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Mommy Monday: Paid maternity leave

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It’s certainly a time to celebrate but pregnancy is also a time to plan. Especially for those first few months after you give birth. When it comes to maternity leave it’s a mixed bag. Federal law only requires employers to give you unpaid leave. In fact only 47% of the women taking maternity leave were paid compared to 70% of the men according to a recent Ohio State study. But there are other financial options you can consider.

Ilenia Colon loved the first several months she had with her new baby. She was lucky she had a 15-week paid maternity leave.

“I was very happy to not have to go to work and to not worry about finances.” Colon explained to Ivanhoe.

Amy DaCosta wasn’t so lucky. It was either leave her job, or leave her son at home. She says going back to work means…

“You’re not focusing on your child the way you should be able to.” DaCosta said.

Millions of women agree with DaCosta. It’s rare for a state to require paid maternity leave. But there are other financial answers for mothers-to-be.

Short-term disability may be one answer. Some states allow you to receive a portion of your pay if you are unable to work due to injury to illness, including pregnancy. Another option, apply for a maternity leave loan that you can repay by spreading out payments over time once you return to work. And public assistance is also an option. Call your county or state health department for more information about emergency or bridge benefits.

DaCosta continued, “To be able to bond with your son, your first child, to have more time, and not have to worry about money.”

A great goal for every new mother and father.

So far only New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California have family paid leave laws in place.

Some large companies like Netflix, Etsy, Google, Facebook and Twitter have generous paid leave for mothers and fathers. But 94% of service industry workers aren’t getting paid leave of any kind.

For information on companies with the best flexible work, paid leave policies and more check out Workingmother.com.

Contributors to this news report include: Katie Coronado, Field Producer; Sharon Dennis, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor; Gabriella Battistiol, News Assistant.

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