Maternity leave is not a universal right given to women. Many countries, including large first world countries like the Unites States do not have laws in place to ensure paid maternity leave for women. There are many arguments against implementing this measure, but the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Women should be given paid maternity leave because it reduces infant mortality rates, promotes employee loyalty and gives them time to recover after giving birth.
Firstly, infant mortality rates are reduced when women are given paid maternity leave. Women who do not receive monetary compensation after giving birth, return to work weeks later because they do not have enough money to support themselves and stay home. They also may not have enough money to pay a professional to look after their new-born and leave the infant in the care of a friend or family member. There have been numerous cases of infants dying of asphyxiation because the person that was looking after them was not a trained professional and did not know how to attend to the needs of the child. To prevent infant mortality, women should be given paid maternity leave to allow them to stay at home longer and raise their children or pay a professional to care for them.
Secondly, giving women paid maternity leave encourages employee loyalty. While a business may view paying women to not come to work as a disadvantage, these women would feel a sense of appreciation to their employer for supporting them through this change in their life. They would feel grateful that their employer is giving them this opportunity to spend time at home with their child and care for them. In turn, when they return to work, they would work harder and their greater effort would benefit their employer.
Thirdly, women should receive paid maternity leave because they need time to recover after labour. Giving birth is an exhausting experience. Some women spend weeks in the hospital afterwards to recover from pregnancy related conditions like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. If a woman feels that she must return to work as soon as possible after giving birth, she risks her own health. She may fall ill and need another hospital stay because of the lack of a safety net for her to care for herself after childbirth. Women should be given paid maternity leave to safeguard their own health.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to giving women paid maternity leave. One is that it would reduce infant mortality rates. Another is that it encourages employee loyalty. A third reason is that it would give women time to recover from childbirth.