ICYMI: Parenting in vet med series

In this series, Emily Singler, VMD, author of Pregnancy and Postpartum Considerations for the Veterinary Team, discusses workplace hazards, parental leave, discrimination laws, and ways that veterinary leaders can support all team members better by considering the challenges of working parents.

By Emily Singler

See all the stories in the series below—including two helpful handouts that you can print to share with your teams or download in a digital format for quick references to important links. 

Vet med workplace hazards that can affect pregnancy 

Working in a veterinary practice while pregnant poses some unique risks, including the dangers of radiation, anesthesia, infectious disease, chemicals, potential injuries, and stress. Luckily, there are safety precautions pregnant individuals can take to reduce the risk.  

HANDOUT: Pregnancy workplace hazards 

Print this handout to understand some of the risks and precautions to take when you or a team member are pregnant while working at a veterinary clinic.  

Lifting boxes: An alternative to work-life balance 

“Balancing” work and life can feel impossible for working parents. Singer writes that instead of trying to balance work with life, flexibility and self-care are better goals.  

Give working parents what they need to thrive in veterinary medicine 

Veterinary practices can support employees who are parents by implementing nongendered policies to balance time off and other parenting considerations for fathers and nonbirthing parents. 

Working parent guilt—Where it comes from and how to send it packing 

Guilt felt by working parents is a type of unhelpful “persecutory guilt” that can be avoided and healed through releasing unrealistic expectations and shifting responsibilities and priorities.  

US workplace protections for pregnancy, lactation, and parenting 

Do breastmilk “pump breaks” need to be paid? And what accommodations are pregnant and lactating individuals allowed under US federal law? Here’s your refresher on workplace protections for new and potential parents.   

HANDOUT: US Pregnancy, Lactation, and Parenting Laws 

Print this handout to keep track of the US federal laws related to pregnancy, lactation, and parenting. 

How to support working parents without deprioritizing the team 

The benefits offered to working parents should be available to each of us in our time of need, including protection from discrimination, accommodations for health conditions, extended leave, and flexible scheduling. 


Emily Singler, VMD, is AAHA’s Veterinary Content Specialist and author of Pregnancy and Postpartum Considerations for the Veterinary Team. 

 Cover photo credit: © portishead1 E+ via Getty Images Plus 

Disclaimer: The views expressed, and topics discussed, in any NEWStat column or article are intended to inform, educate, or entertain, and do not represent an official position by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or its Board of Directors. 



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