Pregnancy at Work: Health and Safety for the Working Woman
Regina H Kenen with, Jenny McLeish and Daphne May, Pluto Press, 1998, 288pp.

Review by Dorothy Legg for the New Worker

AS stated in the preface to this book, the number of pregnant women and mothers in the paid work force with children under 16 has burgeoned.

 Indeed recent data from the Government and the Equal Opportunity Commission shows the proportion of women in paid work who have children under five years of age has risen from 42 per cent ten years ago to 55 per cent today.

 This easy to read book acts as a guide which covers all aspects of having children from reproductive health, including reproductive hazards in the workplace, to working whilst pregnant and following the birth of your child.

 In an accessible, straight forward manner, illustrated with case studies, Ms Kenen develops each self contained chapter so that the reader can either dip in and out of the guide, or read from cover to cover.

 The book spans a "working women's agenda", reproductive hazards for both genders, working whilst pregnant and workplace hazards, giving practical strategies for seeking solutions. Chapter three is the heart of the book and addresses the impact of the physical and social work environment on pregnant women.

 The Appendices provide information on the statutory legal framework in place, substances reviewed for reproductive health effects, plus useful addresses and suggested further reading.

 As a working woman and as a trade unionist I found this book extremely accessible and comprehensive, providing a guide to a subject affecting most women in their lives.

 It is unfortunate that despite the gains made by women, in today's workplaces some pregnant workers are still denied simpie common-sense changes in their working patterns like unrestricted access to the toilet.

 This book contains information that women, especially in non unionised workplaces, need to be able to safeguard their own health and safety as well as others.

 All in all this book offers a guide to pregnancy in the workplace and is ideal for working women, trade unionists, health and safety officers and anyone concerned with the welfare of women workers.


 Pluto Press is making copies of Pregnancy at Work available to New Worker readers at the SPECIAL OFFER price of £11.69 including p&p in the UK (full price £12.99 plus p&p). To buy a discounted copy, either call Pluto Press direct on 0181 348 2724 with your credit card and quote reference PLNW2, OR e-mail at OR send a cheque to Pluto Press, FREEPOST, ND6781, London N6 5BR. Please make your cheque payable to Marston Book Services, In each case remember to quote ref PLNW1 for the discounted price.

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