I have four sons, three birth children and one adopted, and have experienced both paid and unpaid maternity leave. With my first son, living in Virginia, I had unpaid maternity leave for most of my leave from my job and my husband and I had to take out student loans (he was in grad school) to make ends meet, which we are still paying back (our son is now 14 years old). I was fortunate enough to have some form of paid maternity leave for our other three sons and I feel very blessed by that. We live in California now, one of the only states with a paid maternity leave program. I think about all of the families out there in the U.S. who have to struggle when they have a newborn- one of the most vulnerable times in a family's life. We should be supporting our families and our mothers, not leaving them to fend for themselves. It is shameful that the U.S. is one of the most "developed" countries but does not care for its own mothers and babies!!