If you are pregnant, it is likely that you would want to take leave from work for the birth of your child and bond immediately afterward. There are some federal rules that apply to many larger employers about this.
Your eligibility for protection under the law is not always immediately apparent. It is important to understand your exact situation in the context of state and federal law, along with the policies of your employer.
There are various laws that could protect your rights when pregnant. One, which could potentially give you the option to come back to your job after an extended leave of absence related to child care, is the Family Medical Leave Act.
The FMLA could give you the option to leave for several weeks to bond with your child as well as to give birth. This is typically the most generous federal law when it comes to this type of leave.
Your company might also have policies that allow for longer leaves of absence for child care. This is typically the case with larger corporations, although it is by no means a given.
It also bears mentioning that, while these types of perks might be in the employee handbook, there could be factors at work that reduce your ability to take advantage of benefits. Whether the organization systematically passes over women for certain positions or actively discriminates against pregnancy, there are many ways that companies might attempt to work around their promises and around the law itself.
Some cases might represent a violation of your civil rights. Again, context is a key factor in determining your rights versus those of your employer.