A shocking new study has revealed that one in five Australian mothers cannot afford to take maternity leave anymore.
The Huggies Baby Index report, which took data from over 1000 parents with children under the age of five, found that half of mothers return to work earlier than they would like because of financial stress.
More than a third cannot afford, and are going without, vital medication, and, a third of families decided to sacrifice their health insurance to help ease the financial burden of expanding their family, reports The Daily Telegraph.
“I think the key issue around household budgets is the lack of wages growth. We’ve got anaemic wages growth,” CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman told the publication of the shock findings.
The study comes as the number of women workforce hits a high of 60.4 per cent. Women are also having to stop breastfeeding their child early to accommodate going back to work.
Of course, women who go back to work early then have the next thing to worry about: being labelled “selfish” and “unloving” for seemingly choosing their career over their children.
One thing is clear: Australia isn't doing enough to accommodate new mothers.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.