This mama’s viral post is an honest example of why we need more parental leave

"I still have stitches and I'm still bleeding, an obvious sign that I have not yet recovered from delivering my baby, even six weeks later," shares Skrysak.

This mama’s viral post is an honest example of why we need more parental leave

We've talked about how parents in the US deserve (and honestly need) more parental leave. This viral Facebook post by journalist and mama Stacey Skrysak perfectly captures the struggle many parents in this country go through when they have to go back to work mere weeks after having a baby.

Skrysak goes into how some mothers have no choice but to return to work and balance having a career and being a mom while still bleeding and having unhealed stitches.

Her honest Facebook post reads:

"I've been on maternity leave for exactly six weeks. As I sit here with my newborn nestled on my chest, I couldn't imagine heading back to work on this day. But that's the reality for so many women in the U.S. And it breaks my heart.

It takes 9+ months to grow and nurture a baby inside the womb, yet women are expected to leave their newborns just a few weeks later and return to work?

In six weeks that I've been home, I haven't slept more than four hours at a time. My days revolve around changing diapers, nursing and pumping, and trying to figure out why my baby is crying. And while my motherly instincts are loud and clear, we are nowhere near a daily routine yet. I couldn't imagine going back to work right now.

At just six weeks postpartum, I couldn't imagine going back to work, yet many women go back even earlier, just a couple weeks after giving birth. So many women face postpartum depression, anxiety, or in my case, PTSD. As I juggle the emotions and triggers of my past, I'm juggling the midnight feedings and lack of sleep. I still have stitches and I'm still bleeding, an obvious sign that I have not yet recovered from delivering my baby, even six weeks later.

At just six weeks postpartum, I couldn't imagine taking my baby to daycare, in order for me to return to work. In between the diaper changes and doctor appointments, I spend my time holding my baby, staring at this perfect little human. But six weeks is not enough time to connect with out babies. Unfortunately, that's the only option for so many women—we need to work because we need the income. And that means finding childcare for our newborn babies…that alone can lead to added stress.

There is no standard paid time off for women on maternity leave in our country. Some companies compensate, while others offer time off without pay. I've saved up vacation time and I'm being compensated through short term disability. I'm one of the lucky ones.

Some countries receive up to a full year with paid leave after they have a baby. But, until something changes in our country, women like me will try to balance our careers and motherhood the best we can. Some women are left with little time to bond with their newborn child, let alone heal their own body. But as moms, we do our best juggling all that life hands us, and that means cherishing every minute we have with our baby at home, whatever time off that leaves us."


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A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.


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There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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