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Old 05-13-2008, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Comparative rates of paid maternity leave:
http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfe...shots_20080507

This is why we (in the U.S.) aren't breastfeeding. Or at least a big piece of the pie.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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Our maternity leave is simply disgraceful. Sad thing is some people think it's normal and just assume Amrica has the best of everything.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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Yup. It's sad.
I'm 6 months pregnant and working on budgeting and planning for my upcoming maternity leave. It's hard. Especially since I carry our family benefits. Even though I get paid very well and I work in a state that has paid short term disability for 6 weeks following birth, it's tough. I can't imagine how single mothers or mothers who make much less than I do it.

I definitely feel lucky that I had MDC and other resources when returning to work after having DS. I was able to make pumping and nursing work for us for 2.5 years. I hope to again this time. But there are far too many mamas out there with no support and no access to a place like this.

modern-mama to DS (5.16.05) and DD (9.11.08) and one more (GIRL!) coming in December
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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I used up a lifetime (well 8 working years) of savings to stay off work and pay for health insurance until dd was almost 7 months old. I am lucky to have been able to do this. I am a teacher and had a job waiting for me when I went back. Most people aren't so lucky.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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Actually, I'll be the voice of dissent. It doesn't help, and I think it's a huge problem for women who have to go back within the first couple of weeks, but the UK's breastfeeding rates are just as bad and we have 9 months paid.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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Old 05-13-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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Breastfeeding duration increased by a full month on average when the maternity leave increased to a full year in Canada.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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Actually, I'll be the voice of dissent. It doesn't help, and I think it's a huge problem for women who have to go back within the first couple of weeks, but the UK's breastfeeding rates are just as bad and we have 9 months paid.
I think it depends on the country. Norway has good maternity (and paternity!) leave along with a national campaign to promote breastfeeding. I believe their initiation rate is near 100%. Over there it's almost embarassing to bring out a bottle (or at least that's what some say).

Not trying to stereotype an entire group, but I go to another baby/mothering site with plenty of UKers, and a lot of them consider it more of a choice rather than the norm. I think England and U.S. could use a massive breastfeeding campaign like in Norway.

ETA: While I don't think maternity leave is the only factor, I think it's a big one. I wouldn't be surprised if some women in the U.S. wonder what the point is of breastfeeding only 3 months then having to wean b/c they're going back to work or having to deal with a pump which doesn't work for everybody. Not to mention some employers may have a problem with women pumping esp. if mom is an hourly worker.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Breastfeeding duration increased by a full month on average when the maternity leave increased to a full year in Canada.
do you have a reference for this? I'm not challenging it - I'd just lot to have a link or reference to pass along to others! I was wondering what would happen, but didn't realize that any study or research actually had looked into it yet.

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(who missed out on the one-year leaves)
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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do you have a reference for this? I'm not challenging it - I'd just lot to have a link or reference to pass along to others! I was wondering what would happen, but didn't realize that any study or research actually had looked into it yet.

Janice
(who missed out on the one-year leaves)
Sorry, I don't have the original study handy, but I do have the CBC news story: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/...eed-leave.html

(not the best reference, but a start! )
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Our maternity leave is simply disgraceful. Sad thing is some people think it's normal and just assume Amrica has the best of everything.
Agree. Totally. I'm purposely entering into a field where I make my own hours for the most part (as is DH) and this is one reason why. My Mom got 8 weeks with me (C-section) and 6 with my sister (VBAC). She said she cried and cried each time, that it wasn't enough (Though amazingly my mama nursed us both past one year almost exculsively, she would come see us at my grandma's during lunch and right after school let out [she was/is a teacher] to nurse us. During school days we would have one bottle (when my mom couldn't get out) but that was all.

But anyway, it bothers me that we Americans tend to assume "The US is the best country in the world" and it never occurs to us, to demand things like longer materity leave, more vacation time, etc. The US is NOT a very "family freindly" country, and honestly though I love many things about this country, if I had a choice, I would prefer not to raise children here.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Agree. Totally. I'm purposely entering into a field where I make my own hours for the most part (as is DH) and this is one reason why. My Mom got 8 weeks with me (C-section) and 6 with my sister (VBAC). She said she cried and cried each time, that it wasn't enough (Though amazingly my mama nursed us both past one year almost exculsively, she would come see us at my grandma's during lunch and right after school let out [she was/is a teacher] to nurse us. During school days we would have one bottle (when my mom couldn't get out) but that was all.

But anyway, it bothers me that we Americans tend to assume "The US is the best country in the world" and it never occurs to us, to demand things like longer materity leave, more vacation time, etc. The US is NOT a very "family freindly" country, and honestly though I love many things about this country, if I had a choice, I would prefer not to raise children here.
Ditto, to both. I'm thinking of working at home even if it means starting my own business and horrible maternity leave is one reason. From what I understand, that 6-8 weeks you get is only for physical healing and doesn't take into account how that could affect bonding with baby. I couldn't imagine having to go back to work weeks after giving birth. I just wouldn't be able to be the mom I'd want to be.

