What Does My Company Have To Provide If I’m Having A Baby? 

Updated on December 19, 2023

Having a baby is exciting, but it can also be stressful. If you’re a working and lactating parent, the anxiety can be even more intense as you try to figure out how to balance these two facets of your life.

Because being a working parent involves so much effort, many expecting parents wonder what assistance is available through their employers.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about what your job is required to provide when you’re having a baby and advice on asking for assistance, such as employee lactation benefits which is mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Working Parents And Health Insurance

One question that most expecting and lactating parents have is whether or not their insurance will cover the birth costs. Health insurance laws in the United States are rather complex. Most likely, you already know what your insurance benefits are at your current company; these are unlikely to change whether you are pregnant or not.

If you have insurance through your employer, you’ll want to look into the current health benefits you have. If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, you should do the same.

Depending on your level of coverage, the benefits and costs will vary. The better your plan, the less you will pay out of pocket. 

Some health insurance plans, whether through your employer or otherwise, offer additional benefits, such as lactation support. So, it’s a good idea to ask your HR department or boss.

Parental Leave Requirements

Another vital thing expecting parents need to know is how much parental leave they will get following the birth of their child. Unfortunately, paid parental leave isn’t required under United States law. However, many employers do offer some parental leave. You will need to discuss these benefits with your workplace to know for sure.

However, there are some protections regarding unpaid parental leave. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), companies with 50 or more employees must provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year for illness, caregiving, or childbirth. So, if you are with a larger company, you are entitled to unpaid leave. 

For expecting parents at smaller companies or those working in part-time positions, there are fewer legal requirements for parental leave. While offering parental leave benefits employers, as doing so helps retain workers, some companies aren’t as easy to work with as others.

What About Paternity Leave?

If you work for a bigger company, you can use your unpaid leave whether you’re the birthing parent or not. However, many businesses are more willing to give paid or unpaid leave to the mother or birthing parent. 

So, you’ll need to ask your employer about their leave policies and if there are any differences between maternity leave versus paternity leave. 

What If My Employer Doesn’t Offer Any Parental Leave Or Benefits?

While many businesses and employers are willing to work with expecting parents, some are less reasonable and lack compassion. If possible, you may consider switching to another job with a more supportive approach to working parents. It’s better to find a company that understands work-life balance. 

Remember that there are many companies that will provide benefits to retain their talent. You deserve a job that respects you as an entire person and the support needed outside of work.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.