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Working mothers shoudn't go back to work year aftergiving birth - Research Paper Example

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Most industrialized nations and virtually all nations have some form of paid parental leave. The period of leave differs but the fact that all nations do grant paid maternity leave suggests that the benefits of extended leave have been recognized. …
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Working mothers shoudnt go back to work year aftergiving birth
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Download file to see previous pages However, most countries limit such leave to six months after which mothers are expected to return to work. Various reasons have been cited that force the mothers to return to work. These include economic reasons as well as loss of work opportunities in case they delay the return. However, the positive impact that delayed return to employment has on the infant, on the mother, on the society, far exceeds the adverse impact of early return to labor market. Thus, working mothers should not return to work for a year after giving birth. Child-birth – the period of transition The birth of a child is a period of transition for the couple as it brings about significant changes in their relationship, responsibilities and preoccupations. Mothers are the primary caregivers of the family and their return to re-employment soon after birth of a child affects several factors – parental well-being, investment in parenting, marital relationship, attitudes towards the work and family, and the infant’s disposition and temperament (Feldman, Sussman & Zigler, 2004). It may be argued that childcare centers could be used when mothers return to work but low quality care can result in maternal insensitivity and feeling of insecurity in the child. The number of caregivers in childcare centers may not be adequate. Parents are better caregivers and feel more secure of their infants’ safety when they attend to the infants themselves. Breast-feeding leads to important and long-term health benefits for the infants and their mothers (Murtagh & Moulton, 2011). It also positively affects the cognitive development of the infants and their health as adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of birth and continued breast-feeding till the infant is 12 months of age. If mothers work outside the home, it negatively influences the duration of breast-feeding. Unsupportive work environments reduce the breast-feeding duration. Adverse impact of early return US based studies find that maternal employment in the first year of life leads to poorer outcomes, later in childhood. In particular, poorer cognitive outcomes have been reported. The adverse effects are pronounced when mothers return to full-time work before the child is one year old (Gregg, Washbrook, Propper & Burgess, 2005). As participation of women with infants in the labor market has gone up, prevalence rate of breast-feeding has declined. In a study based in Taiwan, Chuang et al (2010) find that return to work within six months of giving birth, is a barrier to continuation of breast-feeding. This study was based in Taiwan where maternity leave does not extend beyond 8 weeks. Women were found to stop breast-feeding after this 8-week period during which they were confined at home. Role of legislation in early return Women are being forced to return to work soon after giving birth to the child for economic reasons. In addition, self-esteem and a sense of worth are associated with the paid worker status. However, this causes time pressure on family members and adversely impacts the welfare of the children (Smeaton, 2006). Men should be encouraged to perform more active roles in the family and child-rearing. Work-life balance and increasing nursery provision at workplace, part-time work for some months upon return to work should be given due consideration. In the UK before 1990, mothers were paid to stay at home for 18 weeks following child birth. They could return to work anytime up to 29 weeks of child birth. This study by Burgess et al (2008) found that legislation plays a vital role in the work return rates. Most women returned to work at the end of paid leave (18 months) and beginning of unpaid leave. If the partner’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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