I am a mom of two (5 and 2 year-olds) and work full time as a teacher in Nebraska. If you can have paid days saved up, my employer allows you to use them for maternity leave. But otherwise your leave is unpaid. In my district, we earn 10 sick days and 2 personal days per school year. We are fortunate our days carry over to the next school year. However, if you factor in taking days you need for appointments and other family needs, it’s hard to save much time toward your maternity leave.
I know some women who plan to be due in the summer so they don’t have to lose pay. Once you’re on maternity leave and not receiving income, you still have medical bills to pay and mouths to feed. After a new mom goes back to work, she still needs to take time for well-baby checkups, which means more days off without pay.
After my second baby, I had to take extra time due to complications from my c-section. The day of my emergency repair, my husband had to take a ‘personal’ sick day. The good thing is my husband had plenty of ‘days’ he could use with pay but was limited as to which days he could use in regards to having a new baby.
Many teachers have to take days with no pay since our employer makes us verify how we use our days. I’m blessed to have had the option of getting some time as paid leave. Paid maternity leave hurts no one! Unpaid maternity leave hurts the most important persons, the caregiver and baby.