Childbirth Is No Joke And Paid Leave Is Not A Vacation

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“This was two weeks postpartum, a few hours before I spiked a 105 fever and nearly fell unconscious home alone with two babies.

I was alone because Chris was out of paid leave and had gone back to work. Luckily, I called a friend to get me to the hospital before I passed out.

I had retained placenta from Nicholas’ birth and got a massive infection. I was hospitalized for one week and then sent home with IV antibiotics for a week after that.

So, at four weeks postpartum, I was sick as a dog, with an IV in, nursing two babies.

I was in no shape to put on some pants, hand over my infant to strangers, and head into the office.

And yet, that is what American women do every day.

Childbirth is no joke. Recovery is no joke. Paid leave is not a vacation.

We are sending women bleeding, swollen, in stitches, in agony, back to offices across this country.

We are sending infants to exorbitantly expensive, overworked, understaffed childcare centers.

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. American billionaires added more than $1 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic, and we STILL can’t pass paid leave.

We have the money. We don’t have the willpower. We don’t have enough moms in Congress.

We have the WORST maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world and we are the only country other than Papua New Guinea without paid leave.

Our policies are made by men for men.

We need to elect moms and change the country!”

Freshly postpartum mom lays in bed with her babies.
Courtesy of Liuba Grechen Shirley

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Liuba Grechen Shirley. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘I’ve been on maternity leave for exactly 6 weeks. I couldn’t imagine heading back to work today.’: Mom insists it’s just ‘not enough time’ to ‘connect with our babies’

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