Paula observes National Breastfeeding Month by calling for paid maternity leave in the U.S.

August is National Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding is the best way to give your baby a good start in life, in terms of nutrition, protection from disease and emotional bonding.

It would be easier for American women to breastfeed their babies if the US provided paid maternity leave for new mothers. The United States is the only developed country in the world which doesn’t provide paid leave. Actually, there are only three other countries in the world today that do not — Swaziland, Lesotho and Papau New Guinea. In contrast, for example, Germany provides paid maternity leave for 98 days, at 100 percent of pay, and Great Britain provides both maternity and paternity leave for 280 days at 90 percent of pay. The Illinois Green Party calls for paid maternity leave of at least six months, at full pay.

A strong parent-child bond is essential for full human development. The months after birth are extremely important to that bonding experience. As a Congresswoman, I would introduce legislation to provide paid maternity and paternity leave to all parents in the United States.

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