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Work After Baby: The Difference is Our People

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The editors at Human Resources MBA Degree Guide decided to research the topic of:

Work After Baby

62% of American women are employed after childbirth

- 65.9% of women report working through their pregnancy
- 70.6% take maternity leave
- 29.4% of women do not take any maternity leave at all.

Employers are not required to pay women on maternity leave

- This is 100% up to the employer and not mandated by the US government
- 33.1% do not have any portion of their leave paid
- only 24.9% report being paid for 2+ months

The US is one of three countries that does not offer paid maternity leave benefits.

- The other two countries are Papua New Guinea and Swaziland paid/compensated leave:
- Pakistan- up to 12 weeks
- France- up to 16 weeks
- Norway- up to 44 weeks
- Canada- up to 50 weeks
- US- 0 weeks

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, American mothers are offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave and only for companies with over 50 employees.

- 11% of private sector workers and
- 17% of public workers reported that they had access to paid maternity
- 42% of the population is not eligible for leave under FMLA

A 2011 study published by the Journal of Family Psychology looked at 1300 mothers in the US. Of the working moms

- fewer reported symptoms of depression
- working moms were more likely to rate their overall health "excellent"
- working mothers also reported being just as involved in their child's schooling and development

Many stay-at-home moms who have left the workplace to care for their child report feeling

- trapped
- guilty or selfish for wanting to get back to work
- not cut out for motherhood
- resentment for spouse and/or baby for "taking their work from them"
- "I blamed myself for not instantly loving all the parts of motherhood." -New stay-at-home mom after her first child

The choice for mothers to work or not should be up to the individual.

Onsite daycares

- Works like any other daycare, but on the office's campus. During breaks, parents may come down and spend time with their children
- improves employee morale
- lowers absenteeism
- decreases turnover
- improves productivity and focus for parents, knowing their children are closeby
- women who take shorter maternity leaves can still breastfeed their babies

More than 80 companies across the US now allow babies in their offices.

The T3 advertising firm in Austin actually allows new moms and dads to bring their babies to work.

- 50 babies have spent their infancy beside mom or dad in the office in 2008
- new parents are offered private offices
- allowed to bring them every day until the child is mobile

The number of companies allowing babies in the office has jumped from 22% to 29% between 2006 and 2009


However, many people are skeptical for obvious reasons

- for parents who just want to spend time with their baby rather than work
- for coworkers who would do the same
- and especially coworkers who are unhappy because of a gurgling baby in the background
- meetings and business trips can be compromised
- some people have no heart and don't like babies