The Family Medical & Leave Act currently allows parents up to 12 weeks leave from their jobs in cases such as pregnancy.
However, its terms cover just 40% of the workforce, and does not mandate employers pay you in your absence. A guarantee of paid leave would help both parents and their children, providing benefits that last a lifetime.
Not only does maternity leave increase rates of regular medical care and breastfeeding, it gives parents the chance to bond with their babies, recover from birth, and provide stability and loving care a newborn needs to thrive. Studies show paid leave lowers rates of infant mortality and boosts parent’s mental health.
A few states provide funds to assist working parents in those first few weeks (New Jersey being one), but a guaranteed policy for paid family leave should be enacted to give all our children the best chance at a bright future.