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 [...]
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 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
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 [...]
After the White House Summit on Working Families in June, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) developed a new grant designed to help states study the economic feasibility of creating a system of paid family leave. The grant announcement stated that up to five states may be selected for this opportunity and that the application [...]
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. [...]