BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Parents may be able to stay with their children for a longer period of time after giving birth. Governor Gavin Newsom proposed the longest state parental leave in the nation. A bill that would allow parents to have 6 months off instead of the current 6 weeks allowed.
“Not only mothers but parents, in general, need more time with a newborn or newly adopted child,” said Kellye Lomeli.
Lomeli has two daughters and says that extra time is a bond she wishes she would have had.
“You are up all night, it is not glamour but the fact that it is that hard for the first week is all the more reason that you need that time. And once you get in a rhythm, you need the full six months.”
Kevin Bartl with First Five Kern says that if this proposal passes it would have a long-term impact for children.
“So many studies have shown that the longer the newborn is able to stay with their parents after birth, the healthier they are. The more likely they are to breastfeed, the more likely they are to get their shots and wellness check. So healthy babies is a good thing,” said Bartl.
The state currently only offers six weeks of parental leave and if the new proposal passes, it’s still unclear how the state will finance it but efforts are still being worked on.
The proposal would allow mothers like Lomeli to feel a little less stressed.
“It would be really awesome and I would be excited to be going back to work because I know I would have the time I needed.”