I wouldn't mind automatic pay raises for men when mom has a baby (to make it easier for her to stay at home if she wants and to pay for the super expensive family insurance). Or paid maternity leave. Or perhaps paying housewives for their work like what sometimes happens in Venezuela. Something has to change!!!

See, that's another thing. I bet part of the reason that we don't ask for more rights is because we're afraid of socialism. Okay, let's not have paid maternity leave because Socialists in Europe have them, etc. I just think we need to fight for our rights even if that means *gasp* labor unions.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Actually, I'll be the voice of dissent. It doesn't help, and I think it's a huge problem for women who have to go back within the first couple of weeks, but the UK's breastfeeding rates are just as bad and we have 9 months paid.
I know. They claim to support Bfing but I am a civil servant, yes, employed by the GOVERNMENT but I am not entitled to pumping breaks while I work. Go figure. We really need proper laws on pumping/employment and on NIP.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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It honestly makes me feel sick to my stomach to think of women being forced back to work so soon after birth. I had a rather traumatic and troublesome birth experience, plus breastfeeding problems, and I couldn't function normally let alone manage my life properly for 6+ months. Even moms making $8/hour at Mcdonalds here can take their year of leave, and between their maternity pay and the "baby bonus" money we get from the government, they can make a significant portion of their typical wages.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:00 AM
 
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It honestly makes me feel sick to my stomach to think of women being forced back to work so soon after birth. I had a rather traumatic and troublesome birth experience, plus breastfeeding problems, and I couldn't function normally let alone manage my life properly for 6+ months. Even moms making $8/hour at Mcdonalds here can take their year of leave, and between their maternity pay and the "baby bonus" money we get from the government, they can make a significant portion of their typical wages.
There's maternity pay at McDonald's? If so, great. They definitely don't have that at my job.

Question- How do we solve this problem??? How do we get the maternity leave we deserve?
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:27 AM
 
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"I wouldn't mind automatic pay raises for men when mom has a baby (to make it easier for her to stay at home if she wants and to pay for the super expensive family insurance). "

I'm all for figuring out a way to extend maternity leave coverage........but THIS is not an acceptable solution, IMO. Working women, and some of us work because we want to, have a hard enough time w/competitive wages with our male counterparts. This would give a legal reason to pay men more........unacceptable. While it would benefit the family at home it would punish every working woman who did not want to stay home.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:29 AM
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Australia is not on that list but I heard that they have a year paid mat leave in some circumstances.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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"I wouldn't mind automatic pay raises for men when mom has a baby (to make it easier for her to stay at home if she wants and to pay for the super expensive family insurance). "

I'm all for figuring out a way to extend maternity leave coverage........but THIS is not an acceptable solution, IMO. Working women, and some of us work because we want to, have a hard enough time w/competitive wages with our male counterparts. This would give a legal reason to pay men more........unacceptable. While it would benefit the family at home it would punish every working woman who did not want to stay home.
: It reminds me too much of the paying men "because they have families to support thing" I do agree that we have to do SOMETHING though, but I think focusing on (more) paid time off for parents of both sexes would be a better option, or maybe some type of monetary "bonus", but perhaps from the government and not one's employer, and for both sexes.
One problem with this is, in the US we're having a lot of babies, our population is increasing, so the government doesn't feel a need to offer us incentives to have children like other countries do, because we're already having them without. I'm not suggesting Americans go on a baby strike, but I do think we need to be more vocal that certain things are necessities and not luxuries.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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There's maternity pay at McDonald's? If so, great. They definitely don't have that at my job.

Question- How do we solve this problem??? How do we get the maternity leave we deserve?
It's all the government. McDonald's doesn't pay anyone's maternity leave - maternity leave is paid for by the government, although some employers will "top-up" your pay in some way (because we only get 55% of our previous gross pay, to a certain maximum, pre-tax).

All employees have the right to their mat leave without penalty, so you have the right to return to the same job when your mat leave is done. Mat leave income comes from the government, with a possible top-up from your employer (if they're a super employer).

It's actually called parental leave and adoptive parents get it too - and in any case (birth or adoption) it can be shared by either parent, so for example, I could take 9 months off and my husband could take the last 3 - or we could take some parental leave at the same time and overlap it.

How do you solve this problem? Demand change from your government!

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Old 05-30-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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Question- How do we solve this problem??? How do we get the maternity leave we deserve?
Convince enough of the right people that women and children's health is more important than the almighty dollar.

Casey, wife to Danny, mom to Olive : and Darcy : .
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Actually, I'll be the voice of dissent. It doesn't help, and I think it's a huge problem for women who have to go back within the first couple of weeks, but the UK's breastfeeding rates are just as bad and we have 9 months paid.
The UK has other issues in breastfeeding. I understand the support system really sucks there. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old 05-30-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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I don't think the graph is accurate. It shows Canada as having less than 20 weeks we actually have a year. I wonder if it's accurate for the other countries too.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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Just to be clear about how it works in Canada -
there are two seperate aspects involved:

1. ) Job protection - ie Maternity Leave

Each province's Labour Code provides moms with a maternity leave. That is, they have the right to take time off of work, and their job must be saved for them, and they can return to the same job or else their employer must provide them with a similar job. I beleive this is one year in all provinces. So it doesn't matter what job you have, or how long you have worked there - you qualify for this protection if you had a baby. This part does NOT pay you any money - this just saves your job for you. How you are going to support yourself is seperate matter. (of course, this job protection means nothing to someone self employer).

