In this country, 1 in 4 moms returns to work just 10 days after childbirth, according to the non-profit PL+US, which advocates for paid family leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act requires 12 weeks of guaranteed leave for maternity, paternity, adoption and medical caregiving, but there is no law requiring employers to offer any pay.
In fact, the U.S. is the only country among 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents, according to the Pew Research center based on data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
There are several different types of leave available to new parents:
• Maternity leave for mothers after a baby is born or adopted.
• Paternity leave for fathers around the same time.
• Parental leave, which is typically available after maternity or paternity leave.
Just a handful of states, including California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York, have adopted a paid family and medical leave policy. (Earlier this year, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal included six weeks’ leave for new mothers and fathers, including those who adopt.)
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Work constraints are one of the reasons women cite for postponing children and having fewer kids overall. Women are having an average of 1.8 kids today, down from 3.7 in 1960, according to the Census Bureau.
And, for the first time ever, women in their 30s are having more children than those in their 20s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.