Today, we couldn’t imagine hearing of a woman being fired after becoming pregnant, not blatantly anyway.  But not too long ago,  that was exactly what happened to many women. Businesses had no obligation to secure the job position until after the employee delivered her baby and recovered to return to work. As a result of this, many working women tried to hide their pregnancy by wearing less than appealing attire. Pregnancy was to be concealed, not celebrated, at least in the workplace.

And then…..

in 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provided job protected leave for 12 weeks in the event of medical emergency and pregnancies. Perhaps not coincidentally, maternity fashion in the 90’s saw a shift from unflattering articles (example above) to more form fitting and fashionable clothing. No longer living with fear of being terminated for needing time off for their pregnancy, women became more open with their maternity wear. This is not to imply that maternity fashion evolved solely because of the FMLA, but it might have helped pave the way…

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