2.) Financial Support - ie Maternity Benefits.

Federally, through our employment insurance system, some mothers are eligible for maternity benefits (ie money) to support them while they are not working. All employees and employers pay into the employment insurance fund. A mom (or dad) who has had a baby (or adopts) applies for benefits from this fund (just like if they became unemployed) but they obviously don't have to look for work during this period.

The federal gov't will pay 55% of their normal wage. But to qualify, they do have to have worked a certain number of hours in the previous X number of weeks before having the baby, to get the full 55% (they may get less or nothing, if they didn't work enough beforehand). So an unemployed mom (or SAHM) gets nothing. Also a self-employed gets nothing, orcontract worker may get nothing, since they may not have been paying into the fund beforehand. It doesn't matter that I worked for 10 years and paid into the fund, but am now a SAHM - if I didn't work in the past 12 months after I had baby #1, I don't get benefits after having baby #2.

Some employers will "top-up" the 55%, to 80 or 90%, as a benefit - I would think these are just "top" employers. Some moms cannot afford to stay home, even at 55% if they have big mortgages etc, and will go back to work early.

Our maternity benefit period is currently one year, it used to be 6 months. Also, moms continue to earn holiday pay, so that can add on another 3 weeks.


It seems to me, in the US, there is very limited maternity leave protection (6-8 weeks) and NO maternity benefits paid, by the gov't or by employers.


Our systems is better, but not perfect either. That McDonald's worker that we are talking about, will not get much or any monetary benefit if they had only worked for a short time prior to giving birth, or worked part time with limited hours.


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Old 05-30-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I don't think the graph is accurate. It shows Canada as having less than 20 weeks we actually have a year. I wonder if it's accurate for the other countries too.
I don't have this all memorized, but I think that shows up on the chart that way, because we have 2 different words (categories).

Maternity leave (and maternity benefits) are only available to the mom - is this the time she needs to recover from childbirth. It is ONLY available to the mom. After that period, she qualifies for PARENTAL benefits - to fill up the rest of the year. But actually either the mother OR the father can take the Parental Leave (and qualify for parental benefits) - they decide what is best for thier family. So SOMEONE is home with baby for one year, but it doesn't have to be mom - although in many families it is the mom.

Dads also are entitled to one week Paternity leave - but no federal benefits, I think.

I may not have this all straight, but it is something like that.

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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I don't think the graph is accurate. It shows Canada as having less than 20 weeks we actually have a year. I wonder if it's accurate for the other countries too.
If you read the graph carefully, it says Share of Leave Paid (FTE*).

FTE* = Full-time equivalent leave in weeks, as if the claimant were to receive 100% of average earnings.

In Canada you receive 55% of your gross earnings (to a maximum of 55% of $40,000 per year - WAY too low!), before income taxes. The graph seems fine.

Sure, it's not perfect (I think the max benefit is set way too low), but it is intended to partially replace the income from the job you are leaving... so it makes sense that a SAHM wouldn't get it, and it makes sense that you have to be at your job for a minimum amount of time to qualify.

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Old 05-30-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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"I wouldn't mind automatic pay raises for men when mom has a baby (to make it easier for her to stay at home if she wants and to pay for the super expensive family insurance). "

I'm all for figuring out a way to extend maternity leave coverage........but THIS is not an acceptable solution, IMO. Working women, and some of us work because we want to, have a hard enough time w/competitive wages with our male counterparts. This would give a legal reason to pay men more........unacceptable. While it would benefit the family at home it would punish every working woman who did not want to stay home.
Ok, I was just brainstorming.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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It's all the government. McDonald's doesn't pay anyone's maternity leave - maternity leave is paid for by the government, although some employers will "top-up" your pay in some way (because we only get 55% of our previous gross pay, to a certain maximum, pre-tax).

All employees have the right to their mat leave without penalty, so you have the right to return to the same job when your mat leave is done. Mat leave income comes from the government, with a possible top-up from your employer (if they're a super employer).

It's actually called parental leave and adoptive parents get it too - and in any case (birth or adoption) it can be shared by either parent, so for example, I could take 9 months off and my husband could take the last 3 - or we could take some parental leave at the same time and overlap it.

How do you solve this problem? Demand change from your government!
I'm gonna look in my job manual, to see what kind of benefits I may have except 6-8 weeks off. I doubt I'll have pay, even though I work for a filthy rich 4 diamond casino.

I've written to the gov't several times about other issues, and I've started to feel a bit tired of it and exasperated. In the end, I never felt like I accomplished anything.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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The UK has other issues in breastfeeding. I understand the support system really sucks there. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Yep. That's my point, though; maternity leave is only part of the problem. If you don't solve the other issues, it doesn't matter, because women have already stopped breastfeeding early on.

The support here is poor and there's a real problem with midwives and health visitors who haven't had their training updated in decades.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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