Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Family Issues

Publication Date



There are good reasons to suspect that the transition parents go through

when having their second child may be different from when having their first,

yet these differences remain understudied. This study focuses on one specific

area of possible divergence by looking at how first-time versus secondtime

mothers decide on maternity leave length. To address this question, a

series of in-depth semistructured longitudinal interviews were conducted

at three different times over the course of 1 year with 16 pregnant public

school teachers; 8 of whom were having their first child and 8 their second

child. Findings indicate that some areas in which differences emerged include

the level of influence of the Family and Medical Leave Act guidelines, comfort

level with using paid child care, and the gendered nature of their parenting