Friday, September 20, 2013

Maternity Leave

I went back to work this week, which got me thinking about maternity leave, and how little the US does to support new mothers. I did some research and what I found shocked and disappointed me. According to an article from The Huffington Post, 176 countries guarantee paid leave to working mothers, and some provide paid leave for fathers as well. There are a very few who offer no paid leave for new mothers, including Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho, and of course the United States. According to a report by Save the Children, more generous maternity leave policies can greatly impact a child’s life, because they typically are breastfed long, and resulted in a longer life expectancy as well.


According to The Nation magazine, the lack of paid maternity leave in the US causes many young families to go into debt. The most disappointing fact in this article was that “almost 30% of employers offered paid leave for new mothers in 1998; only 16% in 2008”. I just can’t understand why companies are cutting back on maternity leave, instead of making it better. As one of the most powerful countries in the world, I would expect that we would want to be a leader in taking care of those people who are supplying the future generation.


So here I sit after three days of work. The little one is sleeping away, because he is so exhausted from crying all day for the past three days, because he has been refusing to take a bottle because he misses Mommy and knows “breast is best”. Hopefully before I have the next one these policies will start to change for the better.


Sources: (This link has a list of several countries and their respective maternity leave policies.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We hate shots!

Gabe got a couple of his two month vaccinations on Monday. We decided that we want to split them up, so he isn’t getting so much medicine, etc, at a single time. We have decided that for our family the benefits of vaccinating outweigh the risks because hubby works at a hospital and there is no telling what kind of diseases he comes in contact with, and even though he showers before touching Gabe every night, we still think this is the best choice for us. We decided to do the oral Rotavirus and the DTap, Hib & Polio (one shot) first, per the doctor’s recommendations because those are less likely to have side effects than the Hep B and PCV, which he will get in two weeks. Gabe was such a good boy, took the oral with no fuss, probably because he is used to getting his Vitamin D that way (and his gas drops occasionally). He barely cried on the shot too, and that was a BIG needle (I made the mistake of looking!). So we went home thinking that he would be ok, since he was fine when he got the Hep B at his week-old appt. He slept for awhile, then woke up right before hubby left for work, crying. And he just kept crying and crying, for an hour, uncontrollably. He wouldn’t nurse, singing & rocking didn’t help, nothing helped. He’d fall asleep for a minute or so & then wake up crying again. Thank goodness my mother-in-law happened to show up about that time, and saved the day. She said he was probably hurting at the injection sight, and suggested giving him Tylenol to help with the pain. I hadn’t thought about that, and hadn’t planned on giving him Tylenol since he didn’t have a fever. Well, I didn’t even have Tylenol. She sent her husband to the store to get baby Tylenol & then we gave it to him. Within 20 minutes Gabe started to calm down. He did much better the rest of the day, though he still wouldn’t nurse well and was pretty clingy, but at least he wasn’t screaming uncontrollably! He had another meltdown about an hour before Robert came home (Mommy might’ve joined in on the meltdown at that point too), but then fell asleep and did pretty well overnight. He was about the same the next morning, until about 3pm, and then he started having trouble again. He wasn’t crying like before, but he was just awake. WIDE AWAKE! He was clingy, and still wasn’t nursing well. From 3pm-3am he slept for a total of 2 hours, and not even 2 hours straight! By the end of that 12 hour stretch he was completely exhausted (as were Mommy & Daddy), starving, & fussy beyond belief. He finally passed out a little after 3am, and thus began the road back to normalcy. Three days after his shots, Gabe is finally his happy self again. We will definitely be more prepared next time, with Tylenol, patience, & some extra help too! Needless to say, in this household, we hate shots!

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