On January 12, 2011, little seven pound, 10 ounce, 20.5 inches long Carson joined the Samantis family after a fairly easy pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery. Until Carson was born, both his mother, Kristen, an interventional cardiology nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and father, C.J., worked full time. Until four days before Carson was born, Samantis, now 31 years old, was working.

In the 1980s and 1990s, over 80% of women ages 25–34 years old were working, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Before the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed in 1990, around one-third of women never worked while they were pregnant, one-third quit their jobs, and only one-third took a maternity leave that often lasted under a week.1 For employers and employees, today’s culture of working mothers elevates work-family relationships to a high priority. The FMLA allows employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours to leave their jobs for 12 work weeks in a 12-month period, without pay, to give birth and care for a newborn child.

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