According to a report from the International Labour Organization, only three countries do not mandate paid maternity leave: Oman, Papua New Guinea, and ... the United States!
This is a constant topic of discussion, as I work with a fair number of European and Australian colleagues who never fail to point out, with a look of pity as their eyes sweep over my expanding midriff section, that US maternity leave sucks. "Oh, no, " one German colleague recently said, lips puckered in dismay, "I guess you'll be back working in the fall. In Germany, my colleague x has been on maternity leave for almost a year."
I'm baffled by how women in America balance it all.