New York is officially the first state to mandate PTO for prenatal care

Parents, rejoice if you live in New York—because New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a press release that beginning in 2025, New York employees will receive 20 hours of paid prenatal care leave. The best part? This allows employees to attend appointments without cutting into their existing 12 weeks of paid family leave. 

And it doesn’t stop there when it comes to making life easier for parents. Per HR Dive, “In addition, employers must provide up to 30 minutes of paid break time for nursing employees to express breast milk for up to three years after a child’s birth.” Breastfeeding mamas who work outside of the home rejoice. 

In the press release, Hochul said, ““No one should ever have to fear seeking care because of the costs it will impose or time missed from work.”

New York is the first state in the nation to create paid parental leave for pregnant moms, and this is huge. This all stems from an initiative to “improve New Yorkers’ health” as part of the 2025 fiscal year budget agreement (FY25 Budget).

“Studies show that prenatal health care is highly correlated with improved health outcomes for mothers and infants; and that pregnant mothers who have access to regular prenatal medical visits are less likely to die in childbirth, and their newborns are more likely to be healthy,” the press release stated. 

And wait! There’s more!

Per the press release,  “In addition, the FY25 Budget also includes financial incentives for hospitals to reduce the number of unnecessary C-sections, and eliminates cost-sharing for certain pregnancy-related expenses, such as prenatal and postpartum visits, for Essential Plan and Qualified Health Plan enrollees.”

Other issues addressed in the FY25 Budget include significant investments in Medicaid, Eliminating co-pays for insulin, and combating medical debt, in addition to improving maternal health from pregnancy and beyond.

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