An article in a UK paper today caught my eye, “Women need a whole year to recover from childbirth despite the ‘fantasy’ image of celebrity mothers, study claims.” Article here,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2102517/Women-need-year-recover-childbirth-study-finds.html Quote from article:
“New mothers may be told that they will be back to ‘normal’ within six weeks of giving birth, but a new study has found that most women take much longer to recover.”
I love that they put normal in quotes because the reality is that there is no normal and NOTHING will ever be the same but I would go on to argue over the use of recovery too. There is no recovery–instead of thinking that women need to recover, as if this was a malady or illness, I prefer to think of it as “time to adjust” or “transition”. Time to adjust to the new “normal” or transition into the beginning stages of parenthood.
Six weeks is NOT enough time to adjust. Parenthood is a whole new ballgame. Giving women more time to transition into their new role, supporting them as a new mother, would benefit society as a whole. A mother who has had time to adjust to her new role as a parent may transition more easily into a working mother’s role when compared to the mother who must return to work at six weeks. The stress and pressure of a new mother returning to work impacts her family negatively. The mother at six week has not fully adjusted physically or mentally—not to mention the negative effect on the breastfeeding relationship.
Wouldn’t it be nice if mothers were given a full year to adjust to “their new job”.