“I am a professor at a CT State University. My first son was born in the summer 9 weeks before my very first day of work. As a new employee, I had no access to additional leave time. So at 9 weeks old, my son started daycare, and we were very fortunate to have found an excellent, relatively affordable home daycare two miles from our home. My second son was also born in the summer with impeccable timing, exactly 6 weeks before the first day of class for the fall semester. Because I had three years of work experience under my belt, I was able to work out a flexible schedule with my employer for the fall semester. Nonetheless, my second son began daycare at 7 weeks old, and again we were fortunate to find a new home daycare close to our house as we had recently moved. I returned to a full-time schedule when my son was 6 months old. Having the comparison of working a full-time schedule with a 9-week old baby versus a 6-month old baby, I can say, without a doubt, that the extra paid time to care for my baby, my family, and myself played a critical role in my physical and mental recovery from childbirth and the ensuing challenges of breastfeeding and interrupted sleep. I believe that mothers and fathers caring for a new baby need as much paid leave as possible. This will benefit the health of the baby and the parents, resulting in better care for our children and a more engaged workforce.”

Jenna, Wethersfield CT