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This is Why Paid Maternal Leave is Only Right

With politics currently influencing the overwhelming amount of conversations amongst Americans due to the presidential race, an issue that has constituents and candidates split is whether paid maternal leave should be implemented. 


Most employers allow their female employees some sort of maternal leave.

But the problem is that usually they are not given nearly enough time to birth and then begin to raise their child. Mothers should not be rushed back to work so soon after birthing their baby–the postpartum period is a critical time of adjustment and recuperation that is needed by both the baby and the mother.

There are two basic types of leaves of absence that employers offer: family leave and maternal leave. Typically, family leave is about 12 weeks long while maternal leave is six to eight weeks long depending on the birthing method (vaginal versus C-section). Pregnant employees can usually take their leave as soon as they want, but it still is only 12, 6 or 8 weeks regardless of how early on it is taken in the pregnancy. 

Here is the problem with what I and many Americans consider to be a pretty strict maternal leave policy in the majority of our businesses: It is not enough time. 

Especially in the case that both the father and mother are working individuals—as is seen exceedingly more and more as we shatter the glass ceiling of women working in our society—having a parent present to raise a child is completely essential to the mental health of both the child and the parents. It has been reported that many mothers and even fathers show signs of depression after having to return back to work so shortly after the birth of their child. 

Beyond merely the emotional argument to the case of maternity level is something even more simple: biology. 

Women are biologically built to have children–it is beyond our control that we are the gender that bares a child and must take time off of work in order to give birth to it.  It is beyond our control that we have to take at least a month and a half off of work, although it should be more like three, and most likely lose those paychecks because most employers in America do not see the need to pay their pregnant employees despite the fact that they are performing the miracle of life. I don’t know how else to argue this side of the fight for paid maternal leave; it just makes sense.  
I do foresee change coming soon for pregnant women and families in America, but there are still far too many people who do not recognize the importance of an appropriately lengthy paid maternal leave. 
Junior at Cal Poly, SLO. Co-Campus Correspondent. Lover of dogs and laughter. Music Enthusiast.