A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg shared some big news on Facebook: He plans on taking a 2-month paternity leave following the birth of his first child with wife Priscilla Chan.
This isn’t the first time Mark and Priscilla have been very open about their journey to parenthood on Facebook, where they shared their struggle to become pregnant after suffering several miscarriages. Zuckerberg knows he’s setting an example by taking time off, and wants to change the face of parental leave for everyone, stating in his post:
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.”
While he’s not saying anything surprising to parents, the fact that the U.S. falls drastically behind many other countries when it comes to paid maternity leave is astounding. It’s been proven that paid leave can improve mental health outcomes by decreasing the onset of postpartum depression. This doesn’t even take into account what happens when there are complications for a mother and/or child during, and after, birth.
While we wish it didn’t take a celebrity to raise awareness, it helps having a public figure take a stand on paid parental leave. Hopefully, this will cause other companies to follow suit, allowing many parents to finally feel supported.