.

The World Bank, Results for Development Institute (R4D), and 1,000 Days, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, recently released an analysis of funding gaps and financing scenarios to reach the global stunting target.  The analysis estimates it will cost approximately an additional $8.50 per child per year to meet the global stunting target. This cost covers the scale-up of high-impact, proven interventions focused in the 1,000 day window from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday. These solutions include improving: maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding practices with an emphasis on promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and young child nutrition through micronutrient supplementation and the provision of nutritious complementary foods.

As there is a significant gap between what is needed to achieve the target and what is currently being spent, reaching the global target will require greater commitment from countries and donors, and a global prioritization and harmonization of nutrition investments.

Check out the complete analysis of funding gaps and financing scenarios here. This is the first in a series of financing analyses for each of the global nutrition targets.