I am not in the States, but I've been around MDC long enough and have participated in two DDCs now so I'm aware of the disrepancies between our maternity leave here in Canada and in the States. I am outraged!!! I cannot believe it!!!
Here, we get ONE year of parental leave protected and covered by EI. Many employers will also cover your salary, or part of your salary, for a portion of that leave. The parental leave is also sharable between partners (and partners here can mean either different-sex or same-sex couples). This has impact on so many aspects: daycare is not an issue for most families for the first 12 months, financial strain is reduced by alot, and breastfeeding is much easier when you don't have to go to work!
I truly feel that this is one of the reasons why there is a much higher rate of breastfeeding (no stats to prove this, I'm just going by what I see here on MDC) and that breastfeeding is essentially socially accepted anywhere. The closest I've ever been to a "bad" experience was when I was nursing DD on a bench at the art museum. r A security gard watched me for a few minutes before approaching me. I was sure I'd get in trouble for being so "public". But when he came up to me, he smiled and said: "I can't imagine that bench being very confortable....we have sofas around the corner, why don't you go there!"
Anyway.... I'm a bit off topic, but, if I was in the States, I'd be totally angry at the mat leave situation!
ETA: I hope I don't sound too preachy or give the impression that things here are perfect...they are not and we have issues here too. It's just that I can't wrap my head around why the US cannot have a sustainable country wide parental leave program! I do feel it's not the end-all solution but that it is a viable solution to many issues brought up here!