Tory MP Harriet Baldwin has said the government should consider providing more support for mothers as they return to work after having a baby.
As MPs debated the Welfare Reform Bill at report stage on 13 June 2011, Mrs Baldwin argued that the benefits could then "taper off further down the line".
The MP for West Worcestershire said that returning to work represented "a very important psychological transition".
She added: "I think taking it in smaller incremental steps with more generous support is actually extremely important."
Labour's Sheila Gilmore also urged ministers to recognise the importance of childcare to parents.
"If we do not get the childcare right then it is possible that many people will feel that indeed work does not pay for them," she warned.
"And they either have to reduce their hours considerably, even if they do not give up work altogether, or perhaps some people will feel that they cannot afford to go on with that kind of work.
"I do not think that is the outcome the government is actually seeking."
of the debate.