With the birth of my third child, I didn’t think I’d be experiencing many firsts, but I hadn’t really considered that this would be my first maternity leave. While I was 9 months pregnant when pitching The Honest Company to investors, I never took a ‘traditional’ maternity leave after my daughter was born. The company was in such a nascent stage, there was nothing formally established to take leave of. But six years after launching Honest, I’m now joining the army of women across the country who are learning in real-time how to navigate the complexities of maternity leave.
There’s no rule book for how women should approach maternity leave — no right or wrong way to handle this grey zone. Like many other women, I’m struggling to find the right balance. How much uninterrupted time should I be spending with my new baby versus trying to connect with the office and my other responsibilities? I’ve found that it’s impossible for me to completely unplug from work. But being able to keep one foot in the door works for me. Many other women opt to step away from work entirely during leave and having the choice to do that is incredibly important.
Regardless of how mothers elect to spend maternity leave, it’s vital for companies to offer paid leave, and frankly, it just makes good business sense. By extending support for working mothers, not only do we allow them to thrive, but businesses are also more likely to retain these valuable employees. Bottom line: paid maternity leave simply makes it easier for women to stay in their jobs after giving birth and can help increase the percentage of women in the workforce. Beyond that, studies have shown tangible health benefits to both children and mothers, including lower infant mortality rates, extending the duration of breastfeeding as well as positive effects on the mother's mental health. There’s so much research that shows just how beneficial paid leave can be both for business and for families – this reality can no longer be diminished or simply ignored.
I'm more proud than ever that we've been providing this necessary benefit to Honest employees. And I’m returning to work even more passionate about our mission and responsibility — to our customers and employees.
As we celebrate International Women's Day, bringing a discussion of paid maternity leave to the forefront is one very important and deeply personal way that I #PressforProgress. I hope you’ll join me.
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The Honest Company is dedicated to helping people live a happy and healthy life. Founded in 2012, the mission-driven company provides 100+ safe, effective, and delightful products across a wide range of consumer categories, including baby, personal care, beauty, home care, and vitamins & [...]