The powerful case for paid maternity leave: a must-watch TEDx Talk

“It is long since time for the most powerful country on earth to offer national paid leave.”

The powerful case for paid maternity leave: a must-watch TEDx Talk


The American Case for Paid Maternity Leave | Jessica Shortall | TEDxSMU youtu.be


Eighty-eight percent of working mothers get no paid leave after they have a baby.


The shorter a woman's leave, the more likely she is to suffer from postpartum mood disorders.

Babies whose mothers have 12 or more weeks at home with their mother are more likely to get their vaccinations and well checks in their first year.

These are just some of the injustices that advocate and author Jessica Shortall shares in her powerful TEDx Talk.

The situation might seem bleak—but the time for change truly isnow.

As the author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, Shortall has studied the lives and struggles of America's millions of working mothers.

And now she's forcefully advocating for them.

Before they have kids, millennial woman out-earn their male counterparts. More women than ever are (40%) are the primary breadwinners for their families. And yet the United States remains one of the last countries without some form of paid leave for new mothers.

Or, as Shortall put it in a final rallying cry:

“It is long since time for the most powerful country on Earth to offer national paid leave to the people doing the work of the future of this country and to the babies who represent that future. Childbirth is a public good. This leave should be state-subsidized. It should have no exceptions for small businesses, small business, or entrepreneurs. It should be able to be shared between partners—I've talked today about mothers, but co-parents matter on so many levels. Not one more woman should have to go back to work while she is hobbling and bleeding. Not one more family should have to drain their savings account to buy a few days of rest and recovery and bonding."

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