Legislature ought to go paid family, medical depart ~ Missoula Present

Legislators should adopt HB 228 – Paid Family and Sick Leave.

As a therapist, I see people with the most common postpartum complications – depression and anxiety. Inadequate support exacerbates these problems. Parents do much better when their partner can be at home with the newborn too.

When I had my first son, I attended graduate school. My husband could only take two unpaid work days off, so I mostly looked after the newborn. It was emotionally exhausting to adapt to our new life without enough time together.

Now we’re expecting our second baby and I don’t expect it to be easy. I work full time and only have about ten personal days. I’m going to take unpaid leave, but we need my paycheck. My husband was laid off because of the pandemic. After a minimal break with the baby, I have to go back all day.

It is unrealistic to expect someone who gave birth weeks ago to be a strong employee while caring for a week-long baby, dealing with breastfeeding, and dealing with common postpartum mental health issues.

Our system does a disservice to families breathing new life into communities. Legislators should establish paid family leave.

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