New Mothers Should Not Be Pressured To Resume Work Immediately After Childbirth

new mothers
The ace comedian Bharti Singh is receiving a lot of flak for her decision to resume work within 12 days of giving birth to her son on April 3. While speaking to photographers, Singh told them that she is not happy to leave her son back home but had to fulfil work commitments. This did not sit well with netizens who have since then been the new mother for her decision. While it is the new mothers’ choice to make as to when should they return to work after the birth of their babies but glorifying the comedian’s act is also not good.

Bharti is not the first celebrity to follow the pattern, Neha Dhupia was back filming Roadies Rising 45 days after the birth of her daughter. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shilpa Shetty Kundra also joined their work as soon as they could. Yes, it is great that the responsibility to look after the child is being shared; however, we cannot ignore that birthing a child leaves one in a vulnerable state. Women undergo so many things, their bodies undergoing so many changes, weird cravings, morning sickness, weight gain and whatnot which is why a new mother should ideally rest. Taking a break after delivering a baby is the right of a woman.

From my perspective, celebrities such as Bharti are setting the wrong precedent. They are relatively privileged and can afford to not work for a few months and also hire all the help she needs. I don’t think she’d have been forced to resume work either. Many women, because of the financial challenges, have to get back to work as soon as possible to make ends meet. However, when celebrities do it and it is glorified, many might feel pressurised to follow the suit.

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As one Insta follower has rightly pointed out to Bharti “It’s not recommended at all, Government gives 6 months and the precedence she is setting is morally wrong. This is not symbolic of the strength of a woman at all”, she continues “Women who take time off after delivery are no less strong they are just wiser in knowing what their priorities are. Stop promoting this bullshit”.

Women’s Rights organisations have fought and are continually doing so to attain equality in the workplace, maternity benefits and such instances will slow down the process further. Following celebrities, employers may ask women to resume after a short maternity leave. Maternity benefits are not optional, they are a woman’s right. This break allows a woman to recover from the exhausting childbirth and also spending time with the newborn is equally important since it helps the child and the mother.

There are many studies that show that when the mother takes out time to bond with her infant, it improves the physical and mental health of the new mother as well. It encourages new moms to breastfeed, reduces the risk of C-section deliveries and can even save the baby’s life.

These days taking time off work for pregnancy and childbirth becomes more than important, since during this time, especially for working women, they are sleep deprived, due to the unexpected sleeping and feeding patterns of the newborn. This can lead to postpartum depression. When a sleep-deprived mother decides to go to work in the morning, she adds to the existing stress and anxiety levels as well as she is not able to give her 100% to her work and stress can worsen the new mother’s health.

So, new moms please do not feel stressed or pressured to join work because celebrities are doing it. You should be the judge of your situation and priorities and plan accordingly.

The views expressed are the author’s own