Posts Tagged ‘maternity leave’

Working during pregnancy

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

It comes as no surprise to know that many women work during pregnancy. Some women work right up until their due date, or close to it. One of the first things many women think about is when to share the big news with their boss and coworkers. Here are some other things to think about as a working mom to-be:

  • Your safety. It’s important to stay healthy and safe at work, especially during pregnancy. If you work with chemicals or have to lift or carry heavy things, talk to your boss about changing your job responsibilities. Standing all day or working with things like pesticides or radiation may put your health and your baby’s health at risk.
  • Time away from work for prenatal care checkups. Prenatal care is medical care you get during pregnancy. Going to all your prenatal care checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. At the beginning of pregnancy, you get a prenatal checkup once a month (every 4 weeks). Later in pregnancy you go for checkups more often. Talk to your boss about flex time or how to make up the time you miss from work.
  • Planning your maternity leave. Maternity leave is time you take off from work when you have a baby. When planning your maternity leave, think about a start date and how long you plan on staying home after your baby is born. Talk to your boss or human resources department about maternity leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (also called FMLA), employees can take time off without pay (up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year) for pregnancy- and family-related health issues. Find out how this works as part of maternity leave. Pregnancy, labor and birth go smoothly for most women. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, especially if you have pregnancy complications. If this happens, you may need to adjust the timing of your leave.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says that employers can’t discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or other related health conditions. If you’re pregnant or affected by pregnancy-related conditions, your employer has to treat you just like any other employee with a similar condition.

Pregnancy should never be the cause of a woman being discriminated against, denied opportunity, treated unfairly or compensated less. Supporting healthy pregnancies is critical to reducing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality (death). March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies and works with government, employers and health care providers to make positive changes for every mom and every baby.

To learn more visit: marchofdimes.org

Thinking about maternity leave

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

pregnant woman with ipadHave you heard that Netflix is offering unlimited paid parental leave to their employees? During their first year as new parents, Netflix employees can take as much time off as they choose while still earning their normal salary. This is really an amazing policy. If you’re working and pregnant, you probably have thought a lot about maternity leave. Over the past 30 years, the participation rate in the labor force of women with children under age 3 has risen from 34.3% in 1975 to 60.9% in 2011. Half of all mothers work during pregnancy and return to work after their baby is born. And among women who worked during their pregnancy between 2005 and 2007, 58.6% returned to work 3 months after giving birth and 72.9% returned to work 6 months after giving birth. It is important to know what options are available to you so that you can plan ahead.

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees can take time off from work without pay for pregnancy- and family-related health issues. The act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that you can keep your health insurance benefits during the leave. To qualify, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months, and worked at a location where the company has 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

In addition to the FMLA leave, your employer may have its own maternity leave policies. Talk to your boss or someone from human resources (also called HR). Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Does your employer offer paid maternity leave? Some employers offer paid time off for the birth of your baby. Talk with someone from HR to find out if you have paid maternity leave.
  • Does your health insurance continue while you’re on maternity leave? If you get your health insurance through your employer, your HR person can tell you about what your insurance plan covers. You may need to change your health plan after your baby’s born to make sure he’s covered, too.
  • Does your employer offer flex time or telecommuting for when you’re ready to go back to work? For example, can you work fewer hours each week or work from home at the beginning? And then increase your hours or your time in the office little by little over a few weeks?
  • Are there other programs or services that your employer offers to new moms? If you’re breastfeeding, find out if your employer has a lactation room. This is a private space (not a bathroom) that you can use to pump breast milk. Employers with more than 50 employees must provide this space for breastfeeding moms.

Finally, choosing a child care provider that works best for you can be tough. Try to explore your options and finalize your plans before your baby arrives.  If you can organize childcare before you deliver, it will make your time at home with your baby more relaxing and enjoyable.

March of Dimes on Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies list

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Does your company have a good maternity policy?  How about paternity leave?  Although we’ve only been on Working Mother Media’s 100 Best Companies for two years, the March of Dimes has a long history of influencing women’s ability to balance work and life.

