New Mothers Who Leave Work
The percentage of first-time mothers in the US who quit their job before or after childbirth is 16.83%. The labor participation rate among women increases from 58.5% in the first year after childbirth to 62.8% in the second year.
We searched government databases like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, Center of Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Census; research reports from reputed agencies like Pew Research and Gallup; websites related to motherhood like Working Mother and Motherly, and trusted media sources like Forbes for the percentage of moms who quit work after they have a baby. While we were unable to find the percentage of women who quit work immediately after they had a baby, we did find information pertaining to the labor participation rates after childbirth and the number of first-time mothers who quit their jobs before or after giving birth.
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
According to the BLS the labor participation rate of women is as follows:
- Women with children less than 1 year of age: 58.5%
- Women with children 1 year of age: 62.8%
- Women with children 2 years of age: 65.4%
- Women with children under 3 years of age: 62.3%
- Women with children under 18 years of age: 71.3%
While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed until 1 year of age or longer, the WHO recommends that breastfeeding should be continued up to two years of age or longer.
The labor participation rate increases from 58.5% to 62.8% for mothers after their child turns one and 65.4% after their child turns two. Assuming that working women in the US follow the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics, the increase in labor participation rate in the second year after childbirth may be attributed primarily to those women who quit their jobs because they did not want to breastfeed their children at work.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
- 47.9% of first-time mothers did not use paid leave.
- 52.1% (100-47.9) of first-time mothers used paid leave.
- 31.1% of first-time mothers who did not use paid leave quit work before or after the birth of their child.
- 3.7% of first-time mothers who used paid leave quit work before or after the birth of their child.
Therefore, 14.9% (31.1%*47.9%) of all first-time mothers did not use paid leave and discontinued working. And, 1.93% (3.7%*52.1%) of all first-time mothers used paid leave and discontinued working. The percentage of first-time mothers—more likely to quit their job than second-time mothers--that discontinued working before or after the birth of their child is 16.83% (14.9%+1.93%).