High chairs are being introduced in Congress this week in an effort to help mothers cope with the transition from the womb.
The high chair was first introduced by Rep. Diane Black (D-Tenn.) in the House in April, and the bill, which would require pregnant women to be medically fit for work and be physically capable of supporting themselves, is expected to make it into the Senate this week.
The chair has become a popular option for mothers during the pregnancy, which is when women can work more than half their lives.
The chair can be used as a bed for up to six women, and has a built-in mattress that can be rolled around or reclined.
A woman can also adjust the height and shape of the chair to her body.
According to the House bill, pregnant women should also be able to use the chair as a place to sleep.
“I think it’s an important first step to get the chair out there, to give moms a place they can really have that kind of comfort that they can work,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.), who introduced the bill with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.N.).
“It can be a place for sleep, a place where moms can stay for longer periods of time, and they can go back and have their kids and be home and they’re not working.”
Rep. Carolyn C. Maloney speaks at a rally for the Protecting Our Motherhood Act at the Capitol on June 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Maternal health advocates say the chair is not a cure-all, but it can help women cope with being physically and mentally unstable while pregnant.
“We know that the most effective intervention that we can do is get pregnant women back to work,” Maloney said.
“And if they can do that, they can actually reduce their stress and their depression, which can help them through this process.”
The chair would be used during the first three months of pregnancy, when a woman’s brain can still be developing, and would be fitted with a sensor that would monitor her heart rate and blood pressure.
Once the pregnancy ends, the sensor would be removed.
The Senate bill is expected back to the committee next week for a vote, where Maloney says she hopes to see a proposal that allows the chair be used by pregnant women during the final month of pregnancy.
“This is a great way to be able give moms the flexibility to make the transition and have some of the comfort and comfort that we want for them as well,” Malawy said.