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Daddy Forever Campaign In Copenhagen Helps New Dads


A recent article in Time magazine discussed the idea of building a better family and highlighted the efforts underway in Copenhagen.

The mayor of Copenhagen, former European Union Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard, has launced the Daddy Forever campaign in hopes of making it possible for dads to be more involved at home.

Municipal employees in Copenhagen receive a “daddy package” when they have a new baby. This gift includes items such as a nursing bottle, a bib, and diapers. In addition to the gift of baby items, parents in Copenhagen receive up to a total of 48 weeks of leave after a baby is born.

According to the Time article, Bjerregaard was not happy to see that 55% of new mothers take 120 days of leave while 55% of new fathers take 14 days or fewer.

While I don’t think new mothers here in the United States take quite as much time as new mothers in Copenhagen, I do believe that many new fathers here take less - much less - than 14 days of leave. There are a few friends of mine that have recently had babies and the new dads took five days of leave at the most. I’ve been lucky in that when my children were born my employer offered two weeks of paid time off to be home with the baby. Other dads, my friends included, are not so lucky.

As a new father it can be difficult to take time away from work to be home your new baby as your family likely depends on the income. In Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard recognized this as a reason that many dads were not staying home and instituted a policy where dads can receive full pay for 14 weeks.

Whether you are a dad having your first child or you’ve been through the trenches a time or two before, having the opportunity to be home with your new baby is outstanding. Unfortunately many new dads do not have the support of a political leader such as Ritt Bjerregaard in their corner and must struggle with the decision to use vacation time, return to work, or take unpaid leave to be with their new baby.

Were you able to take time away from work when your baby was born?

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