In most cultures and communities around the world, the traditional roles of a man and a woman within the family used to be very different and well defined. It was and largely continues to be, the man's responsibility to provide for all the material needs of his family, a role that men thrived owing to their physical strength and desire to please their women. On the other hand, it was the responsibility of the woman to take care of the home, meaning that she had to cook, clean, and take care of the children.
This division of roles was ideal for life many decades back, but these days so much has changed. Since these days the cost of living is so high, and both men and women have the ability to make money, the roles have changed. In most families, both the man and the woman have jobs, meaning that both will go to work early every day and possibly come back home late.
Consequently, household employees have taken up the traditional role of the parent, and are cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, and doing everything else to make sure the home is comfortable for all who live there.
Therefore, since a woman's role in pregnancy and delivery is arguably far much more involving than that of men, a woman has the right to take maternity leave. This means that she can take a few months off from work to prepare for the delivery and to take care of their newborns for a while before returning to work.
However, some women are choosing not to take their maternity leaves, which is not the best thing for the mom or the baby. Here are 20 things that happen when a pregnant mom chooses not to take maternity leave.
20 It Might Have An Impact On Mom's Mental Well-Being
The women who choose not to take maternity leave have their own reasons for doing so, though many do so because they have no choice (since they might be the only breadwinners in their families). Regardless, continuing to work almost immediately after giving birth can have a negative impact on any new mother’s mental well-being. Mothers go through many changes during and after pregnancy including hormonal imbalances, body changes, sleep deprivation, and so much more.
Going through such changes, giving birth, and not taking sufficient time out to recover and deal with their new life is hard for new moms. These moms will usually find themselves worried, stressed, fatigued, and anxious all the time, which can lead to depression. Maternity leave has a measurable positive impact on the mental well-being of new mothers.
19 There Will Be Little Time To Bond With The Newborn
Women who don’t take maternity leave soon after giving birth barely have enough time to bond with their babies. Bonding occurs when a mother is there for her baby and is available to attend to her baby’s needs. When she’s not there to feed, change, play with, or bathe her baby, bonding will be difficult.
Bonding is an attachment that develops with time and occurs faster if the parent is spending a lot of time with the baby. It promotes proper brain connections, growth, security, and positive emotional development. The baby tends to bond more with the person responding to her everyday needs, which can be heartbreaking for the mother if she's not the one.
18 She May Experience Mommy Guilt
No matter how much a woman loves and values her career, choosing not to take maternity leave will definitely have an impact on her especially after giving birth. New moms will always feel guilty when they have to leave their babies to go to work.
Balancing being a new mom and going to work can be exhausting. It is hard for new moms to focus on work when their little one is at home with someone else because they will surely miss many of their baby’s first moments. If they cannot reverse their decision, such moms should learn to accept the situation. As long as the caregiver feeds, changes, and treats the baby with love, he or she will be fine.
17 There Might Be High Stress And Anxiety Levels
Taking maternity leave during pregnancy and/or after childbirth is important, simply because a new mom's body needs a break in preparation for and immediately after, going through one of her most strenuous experiences. Therefore, when circumstances don’t allow pregnant women and new mothers to take time off; this can lead to fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
Working mothers, who go to work during the day, get the opportunity to attend to their babies at night because they're up every few hours; however, this will result in sleep deprivation. This further adds on to the stress, anxiety, and other health conditions that moms may be experiencing because of the delivery. Such moms have to find a way to balance work and the baby before the situation gets even more complicated.
16 Mom Could Encounter Nursing Issues
Exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months is one of the best things a mom can do for her newborn because it has numerous benefits. Breastfeeding also saves the money a couple would have spent to buy formula since it does not cost even one cent. Therefore, pregnant women who don’t take maternity leave only make nursing the baby so much more complicated.
These moms have no way of nursing their babies during the day because they're not there. In addition, because of substituting breast milk with formula, many babies often refuse breast milk altogether. Furthermore, moms who don’t nurse frequently also face the risk of having a low milk supply, since nursing stimulates the production of breast milk.
