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. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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