Maternity Leave | Fit Pregnancy

Maternity Leave

Down time

Americans have long considered maternity leave as a nice little rest before childbirth and a period for bonding afterward. But studies now show it can reduce health risks for both mother and baby. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that women who started their leave in the last month of pregnancy were four times less likely to have a Cesarean section compared to those who worked until the last minute.

Rethinking Maternity Leave

Facing a tough economic situation across the U.S. and rising unemployment, more and more women are growing afraid of taking maternity leave, ABC News reports. Although it's illegal to fire a worker because she's pregnant and opting for some time off, it can be difficult to document that you were let go because you're expecting, which stirs worries in many women.

Three signs it’s time to stop working

1. You’re losing steam in the middle of the day. Sleepless nights are affecting your daytime performance and causing you to be sluggish, grouchy or forgetful. Plus, you find yourself stressing about all the neglected preparations waiting for you at home.

2. Sitting and standing are uncomfortable. Backaches, swollen legs and feet, and breathlessness are signs that you need more horizontal time, especially if your job requires spending a lot of time on your feet.

The Working Woman's Guide to Pregnancy

You’re not quite ready to divulge your happy news, but explaining away your exhaustion and frequent bathroom trips is getting tricky. Or you’re uncertain what sort of maternity leave you’re entitled to and, more importantly, how much of it is paid. These are just a few of the common scenarios you’ll need to tackle as you navigate the next nine months on the job. Our detailed guide will see you through.

Your Guide to Having a Baby on a Budget

Rising food costs. Housing messes. Credit crunches. Bank collapses. Government bailouts. The sagging stock market. If it seems like the only positive news lately has been the tiny plus-sign in the window of your pregnancy test kit, we don’t blame you. If you’re like most new or expecting parents, you’re probably wondering how, exactly, you can afford to raise your baby, particularly if you live in an expensive city.

Want to Stay Home?

In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the first significant decline in the number of new mothers in the labor force. If you, too, are thinking of not returning to work but aren’t sure if you and your partner can swing it on one salary, these 10 tips can help you make that dream a reality.

The Working Woman's Guide To Pregnancy

You’re pregnant, at work and trying to focus on the tasks at hand, but little thoughts keep creeping in. Is my job dangerous to my baby? Should I keep working or stay at home?

While facing possibly the most exciting event of your life, you’re also contending with new limitations, major decisions and issues that concern your identity, job and home life.

Here, leading work/family experts offer advice to help guide you through such issues as deciding whether to return to work, negotiating your maternity leave, staying fit and healthy and simply surviving the workday.

Maternity Leave Benefits Babies, Moms

How long will your maternity leave be? Your answer might depend on whether or not your pregnancy was planned, says new research from the University of Maryland, finding that women with unintended pregnancies return to work sooner than those with intended pregnancies.

U.S. Maternity Benefits Lag

If you're getting paid while on maternity leave, consider yourself lucky: Out of 173 countries worldwide, the United States is one of only five that don't guarantee paid leave to give birth and care for a newborn, according to a study by researchers at Harvard and McGill universities.

"It's dramatically striking that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world," says lead researcher Jody Heymann, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill in Montreal, Quebec. "Every industrialized country offers paid leave. So can the United States."