New Mom Shares How Ridiculous It Is To Get 6 Weeks Maternity Leave

We all know that becoming a parent is one of the most challenging roles a human can take on. So why is it that some governments refuse to provide support and resources to ensure that moms and dads are set up for success? 

New mom Anna Gantt recently shared a rant on TikTok calling out the unfortunate state of maternity leave in the United States, and her video quickly went viral among viewers who could relate. Below, you’ll find the post Anna shared that sparked this discussion, as well as a conversation with Anna and some of the responses she received from viewers.

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All new parents look forward to spending time bonding with their little ones

Image credits: annavgantt

So when this mother realized that many American moms return to work only weeks after giving birth, she couldn’t help but call out the system

Image credits: annavgantt

“You want to know what’s [messed] up? American maternity leave”

Image credits: annavgantt

“I’m six weeks postpartum with my baby. And there’s no way on earth I would be going back to work right now. The people who decided that it is okay to leave an infant at daycare at six weeks old – jail. I live in Georgia in the United States. And it’s not legal to separate a puppy or a kitten from its mother until they are eight weeks old. So how is it okay to leave a human at six weeks old? My body is not even healed. I just now can go on a walk with my dog and my infant.”

“I thankfully have not suffered from postpartum anxiety or depression. But if I did, work would be the last thing on my mind”

Image credits: annavgantt

“And I can’t imagine being in the position where you must go back to work in order to survive, in order to provide for your family with dual income, or if your partner is not working and you’re the one that’s responsible. That must be awful. I thankfully work from home but hitting six weeks and knowing that this is when most women return to work here in the United States is insanity.”

“People I know have been given the 12-week maternity leave but asked to return sooner. This is crazy”

Image credits: annavgantt

“My friends in other countries are guaranteed six months paid leave up to a year, two years. I have a friend who just got two years paid maternity leave that included six months for her husband, so that the parents can, I don’t know, parent. I’m 24 years old. We need to change this in my generation. We need to make this unacceptable. And my heart goes out to any mother who has to return to work sooner than when she’s ready.”

You can hear Anna’s full rant right here

@annavgantt American maternity leave is actually insane…… because WHO decided six weeks was even close to acceptable for an infant and mom to be seperated? WTF #maternityleave #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – Anna Gantt

“There is no way that the beginning weeks or months of an infant’s life can properly be balanced while being forced to work full-time”

We got in touch with Anna Gantt to discuss why she shared this video in the first place, and she was kind enough to open up about how becoming a mother impacted her understanding of how unfortunate the state of maternity leave is in the US. “Having my daughter Misha hit home,” she shared. “My time became our time, and my priority shifted to all of Misha’s wants and needs. There is no way that the beginning weeks or months of an infant’s life can properly be balanced while being forced to work full-time.”

Anna says she was lucky enough to be given as much maternity leave as she wants, but she knows this is a rare privilege in the US, especially in the South. “Becoming a mother made me hurt for all of the parents, especially mothers, who have just given birth and aren’t promised the 12 week maternity leave that many American employers argue is ‘enough time,’” Anna continued. “It just isn’t, and I would argue that our bodies aren’t even healed to return to a 40 hour week schedule at 5 or 6 months postpartum. There is a reason doctors advise mothers to wait at least a year before having another child, and I cannot believe our government continues to abuse the lack of protection for infant children and parents who deserve better.” 

We were also curious why Anna believes the US is so far behind when it comes to maternity leave. “For the same reasons we are so far behind in other ways- healthcare, childcare, and overall social services,” she noted. “I believe that it is our government’s mission to keep our protective laws surrounding women as archaic as possible, otherwise, it wouldn’t seem very ‘American’ would it?”

“The United States is hardly a ‘developed nation’ and is rightfully ranked last for maternity/paternity leave laws”

“Our country was never based on equality or fairness towards anyone who didn’t look like the colonizers that invaded just a few hundred years ago,” Anna went on to say. “We have a long way to go, and a hard reset to perform within our government to elect individuals that understand the importance of postpartum care for mothers, infant and baby development, and parental leave for the other supporting roles in that child’s life.”

“Simply put, I believe this issue is at a federal government level,” the new mom continued. “Why is the debate of maternity and paternity leave left up to individual employers when there is science based evidence worldwide that concludes infants, babies, and children are only benefited by time with parents at home? Babies, just weeks old, may be subject to bare minimum care when they are forced into nurseries here in the United States where diaper changes, feedings, and human interaction aren’t the same as if they were home with their parents.”

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As far as what kind of maternity leave Anna would like to see provided to American moms, she says Scandinavian countries are setting a great example. “Norway, for example, gives parents 49 weeks of 100% paid maternity leave, or 59 weeks with 80% pay,” she shared. “Mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of leave during pregnancy should they choose to begin their maternity leave while pregnant. Fathers/partners are allotted 15 weeks that they must use from the leave, and I find this especially helpful for the mother as a baby’s care should not entirely fall onto her.”

“As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village,’” Anna added. She also noted that some other European countries like Bulgaria and Estonia have set mothers up for success by allowing them the right to stay home for about a year, while their partners can stay home for months as well. “In an ideal world, I would expect at least half of the time taken from both parents to be paid, 100%,” Anna says. “Parents should be entitled to shared time at home with their child, rather than passing them off, leaving sole responsibility on one parent all of the time.”

Americans, however, are currently at the mercy of their employers for maternity and paternity leave. “As you can imagine, this varies greatly, and often leaves mothers with no choice other than returning to work prematurely and leaving their newborns with strangers at expensive and often crowded nurseries,” Anna pointed out. “The United States is hardly a ‘developed nation’ and is rightfully ranked last for maternity/paternity leave laws.” 

“We know our mothers deserve better”

Anna added that she was very pleased with the replies her video received. “I saw many fellow Americans in the comments angry as I am,” she told Bored Panda. “We know our mothers deserve better and have been abused since women have been in the workforce. Our children have suffered at the hands of greedy employers who do not respect mothers’ health and postpartum needs.”

“Mothers around the world shared their maternity leave laws and made many American parents understand how little our government cares about the wellbeing of childhood development, which begins at home,” Anna added. But the new mom says she was surprised to read some comments from Americans who did not support the idea of employers providing paid or extended maternity leave. “Are we as women only allowed to be employed if we promise to never start a family? It is comments like these that prove women, alongside minority communities, still face inequality within American businesses,” Anna says.

“I, as a 24 year old mother, hope that it will be our generation to vote for change. Outdated policies are actively harming our children who will become the next adults in our nation, and so, we desperately need universal care that encourages parents to spend quality time with their babies, and take on equal responsibility for the optimal healthy outcome for American families. Maternity and paternity leave is one of many improvements the U.S. has to rewrite for our healthcare to even compare with other nations, but I know it is in our future.”

Viewers echoed Anna’s sentiments in the replies and pointed out how much better maternity leave is in other nations

The post New Mom Shares How Ridiculous It Is To Get 6 Weeks Maternity Leave first appeared on Bored Panda.

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