Did you know that taking time off after giving birth not only helps the mother but the employers, as well? The odds of staying at the company for at least another year increase after maternity leave.
But in 2022, plenty of different policies have been set in place regarding military maternity leave.
For each branch of the military, there are different policies regarding maternity leave length and paid parental leave. The most impressive change seen in 2022 is the Army’s new paternal leave policy.
In most circumstances, maternity leave doesn’t provide an adequate amount of time for the mother. The mother usually returns early due to finances. But these new policies give more room for mothers in the military to take an effective leave.
If you’re interested in learning about the updated military maternity policies, then keep reading!
Military Paternity Leave in the Army
After a new birth, stillbirth, or miscarriage, both parents are eligible to take leave from the Army. Back in April of 2022, 12 new policies were announced that were part of the “Parenthood, Pregnancy and Postpartum Army Directive.”
Now, male soldiers can take leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth for physical and emotional healing.
In the past, some soldiers reported taking their own vacation time when they were not given enough time off after a miscarriage. One soldier said that she was only given two days of leave, then was denied when asked for more time.
Fertility Treatments and Birth in the Army
One of these new policies introduced supports fertility treatment for the soldier and the spouse. For up to a year during fertility treatments, the soldier and spouse will be excluded from a permanent change of station and deployment.
And also, for a year, soldiers who give birth will be excused from duties that are longer than the average work day. This includes deployment, field training, and temporary duty.
Another change seen from the army policy update is that soldiers do not have to wear their uniform when pregnant and up to a year post-partum.
Navy and Marine Corps Maternity Leave Policies
Women in the Navy and Marine Corps are given 18 weeks of maternity leave to use during the first year of their child’s life. Commanding officers were also granted convalescent leave for up to 84 days. Before, they only received 42 days after the birth of a child.
With the increase of time after birth, there are benefits for the physical and mental health of the mother.
The FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) proposes 12 weeks for all service members. This is also for birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
Along with 12 weeks of parental leave, the FY2022 NDAA also created bereavement leave. This would allow service members to take up to two weeks of leave after the death of a spouse or child.
Military Maternity Leave
Military maternity leave has seen many changes in 2022, but it is because new studies support a longer leave. When a mother only has six weeks after giving birth, there isn’t enough time to fully recover and connect with her newborn baby.
Now, both the soldier and the spouse will have more time together to raise their child.
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This article was originally posted on USMilitary.org and has been shared with permission.