15 Stocking Up On Milk Is Not Easy
Pregnant women who don’t want to take maternity leave but want their babies to feed on breast milk need to have a plan of how to pump and stock up on breast milk. Due to breast engorgement while at work, new mothers should at least pump out their breast milk every two to three hours.
Some places of work usually have nursing rooms set aside for new moms, but in cases where they're not available, a new mom can ask for a clean and private room where she can pump. A good electric pump can help to express the milk in a fast and efficient way. Stocking up on milk is not an easy task, but it is necessary where there are no other better options.
14 There is The Possibility Of Post-Baby Blues
Pregnant women who don’t take maternity leaves are more likely to have postpartum depression compared to those who get the opportunity to stay at home with their babies for a few months. This form of depression occurs after giving birth, but the new mom has no choice but to work full time almost immediately.
Juggling a new addition to the family and professional responsibilities can stretch anyone’s health and overall well-being, which can cause depression. Some moms can find themselves crying all the time, having no energy to do anything, and lacking the ability to focus at work. Maternity leave helps combat this situation, though also reaching out to close friends and family and sharing what they feel can help a lot.
13 There Might Be A Negative Impact On Family Wellness
Mothers always help their families to adjust to a new baby well, especially if she has other children. If a mom doesn't prepare her other children concerning the newborn adequately or even help them deal with the transition for a while before going back to work, the situation is sure to turn out ugly. If the other kids do not go through the transition properly, they are sure to feel as if their mom is ignoring them and is replacing them with the newborn. Some siblings often resent the newborn as a result.
A new mother who doesn’t take maternity leave often wants to get home and spend quality time with the baby and if she has other kids, it might be difficult to give all of them the attention they need. Even dad might feel neglected and this can affect the whole family negatively.
12 Mom Will Have To Worry About Leaving The Baby With A Stranger
Pregnant women who opt to forego maternity leave when they eventually give birth often have to leave their babies with a caregiver when they go to work. Leaving their babies every day as they go to work is one of the hardest things for these mothers since many of them even find it difficult to leave their babies with their fathers let alone strangers.
These moms constantly worry if the caregivers are feeding their babies on time, changing their diapers properly, or if they are attending to their needs properly. This uneasiness can make it difficult for new moms to adjust to their new lives.
11 Mom Will Not Lag Behind In The Workplace
A positive thing pregnant women and new mothers experience when they don’t take maternity leave is they don’t get to miss anything at work. For example, if a promotion opportunity comes up, the bosses concerned will consider such women for the role because of their determination and commitment to the company.
A working mom is always up to date with new software, routines, and procedures. They do not need to adjust to working life because they are always there and are up to date. The only negative bit is that they don’t get to take care of their little ones themselves, a price that such working moms have to pay.
10 She Might Adjust Faster To Her Postpartum Wardrobe
Pregnant women have to adjust to their new bodies after giving birth. Every woman's experience is different. Some women snap back just a few weeks after giving birth while others will need to put on a lot of work to lose the pregnancy lbs. After giving birth, most new moms do not concern themselves with how they look because their attention is on their new bundle of joy.
As for moms who don’t take maternity leave, they will definitely care about how their bodies look. This is the case because they have to go to work right away. They can’t just wear sweats and big t-shirts; they have to find something fitting and professional. This is a challenge especially if they have to shop for new clothes as they wait to bounce back to their original size.
9 She Might Be Thinking About Going Back Home
After giving birth, women who don’t take maternity leave and return to work immediately usually wait anxiously to get back home to their babies in the evenings. Their first day at work post-birth is usually challenging and very long. They look forward to the end of the day to step out of the office so they can go spend a few hours with their babies.
Furthermore, working moms will find it hard to concentrate at work, especially when coworkers keep asking them about the baby and their bodies keep reminding them they just gave birth. It will definitely take time to adjust to the role of mom and employee but it gets easier with time.
8 She Could Experience Fatigue As A Result Of Juggling It All
When women don’t take maternity leave, they have to wake up early to go to work and often return home in the evening very tired. As if working throughout the day is not enough, they have to attend to their baby’s needs at night. Newborns require feeding every three to four hours and two or three diaper changes at night.
