This is the second of two ASPE briefs about a qualitative study of lower-income mothers' attachment to work around childbirth and the role of state paid family leave (PFL) programs. The mothers, especially those with the fewest family resources, described PFL as supporting their return to employment, providing them with subsidized time to prepare for work and allowing some mothers to take more leave than they could have afforded without PFL. Other mothers said it kept them from quitting work altogether. PFL provided time to arrange child care, recover from pregnancy and childbirth, bond with the baby and help him transition to nonparental care, and initiate and maintain breastfeeding. Mothers cited limitations to the program, but valued the time to care for their baby and plan their return to work.
Other ASPE products on paid family leave can be found on our Paid Family Leave page.