Join Us (It's Free)

Keep Informed

Get SMS/text alerts

( )- -

Text alerts by Moms Rising. 4 messages/month. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to quit. For help text HELP or contact txt@mcommons.com.

en Español

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

Thank a Suffragete: Celebrate National Voter Registration Day!

Posted September 23, 2014 by Mary E. Mannix

This weekend I will have the privilege to sit with my early childhood education advocate peers in the same room at Cranalieth as Susan B Anthony, Rachel Avery and many other suffragetes when they worked through fighting for a woman's right to vote. My DVAEYC ECE Fellowship peers and I (Delaware Valley Association for the [...]

Open Letter to Congress during Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Posted August 13, 2014 by Diana Limongi

Please note: this post was originally published in my blog, LadydeeLG. (Feel free to visit!)    Dear Members of Congress, How are you enjoying your summer break? I thought I'd write a note to let you know, in case you missed it, that August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Doctors recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for six [...]

Mothers, Democracy and Hurricane Iselle

Posted August 13, 2014 by Shay Chan Hodges

The following post, with minor modifications, was first featured in the Honolulu Star Advertiser as an op-ed last week, right before Hawaii’s state primary.  The first sentence of the editorial read:  "As this primary season comes to an end..."   But the primary season did not end on Saturday as Hurricane Iselle hit parts of [...]

Paid Leave: A No-Brainer for Businesses and a Lifesaver for Workers

Posted August 4, 2014 by Liz Ben-Ishai

Could it be that workers whose employers offer leave benefits actually end up getting sick less often because they are happier? Senator Al Franken (D-MN), tongue firmly in cheek, proposed this “radical” idea at a hearing on paid leave held by the Senate Health Economic Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s Subcommittee on Children and Families. [...]

More from the Blog