“The March of Dimes is honored to be part of this 25th Anniversary and the fact that a nonprofit with limited resources can make this prestigious list two years in a row shows that any company truly dedicated to supporting mothers, families and healthy childbearing can make a difference for its employees,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “Throughout the years, March of Dimes has recommended – and offered – policies and benefits that promote the health of babies and mothers.”

Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media said, “We are pleased to count March of Dimes as one of the 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies. Employees care deeply about the work they do at this nonprofit, which supports preconception and prenatal care and baby health. To honor fathers’ participation in their infants’ lives, March of Dimes increased paid paternity leave last year from one week to two, while mothers can take 26 job-guaranteed weeks off after the birth of a child, with six at full pay.”

We are so pleased to be included for a second time on this list and would love to see many other companies follow the standards set by Working Mother.  Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at workingmother.com.

Not taking all your maternity leave?

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

pregnant-woman1If you’re working and pregnant, you probably have thought a lot about maternity leave.  It used to be that meant stopping work all together until you went back to the office, if you went back to the office.  Not necessarily so today.  I read a recent survey that says only 56% of women surveyed took their full maternity leave and 33% stayed involved with work while they were out.  Aren’t we busy!

Many of us are returning to work or school after pregnancy.   It may be fulfilling personally, supportive financially, or invigorating intellectually, but it’s a juggling act and isn’t easy for most of us.

Choosing a child care provider that works best for you can be tough and may slow the return to work process.  Read our information for some helpful suggestions.  Talk things over with your partner now and make advanced plans for your maternity leave and return to work.  If you can, look into and select child care options before your baby arrives.  If you can set that up before you deliver, it will make your time at home with your baby more relaxing and enjoyable.  You’ll be amazed at how fast the weeks go by and how soon the office beckons.

Choosing a child care provider

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

My neighbor, Maddie, is adorable and I love her to pieces.  She is 28 and eight months pregnant.  She has a fulltime job and really enjoys her work as a graphic artist and she is great at what she does.  She is planning on going back to work when her baby is about three months old.  Her husband is going to take family leave for three months after Maddie’s three months of maternity leave.  It’s after that that concerns them both.

Maddie and her husband have been talking about finding good child care for the baby and, as they are finding out, it’s not an easy thing to do.  They have been considering in-home care with an au pair or a nanny, family child care in someone else’s home, and day care in a local center.  Are you in a similar situation? We have written some things to consider when choosing a child care provider.  Do you have other suggestions I can pass on to them?

Juggling work and breastfeeding

Monday, January 12th, 2009

breastfeedingA recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, examined the relationship between successful establishment and continuation of breastfeeding between mothers who stay at home and mothers who return to work.  The study reviewed 770 full-time working mothers in the state of California over the period of a year and a half.  It was determined that women whose maternity leaves were equal to or less than six weeks were four times more likely to fail at establishing breastfeeding and were more likely to stop already established breastfeeding before six months than women who did not return to work.  Those whose maternity leave was 6-12 weeks were twice as likely to discontinue breastfeeding.  These results were most noticeable among women whose positions were not in management, lacked job flexibility or experienced psychosocial distress.

The conclusion of the authors is that postpartum maternity leave may have a positive effect on breastfeeding.  They believe that pediatricians should encourage patients to take maternity leave and advocate especially for extended paid postpartum leave and flexibility in working conditions for breastfeeding women.

Read about Breastfeeding: strategies for success, review our picture guide, and previous post on working and breastfeeding.  Since breastmilk is the best food for most babies during the first year of life, lets encourage employers to support it.

(Pediatrics 2009;123:e38-e46)

Working right up to the big day

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Two days in a row now I’ve been asked by separate people when I plan to work up until. This struck me as odd. I plan to work right up until I deliver, of course. What other option is there? I’m due the end of February and I’m a first time mom. This little one could very well have a March birthday. I’m not about to take off around the time of my due date, sit at home and wait for something to happen. I’d go crazy. What did you do or plan to do?