The Intrapersonal Experience of Pregnancy at Work: an Exploratory Study


The experiences of pregnant employees in the American workforce is a central topic of conversation in current sociopolitical discourse. While previous research focuses more on how pregnant employees can shape others’ impressions of themselves, we shift the lens to explore the intrapersonal experiences of pregnant employees. Using a weekly survey methodology, we examined the extent to which utilizing different coping strategies (active coping and denial) shapes perceptions of both time-based pregnancy-to-work (PWC) and work-to-pregnancy conflict (WPC) over a period of four weeks. The results suggest that using denial as a coping strategy led to increased PWC the following week. Additionally, we found evidence that conflict felt during pregnancy spilled over to predict lower positive affect six months postpartum. We provide some of the first data on the influence of the intrapersonal experiences of pregnant employees not only during their time at work, but also when returning to work postpartum.

Publication Title

Journal of Business and Psychology