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Paid Leave This Week: Breastfeeding Models, Pregnant Marines, and the Worst States for Working Moms

Sam Edwards

As part of our ongoing coverage of paid leave, we're rounding up the most important news from the week. Here's what you need to know about paid leave, working parents, and child care in the United States and abroad.

The best and worst states for working mothers: Thinking of having kids? You might not want to move to Indiana, Utah, or Montana, according to a new report by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research that ranks all 50 states by their paid leave policies and access to affordable childcare. The highest-ranking states are New York, California, and D.C., but even they don't score that well

Low-income mothers go back to work before they're ready. Without paid leave, poor women in New York City return to their jobs within weeks of giving birth—and report experiencing poor health, depression, and increased debt as a result. 

Portland entrepreneur creates a co-working space for working moms. The co-op, called Women's Plaza, will have child-care facilities next to office space for freelancers and remote workers. 

Australia is debating cuts to its state-funded maternity leave benefits. Like most of the rest of the world, Australian working mothers have it better than Americans: Mothers earning under $150,000 get $11,500 from the government after giving birth. But the new proposed budget would roll back those benefits for women who also receive paid leave from their employers.

An Australian women's magazine puts a breastfeeding mother on the cover. Not many women are able to bring their baby to work with them, but when model Nicole Trunfio started nursing her son at a photo shoot for Elle Australia, the editors turned an unscripted moment into an elegant photo. 

Better benefits for sailors and marines: The secretary of the U.S. Navy proposed doubling paid maternity leave from six to twelve weeks, as part of an effort to become more family friendly. The proposal will require congressional approval, but if it passes it will eventually be applied to the entire armed forces.