The importance of time off after birth

“…As a country, we are sending millions of women back to work every year incredibly, and kind of horrifically soon after they give birth. that’s a moral problem…(and) it’s an economic problem…”

~Jessica Shortall, author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

I came across a TED talk by Jessica Shortall on the subject of paid family leave after baby. It was recorded late last year, and it speaks to the problem with our postpartum leave policies in the US. 40% of working women in the US are the sole or main source of income for their families. Unbelievably, 88% of working women in America have no access to paid maternity leave. That is a huge number. On top of that, nearly 50% of new mothers also don’t qualify for FMLA (unpaid) leave. Of the small amount of women who do qualify for unpaid leave, the majority of them can not afford to take that time out without major implications to their family’s financial well being.

As Doulas, we often speak to mothers about the importance to lay in with baby and bond, but as a country, we need to address how to make that possible for more mothers. Here is the link to the video:




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