What Wealthy Country Do You Think Offers The Worst Maternity Benefits? Hint: It Starts With ‘A’ And Ends with ‘Merica’

This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. In a country where we like to talk about 'family values' and what's 'good for the children' we don't seem to put our money where are mouths are.   What's more pro-family than paid maternity leave? I know a few working mothers from my time in the UK and it's totally accepted that they will   be able to take have a leave of absence for at least the first six months of their child's life. Some of them take unpaid leave to have a little longer at home.   The benefits to society seem so obvious to me: 1) Mom can have time at home to bond with and nurture her new child thereby setting the stage for the child's healthy development 2) It's easier for the mother to hold onto her job and re-enter the workforce, thus making   her more productive from an economic perspective 3) Less financial pressure on the family.

One thing the U.S. does get right is allowing fathers to take family leave.   A few couples I know managed to tag-team it; mom takes maternity leave first and then dad avails himself of family leave, which can add up to several months between the two parents.

All that said, Canada is totally leaving us in the dust. 50 weeks?!   Holy wow! That's a REAL reason to threaten to move to Canada, as far as I'm concerned.