According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the birth rate in the United States is the lowest its been in 30 years. At this point, Americans are below the replacement rate necessary to keep the population going. What’s the reason for declining birth rates? Some say women aren’t getting enough social support. Do you agree?
Not enough paid leave
Many mothers are punished, rather than rewarded, for having children. When it comes to paid leave, a whopping 88 percent don’t receive paid leave, according to the United States Department of Labor. And unfortunately, many families can’t afford so much unpaid time off, leaving new moms in a quite a bind.
In this respect, Americans are quite behind. In fact, almost every other nation not only offers but requires paid maternity leave.
Working too soon after birth
After giving birth, 25 percent of all mothers return to their jobs in two weeks or less. While they prove that it is doable, it certainly can have serious repercussions for both the mother and child. It can complicate breastfeeding – should the mother choose this lifestyle. It can also just be too much stress for a new mom.
Wider gender wage gaps
Many women still earn less than men. But for mothers, it’s even worse. According to Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s report, mothers who hold full time positions earn 71 percent less than fathers with full time jobs.
From a financial point of view, it doesn’t pay to be a mother, and this may be keeping many younger women from having children.