A working mom adjusting to all this can experience exhaustion and fatigue, and find it hard to concentrate at work. Such women require all the help they can get from their partners during the night. These two can take turns taking care of the little one so each of them can get a few hours of consistent sleep.
7 She Won't Have As Much Time For Her Body To Heal
Not taking maternity leave and resuming work almost immediately after giving birth is dangerous for a woman’s body. No one can argue against the fact that women need a period to rest after childbirth, for their minds and bodies to recover from the process of giving birth.
However, some women feel as if taking a break is not necessary, especially those that have had their second baby but even so, taking time to rest is crucial. After giving birth, moms experience a lot of exhaustion and take a few weeks to get their energy back. Some of the women who undergo a cesarean delivery need even more time to recover.
6 There Are High Chances Of Preterm Labor
Some pregnant women often take their maternity leave weeks before their due date, because pregnancy is unique in every woman and in every baby. regardless of how a woman is feeling, taking a break a week or so before the due date is important as it helps to prevent preterm labor. However, even after feeling overly exhausted and tired, some women still push themselves to work until the last day.
These women might make it to work normally but soon force their colleagues to rush them to the hospital. The surprise of delivering a baby earlier than the due date can make a new mom anxious and harder to bond with her baby properly. Furthermore, the baby might develop health complications as a result.
5 Newborns Have No Choice But To Accept The Bottle
It is always a great idea for women to choose to breastfeed their babies for a while exclusively, but this is tough for women who don’t take maternity leave. Their babies have to learn and love feeding through a bottle. No matter how much milk a mom will pump out during the day, it will be of no use if the baby refuses to drink through a bottle.
If the baby loved and got used to breastfeeding, since most moms get the opportunity to breastfeed moments after giving birth, he or she might reject the bottle. This can be difficult especially for a working mom. Some babies also reject the bottle when their mothers are near since they can smell their moms and they know she's the source of their favorite milk.
4 The Baby’s Development Might Be Affected
When a mother makes every effort to love and care for her baby, she makes it easy for her baby to develop properly and in every way, including physically and psychologically. Therefore, mothers who go back to work soon after childbirth might be putting their babies at the risk of poor development, unless if there's someone else available to take good care of the baby when she's away.
However, as long as the baby is getting enough care and attention from his or her caregivers, he or she will develop normally and in a healthy way. Therefore, if a mom wants her baby to develop positively, she has to either stick with her baby for a few months or look for someone very good and dependable to take care of her baby.
3 She Might Bring Work Frustrations Home
Sometimes one parent’s income is not enough to support the family so the woman might not have the privilege of taking maternity leave because she needs to work to help support the family. Therefore, such a new mom might have to take a job she doesn’t like to bridge the financial gap.
In such a case, a new mom might be tempted to bring her frustrations home, which is a negative thing. Babies can sense and react to knowing that their mothers are unhappy and distressed. Also bringing work frustrations home can affect her relationship with other members of the family, which is also a bad situation.
2 She Could Miss Milestones
Pregnant women who choose not to take maternity leave after giving birth will often miss so much in relation to their newborn babies. Because these moms have to spend the whole day at work, they will have to hear about their babies' milestones from someone else. These things might include the first time baby can support her head on her own or when she will first figure out how to crawl.
Babies' first months are crucial in shaping their future and moms often want to be there to experience their first milestones with them. However, this does not mean that the mom is the only one who should be present in such moments, though she will feel better if she is.
1 She Might Have Issues Adjusting To Or Enjoying Motherhood
Pregnancy, through to the point of giving birth, is draining for any woman who has to go through it. Alongside physical recovery, moms have to deal with fluctuating hormones, sleep deprivation, and adjusting to being the primary caregivers of tiny human beings. This situation is not easy and for women who don’t take maternity leaves their realities are much worse.
Going back to work almost immediately after giving birth denies them the time to adjust to being mothers or even to enjoy motherhood. They are ideally the primary caregivers of the baby but someone else has to take up this role. In some cases, the baby will end up bonding with the caregiver more than how he or she will bond with his or her mother. This can really break a mom's heart.