This is Maternity Leave?

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?


2 thoughts on “This is Maternity Leave?

  1. Big-Little Bro

    The U.S. Navy just implemented 18wks of maternity leave (combination of convelescent leave and paid maternity leave) to be used how you want in a 12 month period.

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