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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.

Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.


Know the Facts

  • Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
  • Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
  • A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
  • The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
  • 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).
  • Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.


What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

While You Were Out – DC Council

Posted September 18, 2016 by Sara Alcid

In July, the DC Council recessed for the summer, leaving business unfinished on the Universal Paid Leave Act. At the time, the Washington Post's Aaron Davis reported that parents should "go ahead and have that baby — paid family leave isn’t coming to D.C. soon," a burdensome proposition when hundreds of thousands of hardworking people [...]

MomsRising on Donald Trump’s Paid Family Leave & Child Care Proposals

Posted September 13, 2016 by Kristin

This morning, Donald Trump’s campaign announced that it would roll out policy proposals aimed at reducing child care costs and providing new mothers with up to six weeks paid maternity leave. Right now, America’s families and economy are facing a crisis. So it’s good, but not surprising to see that the Trump campaign has caught onto something [...]

Paid Family Leave and Pay Equity in This Year's Election

Posted September 2, 2016 by Tina Sherman

Campaigns typically kick into high gear after Labor Day weekend.  However, this election season appears to be well under way. Consistent themes running throughout the campaigns are issues affecting moms and families across the country; paid family leave and paycheck fairness.   With nearly two-thirds of voters expressing that an elected official’s support for equal [...]

Cutting the Fool and Pumping Under a Tree #BlackBFJoy

Posted August 30, 2016 by Chandra Waters

Breastfeeding, like marriage and childbirth, is not for the faint of heart.  After suffering a miscarriage, we were blessed in the fact that we were able to conceive relatively quickly once my husband and I began trying again. I was so thankful that God gave us a second chance to bring a life into this [...]

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