A Better Balance Community Advocate

Mamta Karani, New York

Mamta works as a pharmacist in New York City. Her job provides health insurance benefits for her and her husband, Hirsha. When she was pregnant with her first child, at roughly 32 weeks Mamta went to the hospital because she stopped feeling fetal movement.  At the hospital she learned that her baby had passed away and she delivered her stillborn baby girl, Thalia, soon after. 

She and her family were devastated by the unexpected loss. On top of having to deal with this loss and the traumatic physical, emotional, and psychological recovery, she had great difficulty coordinating leave from work following her stillbirth. She had to repeatedly explain her story to multiple third parties, all of whom would congratulate her on what they assumed was a successful delivery, leading to additional stress. After numerous conversations, Mamta discovered that she did not qualify for New York paid family leave since her baby had not survived and would only receive six weeks of temporary disability insurance to recover physically from childbirth, which provided no job protection and compensation far lower than paid family leave. Mamta hopes to advocate for strengthening New York’s temporary disability insurance program, including for working women who may experience pregnancy loss.

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