I was hired when I was very pregnant - where it was obvious I was pregnant. Not one mention was made of it during the interview process. AFTER I was offered the job and accepted, I was asked how much time I wanted to take off for maternity leave. I was given one month paid time off with the option of taking off more time without risk of losing my job.
I had a typically difficult, grueling, and incredibly rewarding first month of parenthood. I had the benefit of knowing that I was not hurting my family financially by spending this important time with my infant son.
Once I returned to work, I was encouraged to continue breastfeeding and accommodations were made for me. So, for the first year of my son's life, he was brought to work in the middle of my day and I spent 20-30 minutes of my break time nursing and cuddling with him. Can I tell you how much more productive I was for the remainder of my day?! If I hadn't been able to make that connection with my son, my state of mind would not have allowed me to be as fully immersed as I was in the task at hand for the day. Not only was I productive, but I was completely loyal to my employer. They got the best of me when I was there.
Being able to have paid maternity leave and being able to breastfeed at work gave our family a wonderful start! The benefits of that to society cannot be measured, but they can surely be felt.