When you become a mother, there are many reasons why you will need to take time out from your ordinary activities. First, you will need to recover physically from the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Most doctors advise that this will take at least 6 weeks, and therefore, they never recommend that a mother returns to work within this time frame.
In addition, it is usually beneficial for the mother and child, if they have enough time, to establish a strong bond and a good breastfeeding routine. This can help the child's physical and social development immensely.
Unfortunately, many new mothers are under a lot of pressure from their employers when it comes to returning to work soon after their child's birth. As a new mother, it is important that you understand the rights you have under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
What rights do I have under the FMLA as a new mother?
When you are heavily pregnant or have just given birth, you are legally classed as having a short-term disability. This means that you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year that you can use before or after giving birth. In addition to this, you may be entitled to other benefits such as paid time off from your employer that can also be added to the time you take off while caring for your baby.
If you are concerned about becoming victim to retaliation after taking maternity leave, it is important to know when and how you should take legal action.