In-room massages, gift boxes overflowing luxurious goodies, and gourmet food……sounds like a dreamy resort. It is actually a “maternity hotel” where ladies give birth in style and comfort! In reading through blogs this week, I came across a fun blog of a mother living in Japan. I read her posts detailing her 5 day stay at one such maternity hotel in Japan. It was such a fun read and the pictures were awesome. Check out that blog here. I started thinking about how other cultures support new mothers. It seems to me that the US of A could learn a thing or two on this subject. Our maternity leave is next to nil and we are pushed in and out of the hospital in about 48 hours. I was up and out in 72 hours and I had a c-section! Furthermore, on the 2nd day, a representative from the finance department came in while I was in bed to ask for payment. I guess they wanted to make sure I didn’t sneak away. Having a baby is such a beautiful and stressful thing for a mother to go through. The time of postpartum is such a critical period. As a new mother there are so many things to deal with. There is baby blues and the overall stress of caring for a new human to deal with. So many emotions and feelings. Many countries treat postpartum to be as important as the prenatal period. Being a mother myself, I can see the benefits of having a supportive postpartum program in place. I did a little research and found a few more examples of what postpartum care looks like in other countries outside the USA.
- In Germany, working moms get 14 weeks of leave at 100% of their pay. German mothers also get a midwife that checks on them at home for 10 days after leaving the hospital.
- In Finland, new parents get a gift box in the mail that is stuffed with toys, clothes, socks and even a snowsuit for their new babies. The box then doubles as baby’s first crib.
- Latin American cultures have a custom called the cuarentena. Long story short, female relatives take over your errands and chores while the new mom rests for 40 days after giving birth. This is a very long standing tradition and many researchers think that it in part explains why Latin immigrants in the USA have a greater number of healthy babies despite many living in poverty and/or having little formal education.
Common Sense right? Having a supportive postpartum plan in place looks to be good for the mother and baby and ultimately the country as a whole. Are there other countries with a supportive postpartum plan?