1. Paid family leave.
The United States is one of the only countries (along with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho) that doesn’t mandate paid maternal leave. In the US, 88% of working mothers do not get any paid leave at all. Women who go back to work too soon after giving birth are more likely to suffer postpartum depression or anxiety and have problems recovering from major surgery (like a C-section), and yet if they don’t go back to work, their families may suffer impossible financial hardship.
Only 50 countries currently offer paternal leave. New mothers are not the only caretakers for their offspring, nor the only ones who want to spend time with their babies; so do dads. So do two-dad families or adoptive parents, who may not get any leave at all to spend with their newborn. Rather than leaving women alone to manage the hardship of the postpartum period, parental leave allows babies and women to get much needed support and offers non-birth parents the chance to engage and bond effectively with their new child.