Bringing a new child into your family can be stressful physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. It is common for new mothers to spend at least six weeks at home after giving birth to spend time with the new baby and to make necessary adjustments in her life. In some cases, the father also spends at least a few weeks at home with the family. However, many people say that this is simply not enough, and these are some of the many improvements that expectant or new parents say are needed in the business world.
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Longer Standard Maternity Leave
In some countries, it is common for the mother or for both parents to be granted between six months to a year or more of time away from work. In some cases, parents may even be urged to take this time off, and there is no negative effect on their work record for doing so. The difference between the standard six weeks in the United States currently and several months or longer can make a staggering difference to families with a young child.
Additional Maternity Leave for Special Situations
Not all births go as planned. In some cases, the mother, the baby or both are injured in some way because of the delivery. Some people believe that additional maternity leave should be offered for these special situations. This will allow the mother time to heal or to better care for your injured child.
Fully Paid Leave
While being granted time off of work is beneficial, many parents feel forced to return to work earlier for financial reasons. They simply cannot afford to tackle the increased expenses associated with the baby while not having their full income to live on. In some countries, one or both parents receive paid maternity leave of up to six months or longer.
The Possibility for a Part-Time Transition Period
Another thoughtful way to improve the maternity leave experience for new parents is to offer a transition period as they return to work. The ability to work part-time hours in the office or to telecommute as needed can be beneficial. This is because it can help the parent to adjust to being a working parent, to better handle frequent doctor appointments and more.
If you are preparing to have a child, it is important to understand what your company’s policies currently are and what the law says about maternity leave. You may also talk to your employer about special situations that arise to determine if exceptions to company policy can be made if needed.