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Bringing home baby

August 19, 2013

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It’s no secret that maternity leave is better in places other than the good ol’ US of A — Canada, almost anywhere in Europe — but, did you know that postpartum practices are also very different in other countries (arguably much better)?

I read an interesting article in the Daily Beast this week. Very interesting to me, of course, because I’m a mere four months away from my second postpartum period. According to the article, in many other countries, the postpartum period is considered one of recovery for new mothers, as opposed to the US where we are expected to quickly bounce back and take care of the new baby, our household, not-to-mention ourselves. And, oh yeah, go back to work within six weeks.

Speaking from experience, the post-natal period can be a difficult one. You are physically recovering from labor, trying to figure out exactly how to care for an infant, and simply adjusting to being a new mom. Especially because of my non-sleeping, crying-all-the-time infant (who has since grown into a very pleasant toddler), I was in quite a shambles. In retrospect, I realize that it’s a very normal thing to go through a difficult adjustment period, but at the time, I felt like I should have it all together — and quickly. Perhaps our societal attitudes toward this period are much to blame for the guilt many new mothers put on themselves.

Read the article to hear about how other cultures think about this wonderful and difficult time for new mothers.

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