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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

Ask Senator McCaskill to support Paid Sick Days & Affordable Childcare!

Posted October 6, 2017 by Ruth Martin

Take Action!Between lack of earned sick days and non-existent paid family and medical leave policies, working parents are really feeling squeezed right now. But together, we can change this! Click here to join us for a meeting with Senator McCaskill’s staff to thank them for the Senator’s leadership and to urge her to do even [...]

Ask Senator Bennet to support paid family leave!

Posted October 6, 2017 by Erin Bennett Leighton

Take Action!Whether it’s to care for a newborn you swear already smiles, a mom who is ill, or a spouse battling cancer, being there for family is what matters. You shouldn't have to give up a paycheck to do it. But non-existent paid family and medical leave policies are forcing working parents to make impossible [...]

Share Your Birth Story With MomsRising!

Posted August 4, 2017 by Nadia

We need your voice! Click here to share your birth/maternal story with us or share the story of someone you love!   Everyone who becomes pregnant or gives birth should have access to a safe, healthy, and respectful experience. Access to health insurance and quality, equitable health care are a crucial part of this. However, [...]

Breastfeeding America: What We Know

Posted August 1, 2017 by Sunshine Muse

This piece is published in partnership with Echoing Ida, a Forward Together Program. Current data indicates that black women have the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the US. There are many reasons for this, including lack of access to resources, substandard healthcare, personal choice and historical trauma. But what is not true however, are popular [...]

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