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Flexible Maternity Benefits: Maternity Leave Options



Pregnancy, childbirth and the ensuing days of caring for a baby can be very challenging. However, we live in a society that appreciates the importance of that time period and how involved parents need to be during the early years. This has resulted in very flexible maternity benefits and parental leave options and benefits. Most companies or employers recognize the importance of offering maternity benefits for their employees.

When I became pregnant for the first time, I was very sick and did not deal well with pregnancy. I was working in a mailroom at the time and this required to be on my feet for as long as eight hours a day. I lasted a little over three months and then found that I just had to get off my feet. I ended up taking a job in a call center where I could sit for most of my shift which was usually limited to four hours rather than eight.

By around the five month mark, I found that I was merely dragging myself from bed to work and back again. The company I was working for decided to lay off  a lot of workers, so I ended up taking my maternity leave early, after which point I had decided to become a stay-at-home parent. Unfortunately, I never received any maternity benefits until three months after our son's birth. This was due to a mistake on my Record of Employment stating that I had quit, rather than been laid off.

By the time I had tracked down my previous employer and obtained the corrected documentation, filled out the appropriate forms and allowed time for them to be processed our son was three month's old and we were in dire financial straits.   


Finally, my maternity benefits kicked in and I received long overdue payments much to our relief. I finished up my one year of maternity benefits entitlement and continued on as a stay-at-home parent until our son was two.

Five years later I was pregnant again, however this time, I stuck it out and worked right up until my due date. That way I would have a full year of maternity leave after the new baby was born. This time I was smart and had filed all the paperwork as soon as possible. I had no difficulty being approved for maternity benefits and received all payments promptly.

As it turned out, my husband opted to take a portion of the maternity leave quota as parental leave. I had again decided to be a stay-at-home parent during the early years of our daughter's life, so a portion of the time was spent with both parents at home. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also provides for maternity benefits and maternity leave for families.

Families have many choices in maternity benefits today. We are both very pleased with the maternity leave benefits available to parents today and the opportunity this time has afforded us to be the primary caregivers during our children's formative years.


About the Author
Article about Maternity Benefits is by Jennifer Clark, co-founder of with articles covering a broad range of topics including baby cribs, maternity benefits, positive parenting and many more!

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