January 16, 2014 |
When I was waddling through the L.A. Times newsroom last fall very pregnant, the issue that weighed most on me had little to do with my actual baby bump. It was whether I could afford to take all the time I needed to bond with and care for my daughter in her very early development and still support my family financially. When it comes to maternity leave, the U.S. is by no means a leader. That blessed time off from work when parents learn and stumble through all of those unbelievably unnatural "natural instincts" varies greatly from country to country . Canadians can get up to 50 weeks of leave at up to 45% of pay. The Danes and Serbs can take 52 weeks at full pay. The Swedes offer the most paid time off, 60 weeks at 80% of pay. (More in the infographic below.)
November 6, 2013 |
Nearly doubling maternity leave in Norway had little long-term effect on children's school performance, parent's income or the labor participation of women, a new study found. Extending paid leave for new Norwegian mothers to 35 weeks to 18 weeks ultimately led to "large increases in public spending" with a "considerable increase in taxes," according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study found that maternity leave disproportionately benefited women from more affluent families since the program pays larger sums to people with higher incomes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2013 |
An ordinance targeting maternity hotels is not necessary, since the facilities are illegal under existing law, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning said in a report. Since February, a task force convened by the county Board of Supervisors has shut down 18 suspected hotels, all in Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights. Pregnant women from China and Taiwan stay at the hotels so they can give birth to children who are U.S. citizens. Nearly all the hotels were in single-family residential zones, where boarding houses already are banned, according to the report released Friday.
August 21, 2013 |
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has an unprecedented plan to boost economic growth and shore up his country's shrinking labor force - help more women return to work. About two-thirds of Japanese women leave the workforce after the birth of their first child. Most do not return for years, if ever. It's a major reason the employment rate of Japanese women is one of the lowest in developed economies, particularly among those married and well-educated. Abe's government wants to change that situation for women such as Saori Tachibana.
July 12, 2013 |
The advice to the United Nations is unambiguous: Don't repeat the previous mistake of ignoring poor women's access to contraception in setting goals to reduce maternal and child deaths. “Women continue to die unnecessarily in childbirth,” wrote a 27-member panel of mostly political leaders who cited World Health Organization estimates that a woman succumbs to complications of pregnancy or childbirth every 90 seconds. The panel called for providing more well-equipped health facilities, skilled birth attendants and effective contraceptives to help women plan their families. “Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is an essential component of a healthy society,” wrote the panel that included British Prime Minister David Cameron.
July 9, 2013 |
The countdown for the royal baby is on! Kim Kardashian's baby arrived early! Jessica Simpson named her baby boy Ace! Take a cursory look at the celebrity magazines at the newsstand and it would appear we're obsessed with pregnancies and babies. The U.S. fertility rate tells another story. It says we're living vicariously through rich, famous people who can afford to have babies while the rest of us wait for the economy to recover to start families. “The U.S. fertility rate has fallen sharply since the nation went into recession in 2007, hitting the lowest rate ever reported in 2011 and staying there in 2012,” reports Allison Linn in a piece for NBC's “Today” show about how women are putting off having kids due to the unstable economy . She continues: “There were 63.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control, down from 69.3 births per 1,000 women in that age range in 2007.” They say you're never really ready to have a baby, that you have to do just do it. But in today's economic climate, where everyone seems to have an uncertain future, having a baby might seem like too much of a risk.