It costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 18 years of age. With that figure lurking in the back of most couples’ minds, it’s no wonder that the number of births recorded in 2017 was down 2% and the lowest on record. Your financial situation is one of the main things to consider before falling pregnant, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from experiencing one of the most joyous challenges in the world.
Be straight with your employer
Almost every nation in the world offers paid maternity leave to new mothers, yet America offers nothing. As a result, four in ten new moms return to work within two weeks of giving birth. There is however the small blessing that 13% of American workers receive paid family leave due to their employer offering discretionary paid time off. Before you fall pregnant or shortly after discovering you’re expecting, speak to your employer and find out whether they offer any kind of paid parental leave or whether they anticipate doing so in the future. You may feel disappointed with their answer, so be prepared to put your case forward. Consider getting fellow moms on board who can support your request and detail how paid maternity leave would have benefited them and their child.
You never know what the future holds
Almost a half of all pregnancies in America are unexpected. Understandably, falling pregnant when taking precautions is a big shock and of course you won’t have been putting cash aside each month in preparation for your upcoming pregnancy. If you believe the manufacturer of your contraceptive have acted negligently, be sure to seek the advice of an attorney. He or she will work to get you compensation which will bolster your time off when your little one arrives and ensure you both have a comfortable start to live together.
The gift of paid time off
The Society for Human Resource Management report that 15% of the country’s employers are allowing their workers to donate paid time off, such as unused holiday, to their co-workers. This is a great initiative which could soon gain momentum in workplaces up and down the country. Too often, workers are choosing not to take their vacation time and it goes wasted, but being able to gift it to expectant mothers would hugely benefit all parties. Therefore, if your employer doesn’t currently offer this incentive, bring it to their attention and see if you can work your magic.
A change of plan
Even if your bump was planned and you’ve been saving to ensure you can provide for him or her when you’re off work, it’s worth remembering that your plans can change. You might think now that you’ll head back to work after six weeks off, but the reality of leaving your newborn can be tough. 43% of qualified moms turn their backs on their careers after giving birth, according to The Atlantic, mostly due to them not being able to tear themselves away from their little bundle of joy.
America is lagging behind in the parental leave world, forcing new moms to return to work far earlier than they would like. But, if you want to enjoy those first few months with your baby without worrying about your finances, it’s easy when you know how. Speak to your employers about the possibility of paid time off or receiving paid leave as a gift. And, ensure you embrace the changes that come your way when you find out you’re expecting and when your baby arrives.