Workplace Wins: The 5 Best Places to Work if You’re a New or Expectant Parent (and How Other Businesses Can Learn From Them)

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New and expectant parents have so much to consider as they welcome a little one to their world: hospital or home birth; doula or midwife (or neither); breastmilk or formula (or both); how (or if) to sleep train; when (or if) to go back to work. And the list just keeps going.

Spending time with your newborn and going through all the best baby gifts your besties have bestowed should be first on your list, not wondering whether your job will allow you any paid maternity or paternity leave. Or how about whether the work environment you’re returning to will be supportive and flexible as you navigate the dynamic world of working while parenting

We’ve all heard the horror stories—a mother finds out she’s pregnant (yay!), only to discover her employer doesn’t allow for any paid maternity leave–unless the mom saves her PTO and FMLA and frankenstitches a post-birth plan with up to half pay.

Or how about the one where an adopting couple finally gets the call—they’re going to be parents (yay!), only to find out that their jobs won’t allow for maternity or paternity leave unless the couple has a natural birth. It’s devastating. But, unfortunately, these aren’t modern birth urban myths. They’re real stories of employers forcing parents to decide between building their families and building their careers. 

Facts on materinty leave in the United States

The United States is currently the only (yes, the only) developed country without mandated paid maternity leave. An article in Trinet explaining maternity for employers estimates that only 16% of private industry workers have access to any type of paid maternity leave. Yet another disturbing statistic shows that only 9% of companies offer any kind of paid paternity leave. Add in the fact that approximately 40% of households are run by women who are the primary breadwinner and…you guessed it, this presents a problem.

A recent study investigated why paid leave is good for business, and reported that moms who are offered paid maternity leave are six times more likely to return to that job for 9-12 months or more. Luckily, some businesses understand this and are proactively challenging the system to do better by incorporating pro-parent workplaces that antiquated systems can learn a thing or two from.

To help out all of you parents, here are some of the best places to work if you’re a new parent–including why the company is so great, you know…in case you need to drop some hints to your boss.

5 of the best places to work in the US if you’re a new parent

1. American Express

No longer just a way to pay for your dream nursery, American Express now makes new parents’ dreams come true with an expanded twenty weeks of paid leave for mothers and fathers, as well as up to $35,000 to families working with a surrogate or adoption agency. This is not only progressive but impressive as well. Consider looking with American Express for a job, or bringing these ideas to your company. Not every small business can afford to offset the costs of adoption of surrogacy, but they can consider offering paid time off for both new parents. 

Image courtesy of themuse.com

2. Patagonia

New moms rejoice! Patagonia is another progressive company accepting new moms are part of their business model and believes them to be an integral one, too. Patagonia currently offers breastfeeding moms who travel for work the option to bring their child with a companion or Patagonia-hired caregiver—all at the cost of the company. To top that, they have childcare on-site in their headquarters. For parents who worry about the bond they might lose with their child if they go back to work, companies like Patagonia seem a welcome place to bridge that gap. Other small businesses can jump on board by offering to allow breastfeeding moms to bring their children to work, or offer an on-site care center for children. 

Image courtesy of Fortune Magazine (fortune.com)


Okay, so not only do IKEA employees get an impressive 15% discount on their products (hint: think of what this can do towards helping stock your dream nursery), but all new parents regardless of gender, how the employee became a parent, or whether they are salaried or hourly, receive up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. This stood out to us because they not only included moms, dads, and adoptive or surrogate parents, but both hourly and salary employees, closing the gap between the staff and management of their company. Consider letting your small business know that even though you may be an hourly employee, you deserve the same benefits as one who earns a consistent salary. 

Image courtesy of The New York Times (nytimes.com)

4. Johnson & Johnson

While this company has been touting baby products for decades, they’re also at the forefront of the game when it comes to supporting families on the inside of their company as well. Johnson & Johnson’s leave plan for new parents is 18 weeks for mothers and 12 weeks for fathers. However, the language that caught our eye stated that their plans included every employee, regardless of form of new parent, including those of same-sex unions. Plus, a quick look at their website shows they support racial equity and relief for other disasters. We loved the progressive, inclusive language enough to add them to our list in the hopes other small businesses will take notice and up the ante of inclusivity in the eyes of parenthood.

Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson (jnj.com)

5. Hilton

Hilton was ranked #1 by Fortune Magazine as the best place to work, so we investigated to find out why: 96% of their employees ranked it as a great place to work, as opposed to the average of 56% of other industry employees. When it comes to parents, they’ve recently become an industry leader with 12 weeks of paid leave, plus concierge and training services offered to new parents to help with the transition into working parenthood. This, combined with their partnership with a milk delivery service to transport breastmilk home for traveling mothers, brought Hilton up on our list. Smaller businesses could get on board with their progressive classes, as well as their out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to connecting new moms with their babies.

Image courtesy of greatplacetowork.com
The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant’s pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.