AD moms, has your career suffered? — The Bump
Military Families

AD moms, has your career suffered?

I am pregnant for the first time and have been in the Navy for 10 years.  I am an E-6, up for chief and have been told straight up, that I am not as competitive now that I am pregnant.  Although this is blatantly against the rules to say or act on, I can't help but worrying about it.  I work with 99% men and am getting "underutilized" so that my eval will be not as good since I don't have as many responsibilities.  (I am on my first year of shore duty by the way, so I have planned my pregnancy to the letter the way that the Navy wants me to)

I know that I have to not overstress myself now that I have another life dependent on me, but I can't help but feel like I need to make sure my career is on track to provide for my child.  What kind of mom would I be if I couldn't better myself for him/her? (dad is former military and attending college, I am the sole income in our family for the time being)

 There are strict regulations against all this, but this isn't my first rodeo and there are ways that my career can be manipulated by those who are not happy about my "medical condition"  Anyone been through this before / have any advice?

Re: AD moms, has your career suffered?

  • Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who said that? You can file a complaint against them with MEO (or whatever the equivalent EO office is in the Navy).  Granted, my kid is only 15 months, but I don't feel as though my career has suffered.  Document every verbal/behavioral incident that indicates that you are being treated unfairly.  If you feel that you are being underutilized, that is another thing that you can talk to MEO about. Or the IG.  
  • The funny thing is that I am an CMEO for my command.  I luckily have documented everything that was said.  There is a certain amount of circling the wagons and changing of stories at this point, after I have had initial meeting and tried to informally deal with it.  I am currently working in a new department and unfortunately will not see how it has panned out until November.  Luckily, I knew how to "handle this" as well as anyone can in this situation unlike junior personnel.  Couldn't imagine being 19 and dealing with this when I first joined.  Hopefully I won't have to file a grievance, knowing how hard a process it is for the individual filing, but I am ready should I need to.  I'm just hoping that dealing with it informally is all that was needed.  I know other pregnant service members are dealing with this and am very disapointed that in this day and age people are getting away with this.  Honestly, if someone was in the middle of a meeting and said, "You don't have to pay attention to what she says, it's just her hormones talking" (my boss) in the civilian world I'm pretty sure they'd be fired immediately.

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  • From what I've read in AF and Navy times lately, a CO can also get fired for making comments like that.  It is completely unprofessional and illegal.

     As for career suffering, it actually worked out great for me...I'm a pilot and I'm grounded while pregnant because I fly an ejection seat aircraft.  As a result, I've been given lots of projects that directly affect the success of the wing that I might not have been considered for before.  Since I "have the time" now, I'm getting things done well and the boss is recognizing my work.

    If you haven't done it already, it might be time to sit down with your leadership and have a frank discussion of your abilities. 

  • With my first baby I was told that I would was disqualified for Airman of the Year because I had been on maternity leave during that year. IIt was pretty shocking to me since I had completed much more at work in that year than others at my level. That mostly annoyed me.. now we are expecting number two and I was told explicitly by my leadership that it will hurt my career. I am enlisted and I am not really swayed by the uneducated comments from my leadership. Since I had my son I have completed my Bachelors, started my MBA, and now I am prepared for a succesful career in or outside the military. The comments are really obnoxious though!
  •  I'm an AD mom also in the Navy E6  and my LO will be one in nine days, I did the same thing waited until I was on shore duty to have a baby.  Make sure any all comments in that nature are documented, I still gave 100% while pregnant and made sure my COC knew when my any of pre-natal appointments were and carried on with business as usual. 

    My career hasn't suffered since I had her but if you were a stellar sailor before pregnancy and still are one, I wouldn't worry to much but make sure your are documenting everything you do (Bragsheet) and like I said all of the negative comments as well.

    Good Luck...

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