Dana was born with a problem with her kidneys and underwent multiple operations to repair her ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Her kidney problems puts her at risk of urinary track infections and she takes antibiotics everyday to prevent these infections. Urinary tract infections can lead to preterm birth and other major complications. Dana also has a heart-shaped uterus, which puts her at risk of a preterm birth.
When Dana became pregnant she knew she would have some challenges and she was ready to do everything she needed to in order to have a healthy pregnancy. I told her that she needed to drink so much water that she would be using the bathroom every hour. Not going every hour?! Drink more water!
Dana did exactly that and had no UTIs, until about five months into her pregnancy. All of a sudden she started having UTIs. When I asked her what changed, Dana started crying. She had been called into her boss’s office. Dana is a cashier at Walmart. She was recently told by her boss that she was on probation for taking too many bathroom breaks.
So while Dana was trying to do the very best of her health and the health of her baby, she was in a conundrum – lose her job or follow the advice she received.
Stories like Dana’s bring to life why we must protect rights of pregnant workers across the United States.