Via Kaiser's Daily Women's Health Policy Report. The Virginian-Pilot looked into the Navy's new policy for pregnant sailors. Previously, they were only allowed four months of shore time following childbirth, but the new policy allows for a year of shore time. The number of single mothers in the Navy appears to be rising slightly: 15 percent in 2005, up from 11 percent in 2003 and 7 percent in 2001. This is hardly surprising, considering that the military is actually an economically favorable option for non-college educated women. The military provides health insurance and good pay, but for all that, a young female soldier has has more to contend with when it comes to advancement.

A Navy training video called "Give Yourself a Chance" shown to women when they enlist in the Navy depicts an actress dressed in uniform who warns, "getting pregnant while assigned to sea duty disrupts her qualification process." Unsurprisingly, giving birth in the military means you won't get promoted as quickly. (Until 1975, women were forced to leave the military if they became pregnant.) There's been a lot of progress in the last 30 years, but Navy working moms are representative of other kinds of working moms. It's a given that you won't advance as far if you have children.

--Kay Steiger

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