Going through pregnancy and childbirth is a difficult experience, and though it is very fulfilling, extra care has to be undertaken during this period of a woman’s life. The new HB 2 law in Chicago makes it clear that the difficulty experienced during pregnancy and childbirth has been acknowledged and the government is doing whatever they can to try and make it easier for women when they go through this experience.
The new HB2 law states that women have specific rights when it comes to their pregnancy and childbirth, including:
- The right to choose her own birth setting
- The right to be treated with respect throughout
- The right to receive the most scientifically accurate care
All healthcare practitioners are required to list these rights on their website or in a place where the soon-to-be mother can clearly read them. Up until this law was passed, far too many women were being forced to deliver their children and undergo pregnancy checkups without much say in what medical procedures needed to take place.
This has led women who felt like they needed extra care to lose their babies during pregnancy and it has led women who felt like they needed to try a different childbirth tactic to give birth to stillborn. The hope of passing the new law is that women are given the chance to speak their minds about how they feel as they are the ones going through the process and they know what is best for them. Together with the combined intuition of the mother and the knowledge of the medical practitioners, there should be more ease during the entire process.
What laws does the United States have regulating maternity leave?
Unfortunately, maternity leave is not guaranteed by the law and it depends from employer to employer. However, there is a federal law; the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act protects a person’s job for up to 12 weeks after childbirth. This does not mean that a person will be paid while they are on leave, but it means that a person’s job will still be available for them and won’t be given to someone else up until 3 months after the baby has been born. FMLA applies to individuals who have been working in their workplace for a year and the company has at least 50 employees.
When a person is applying for a job the best thing to do is ask about their policies regarding maternity leave straight away. Every company has different rules, and some will have a much better offer than others. What many employees end up doing is using their combined sick leaves and vacation leaves and applying it together as a part of their maternity leave so they can get paid during those weeks.
Clearly, there is still more work to be done with regards to a mothers rights after childbirth but the new HB2 law brings hope that women who are going through pregnancy will feel more comfortable and confident with their experience and this could possibly lead to healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries in the long run.