Advocating for Mothers

In celebration of Mother’s Day, HML has 3 easy ways to advocate for mothers in the workplace.

Advocating refers to supporting someone when they need help or trying to find a solution when someone has a problem. You likely advocate for other people often in your daily life, yet you may not think of it as advocating.

Mother’s Day was Sunday, May 10 this year and Her Modern Life wanted to take some time to truly celebrate moms. What would make their lives easier? What would show them they are valued? What would show them they are appreciated? People advocating for them!

  1. Better healthcare – Approximately 700 women die annually in the United States from pregnancy-related complications. Among pregnancy-related deaths for which timing was known, 31.3% deaths occurred during pregnancy, 16.9% on the day of delivery, 18.6% on days 1–6 postpartum, 21.4% on days 7–42 postpartum, and 11.7% on days 43–365 postpartum. Leading causes of death varied by timing relative to the end of pregnancy. Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths were preventable. Contributing factors can be categorized at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels. Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, demonstrating the need to identify and implement strategies to address the multiple contributing factors.

2. Free childcare – According to Child Care Aware of America’s 2017 report, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, child care is one of the biggest items in families’ monthly budgets. It is often higher than the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation, or food. Families across the country know that it can be hard to find quality child care that is affordable. High-quality child care programs may cost more than other options. But when children are in a quality child care program they are able to develop, explore, and grow. A safe and nurturing early learning environment allows children to get ready for school, and allows their parents to focus on work or school knowing that their child is in a healthy, caring environment.

3. Paid maternity leave – The U.S. does not have a standard maternity leave length. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 60% of employers give 12 weeks of maternity leave; 33% give more than 12 weeks. However, that includes paid and unpaid leave. Only 58% of companies pay a salary or wage during some or all of maternity leave, according to the study. Most American women receive no pay during their maternity leave and instead rely on federal parental leave law (called the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA) to protect their job for up to 12 weeks after childbirth or adoption. This essentially means that the woman is entitled to return to her position after a period of medical leave or absence without penalty in pay or position. 


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