Maternity and Paternity Leave.Blair Pack.Introduction.Maternity leave is defined as a leave of absence for an expectant or new mother for the birth and care of the baby. Paternity leave is defined as a period of time that a father is legally allowed to be away from his job so that he can spend time with his new baby (dictionary.com). This paper will compare the United States, Australia, and Sweden’s maternity and paternity leave that is offered to parents. Each countries social welfare policies will be described. At the end of the paper will be my choice on the country I would chose to live in based on my findings throughout the paper.Literature Review.Expectant Mothers and Absent Fathers: Paid Maternity Leave in Australia (Susan Ainsworth and Leanne Cutcher.) This journal discusses the reluctance of the Australian government to introduce maternity leave. It also reviews how mothers are only allowed to take unpaid leave.The Rise and Fall of Paid Maternity Leave Policy in the Years of the Keating Government (Lucie Newsome).This journal discuss how the Keating Government finally introduced maternity leave and how it was the last OECD to do so. Also stating how it was introduced sixteen years ago but was weathered down to what it is today.The Effects of Maternity Leave on Children’s Birth and Infant Health Outcomes in The United States (Maya Rossin). Discuss the impact of unpaid maternity leave in the United States and provisions of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In this article they find that maternity leave has led to small increases in birth weight, decreases premature birth, and huge decreases in infant mortality.Fathers on Paternity Leave (Toma Breve).This journal goes into great detail on how fathers taking time off on paternity leave. Also how in Sweden sometimes fathers are required to take time off. Focuses on the pros of taking paternity/maternity leave and how it effects the family situation. This journal also go into depth how Sweden is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. The Future of Paid Family Leave in the USA (Lancet.) This journal states the lack of paid maternity leave in The United States. Also focuses on how the government need to offer paid family leave for all employees in the U.S. and how the it can affect the family’s home and financial situation. Body.The United States took a large leap toward maternity leave in 1993. In this year is when the Federal Government introduced the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Almost sixteen years later it is still unclear on what this legislation has accomplished with this act. It has not accomplished its original mission. This act was drafted by the National Partnership for Women and families. The main purpose of the Act is to promote economic stability to families and to even preserve family integrity. Also it was introduced to entitle employees to take leave for medical reasons to care for a child or even other family members. The United States and Australia are the only countries that do not provide paid leave to women in connection with childbirth. This act requires companies to provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and this only applies to full time workers. Only about 12 percent of Americans get paid leave. The United States, Oman, and Papua New Guinea are the only countries that can require no maternity leave. The cons of taking leave in the United States is that unpaid maternity leave may exert an effect on the mother’s income. This then can effect the family’s need for survival. A lot of mothers can not take advantage of unpaid leave. The FMLA only convers about 59% of United States workers, also two in five women do not qualify for the leave.Finally, Australia introduced maternity/paternity leave in 2010. They are even farther behind than the United States in terms of maternity leave. By them introducing it, it made Australia one of the last nations to do so. This policy was announced by the Keating Government. Although this policy was introduced sixteen years earlier it was to be ultimately turned down and not supported by the subsequent governments. Now all employees in Australia are only eligible for unpaid parental leave if they have completed at least 12 months of work with their current employer. This can also include an employer’s causal employees. Although they only qualify if they have been employed on a regular basis for over 12 months. There maternity/paternity leave has a lot of similarities to the Unites States.Sweden is said to be on of the most egalitarian societies in the world. This means that relating to or behavior in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities (dictionary.com). Researches in Sweden emphasize that both parents should try out the role of their partner so to unlearn their stereotypical stereotypes. These experiences of learning these roles it can drastically change and even can contribute to their quality of life and their baby’s quality of life. It even promotes a desire for the parents of brining more children into the world. In Sweden they have a female minster of defense and they even have male midwives. Stockholm university did a study and confirmed that when in a relationship where the father spends part of the given maternity leave with the first child, there is a 15% more chance that he will have a second child, rather than partnerships where the mother is the only one who stays home with the child. The family is 30% more at risk of divorce when the father doesn’t take paternity leave. Swedish families are entitled to have a total of 480 paid days of parental leave. The families get 480 days with the birth of each child. With the total of the parental leave the father is meant to take 60 days of this leave. The family does not necessarily have to take the whole 480 days at once. These days can be used until the child is up to eight years old. Although men still earn more than women in Sweden, the men can take more of an economic hit by staying home. Another con to taking leave in Sweden is if you have multiple children the days you can take off decrease. After half of the days you take off your pay also decreases some.The pros for maternity leave and paternity leave in each country are very similar. According to a 2011 study of 141 countries with paid maternity and paternity leaves, paid parental leave can reduce infant mortality. It also increases the likelihood that children will get plenty of doctor visits and receive their vaccinations. Parents with paid maternity leave, increase the percentage of children who got immunizations. Children were 25% more likely to get their measles and polio vaccines and children without parents with paid maternity leave there was no increase in them getting their immunizations. Also with paid parental leave can also increase the amount of time mothers are able to breastfeed. Women who take leave can breast feed twice as long as a mother who does not. The Centers for Disease Control states that babies who are breast-fed are less likely to get infections, have a lower risk of asthma, and are less likely to be obese. There are also benefits to the mother while breastfeeding. Mothers are less likely to get breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and heart disease. Also the guarantee of maternity leave may reduce maternal stress during pregnancy. If a female is forced to work to many hours during her pregnancy in order for her to even qualify for leave, then her stress levels may increase. Stress during pregnancy can have a serious impact on the birth.Conclusion.Every country has very interesting maternity/paternity leave rules. Some countries take child birth and the mothers well being into account while other countries do not. Based on my findings of each countries maternity and paternity leave, I would choose to live in Sweden. For 390 of the days they are offered, the parents are entitled to nearly 80% of their normal salary. So while taking care of your child you would not have to worry about your income and how you would provide for your family. Also the parental leave can be taken until your child turns 8, you can also accumulate leave from several children. I think 480 days for leave is a perfect amount and you don’t have to take it all at once. So if there is an emergency in the family you are covered. Works Cited.Ainsworth, Susan and Leanne Cutcher. “Expectant Mothers and Absent Fathers: Paid Maternity Leave in Australia.” Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 15, no. 4, July 2008, pp. 375-393. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2008.00402.x.”Definition of “paternity leave” – English Dictionary.” Paternity leave Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary, dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/paternity-leave.”Egalitarian.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/egalitarian.”Maternity leave.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/maternity-leave.Newsome, Lucie. “The Rise and Fall of Paid Maternity Leave Policy in the Years of the Keating Government.” Australian Journal of Politics & History, vol. 63, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 223-237. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ajph.12350.Rossin, Maya. “The Effects of Maternity Leave on Children’s Birth and Infant Health Outcomes in the United States.” Journal of Health Economics, vol. 30, no. 2, Mar. 2011, pp. 221-239. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.01.005.Sniegon, Tomas. “Fathers on Paternity Leave.” New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs, vol. 6, no. 4, Winter2004, pp. 40-41. EBSCOhost, librarylink.uncc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.librarylink.uncc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true=a9h=15502055=ehost-live=site.”The Future of Paid Family Leave in the USA.” Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9937, 05 July 2014, p. 2. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61101-6.Vahratian, Anjel and Timothy R.B. Johnson. “Maternity Leave Benefits in the United States: Today’s Economic Climate Underlines Deficiencies.” Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, vol. 36, no. 3, Sept. 2009, pp. 177-179. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2009.00330.x.