There have been many times in the past when women quit their jobs once they had a child. This was because it was often difficult to balance work and home life. Being pregnant took a huge toll on a woman. Once the baby was born, her time was even more precious. Feedings every three hours were difficult enough, and those times didn't include all the other needs of the new baby. Women were hard pressed to return to work right away. Many companies have recognized the stress of maternity and have expanded the time allotted to new mothers. Instead of 6 weeks, many companies now offer maternity leave from 6 months to a full year.