Monday, June 21, 2010

Maternity leave, right or privledge?

I'm a stay at home Mom so I don't get paid regardless, but I'm horrified by the US government's lack of care when it comes to new mothers.  In Brazil, you get 4 months of paid leave after having a baby.  Unknown to many, you can get something like an additional 15 days if you are breastfeeding.

So is it the government's job to help out in this way?  Just because we decided to procreate, the Man is supposed to open his pockets and help a girl out?

I think he should!  The first couple of months is very important in a baby's life for many reasons.  If you are breastfeeding, 4 months home will make a big difference in establishing milk supply.  It's also important for parent/child bonding.

In regards to work, I really don't understand why a place of employment would be so eager to have a sleep deprived Momma hanging out in the office. Just the hormone change alone will make you a cranky bastard. Add in sleep deprivation, aching for our little one(s), and the stress of working two jobs and you have a not so pleasant situation for everyone involved.

Yes, being a working mother means you have two jobs... that is, of course, unless you have a nanny. In that case you have a job and a half.

I also believe that Dads should get maternity leave for at least 2 weeks if not a month.  Let the Daddy be involved!  He also needs to bond, help out Momma, get his baby land legs.  A new baby takes team work.
Check out the table at NPR: . It's amazing how the US is the only industrialized country with unpaid leave. Hell, most of Africa has some sort of maternity leave benefits!  What do you guys think of this? Are you happy with your country's plan? Do you have maternity leave benefits envy? I know I do.

1 comment:

  1. As an American who was fortunate to give birth in France, I have to say that I would do it all over again in France in a heartbeat. Sad to say, but if I were to give birth again, I definitely would NOT want to do it the in US. In France, pregnant women and mommies (especially new ones) are treated like demi-goddesses. Again, based on my personal experience. I gave birth in a public hospital and stayed for 6 days (post natural delivery) and never once during my entire pregnancy, delivery, or post-delivery did the concept of money or insurance, etc. ever come up. If it says anything, our health insurance company actually paid money to us (yes, to us!!) as a "reward" or "gift" for having a baby! Can't imagine an American health insurance company ever paying any new mom even one penny to reward her for having a baby. And I'm not talking about a nominal amount, either! So even though I can't speak to maternity leave from my own experience (I was never gainfully employed in France), I can say that giving birth there was most definitely a pleasant and non-stressful experience that never involved worrying about a penny. From what I heard of other moms in France and Italy, the maternity leave is quite generous. In Italy, once a new mom returns to work after several months of maternity leave, she is still entitled to take a few hours off every day to breastfeed! Could you imagine such a thing in the US? Highly doubt it...