{new post} After, #babies should she stay or should she go?

The fact that the US is the only developed country in the world to not offer paid maternity leave as part of federal policy will come as no surprise to new moms. What this means in reality is that whether or not you, as an employee, will receive any kind of paid leave when you have your baby is up to your employer. Federal law does allow that you can take up to three months off from your job but this time is usually unpaid. Could our lack of paid maternity leave be one of the reasons that more and more women are not working or choosing not to work?

A recent piece in The New York Times posits that the answer to this is a resounding yes. Add in the fact that even "choice" employers in our area (Duke, UNC among them) seldom offer childcare, flexible work schedules, the option to job share or moving from a full-time job to a part time one, and you can see why some women might choose not to work at all after the baby, especially if they weren't passionate about their job anyway. 

{Anecdotally, this departure from the workforce is something that I see in happening in real time with clients, other moms, and of course, myself..}

I think this dialogue about women and work is a really important one because it calls attention to the real issue: why a country as rich in resources as our own chooses not to provide the emotional and physical safety net of maternity leave for new moms and their families. It also refocuses away from the perpetually popular topic of "mommy wars" that the media can't seem to let go of.

What do you think? If you're a mom with a child/children, did you go back to work after baby? Or if you didn't, why not? And if you're pregnant, what are your plans regarding work? Share with me below and leave a comment.