More moms going back to work after childbirth but reasons vague

Kyodo

More mothers appear to be resuming work after giving birth compared with 2001, according to the results of a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey released Thursday.

The survey covered the parents of 38,554 children born in May 2010. Of the 14,261 mothers who had full- or part-time jobs a year before giving birth, 6,512, or 45.71 percent, had resumed work within six months, the survey said.

The corresponding figure in 2001 was 32.2 percent.

The ministry credited the jump to better working conditions, including improved child-care leave, although the rise may also reflect women’s need to continue working in poor economic times.

The survey also said that within six months of giving birth, 93.5 percent of the mothers with full-time jobs took, were taking or were scheduled to take child-care leave, contrasting sharply with 2.0 percent of the fathers.

About 3.6 percent of the moms, however, said they didn’t take maternity leave even when available due to a negative working atmosphere or conditions as well as economic reasons.