Time With A Newborn: Maternity Leave Policies Around The World

Sweden and Norway have among the best parental leave in the world — more than a year paid for the mother and father combined. Contrast that with Tunisia, which only gives women 30 days to recover from childbirth. And the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn't mandate that parents of newborns get paid leave. Does this map make you want to move if you're considering having children? See how generous each country is.

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Sweden has the best maternity leave policy in the world: Women are fully paid to take more than a year off with their babies. Contrast that with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which only give women 45 days -- or a month and a half -- to recover from childbirth. And the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn't give parents of newborns any paid leave.

Notes

- In Iceland, the overall length of the combined maternity/paternity leave is nine months, divided into thirds. Three months are reserved for the mother, three months for the father, and the parents can divide another three months between them as they please.
- Norway has a system of paid maternity, paternity and parental leave that can total 56 weeks. Nine weeks are exclusively reserved for the mother (three weeks before birth and six weeks directly after) and 10 weeks are exclusively reserved for the father. They may divide the rest as they choose.
- In Sweden, parents are entitled to benefits that can cover up to 480 calendar days. Two months are reserved for the father.
- NPR focused on maternity leave policies because paternity leave policies are harder to pin down. In some cases, fathers can tap into the same benefits that mothers get; in other cases they have time specifically dedicated to them; and in many countries, fathers don't have any time allotted to them at all.

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