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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son. More

Read more in our collection of stories from moms and dads across the country about the need for paid family leave.

Know the Facts

  • Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. -- when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
  • In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
  • 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
  • The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).

What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

A Working Mom Shaping the Lives of Future Generations

Posted May 23, 2015 by Shay Chan Hodges

Thank you to Mom-Mentum Editor Kate Fineske for graciously allowing me to cross-post this piece, which was originally published at Mom-Mentum. Depending on the profession and individual circumstances, every mother has her own story about returning to work. Over the past several months we’ve begun highlighting our Mom-mentum members Return-to-work stories. Likewise, in her book Lean On and [...]

#MissionPossible: Building a Stronger Economy for Women & Families

Posted May 13, 2015 by Kristin

Earlier today, MomsRising members, staff and volunteers stood with more than 30 organizations, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and numerous other U.S. Representatives, on Capitol Hill to send a message loud and clear that it is indeed #MissionPossible to build a strong economy for families, women and our nation.  Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising.org issued [...]

Chocolate is Nice. But Equality is Better.

Posted May 10, 2015 by Kristin

Take Action!I love chocolates and flowers and brunch as much as any mom. But what I really want for Mother’s Day can’t be bought in a store. For Mother’s Day, and EVERY DAY, I want moms (and dads!) to be able to take a day off from work when they (or their kids) get the [...]

What MOMentum Has Accomplished in 2015 (So Far!)!

Posted May 4, 2015 by Kristin

Well, you’ve done it again. And this time, you even got everyone in the U.S. Senate to agree on something. Every. Single. Senator.  Yes, you heard that right! All members of the U.S. Senate actually agreed on something... and that something was the fact that pregnant workers shouldn't be discriminated against.* You’re unstoppable! In the [...]

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