The idea that anyone could be pregnant for five years is ridiculous, but The National Partnership of Women and Families is using the idea to point out that 86 percent of Americans don’t have paid leave from their jobs for any medical reasons, including giving birth — something the org hopes to change with their PSA, “A Long Five Years.”
In the clip, we meet Lauren, a paralegal who’s been pregnant, “for 260 weeks, five days and nine hours,” because neither her nor her husband have paid leave in their workplaces, leaving them unable to take medical leave in order to give birth to, or care for, a newborn baby. This leaves them waiting for their child to turn six and start full-time school in order to relieve their child care burden while also keeping their jobs.
The National Partnership is using the idea to point out the “absurdity” of no national leave for working families, and give citizens a plan of action. By the numbers, the NPWF says that besides 86 percent of families having no leave, 60 percent of workers don’t even have medical leave at all, and that one in four new mothers is forced to go back to working full-time a mere two weeks after giving birth.
While only a handful of states have medical leave laws, the org is asking folks to write their congresspeople to support a national paid leave law which will protect new families from facing an inability to take the time to care for their families. They even offer an autofill form which has a prepopulated letter that they will send to your congressperson, making it super simple to get in touch about medical leave.
With most medical professionals recommending a minimum six weeks of recovery post birth, forcing mothers back to work for fear of losing their jobs is bad for the health of the parent as well as the baby. The NPWF is asking for a minimum 12 weeks of medical leave as part of their campaign, which would give families a bit more leeway in terms of maternity care.
The United States is one of the only countries without laws protecting new mothers with guaranteed paid leave, and has the highest infant and mother mortality rates in the so-called first world nations.
Do you get guaranteed maternity leave at work? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t HelloGiggles; photos via Getty)