Children's Health and Wellness

Maternity Leave

Many women continue to breastfeed whether their maternity leave of absence lasts four to six weeks, or several months. However, the longer the leave of absence, the longer you will have to recuperate after the birth, establish milk production, and develop a good breastfeeding relationship with your baby. The length of time given for a paid maternity leave of absence varies among companies. Some women extend their maternity leaves by taking additional weeks of unpaid leave. Become aware of your rights according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Family and Medical Leave Act and check with your employer to determine the latest date you may return.

In addition to extending the length of a maternity leave, many women explore other employment options. Some women arrange with their employers to:

  • Return to work on a part-time basis initially, or long-term

  • Job-share

  • Work from home

These options benefit both the employer who retains a skilled employee and the employee who has more time with her baby.

When planning your return to work, ask if you might begin the first week on a Wednesday or a Thursday, so you will soon have the weekend to work out any unexpected problems.

Online Source: Family and Medical Leave, United States Department of Laborhttp://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm
Online Source: Breastfeeding: Going back to work, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Healthhttp://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/going-back-to-work/
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/29/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.