Having a Baby: Pregnancy & Birth

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If you are having a baby, you will need medical care while you’re pregnant and after. Prenatal care, childbirth, and maternity care are considered essential health benefits, which means that most private insurance plans must cover them. Check your policy or call your insurance company to make sure you’re covered. California also has free or low-cost programs that can help you pay for the care you need if you can’t afford it.

Keeping Your Job

It’s illegal for most companies to fire or demote you because you’re pregnant or have a child. When you are pregnant, you are entitled to reasonable accommodations at work, such as adjusted duties or more frequent bathroom breaks. If you’ve worked at the same place for a year before you have the baby, you are legally allowed to take an unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks and get your job back afterwards. You also may be eligible to receive partial pay for 6 weeks while taking time off to bond with a new baby. The law also protects your right to breastfeed or pump breastmilk at work and, in many situations, to take time off to care for a sick child. See this poster for more information.