America's Conflicted Relationship With The Working Mother

working mothers in America
working mothers in America

For the first time in U.S. history most new mothers are receiving paid maternity leave. The U.S. Census Bureau tracked 3.1 million first-time mothers, who worked while pregnant between 2006 and 2008, and found that 51 percent received paid leave. That's a leap from 42 percent between 1996 and 2000, and the highest since the bureau began collecting these numbers in 1981.

Two-thirds of mothers worked while pregnant in this period, the survey found. Only 13 percent of college-educated mothers quit their jobs during or soon after pregnancies. But half of the women without a college degree did, no doubt because a much greater proportion of them did not have paid leave.