The TikTok user was forced to work just less than two weeks after giving birth to her baby prematurely.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 21, 2022. It has since been updated.
One mom is sharing her story of how she was forced to go back to work just 12 days after giving birth to her premature baby. The new mom was feeling frustrated, fearful, guilty, and exhausted, and shared her feelings on TikTok. The 26-year-old medical assistant/exercise physiologist had recorded herself sitting at her desk at work, crying... why? Not only was she missing time with her newborn but her infant daughter was being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after being born at 27 weeks. Having to go back to work, leaving her child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has left the mum absolutely heartbroken.
“POV, you have to return to work 12 days after having a premature baby at 27 weeks, so that when she is eventually discharged from the NICU you can spend what little maternity leave you have with her,” Shumard, aka @edensmomma10_12, wrote as on-screen text. “You try to pump at work every three hours, but they’re understaffed. Your milk supply is diminishing at eight weeks postpartum. Will you even have milk available when she gets home?” she asked. “What do other NICU parents do? How can anyone afford to stay home during a NICU stay? How can anyone handle the guilt when you have to work and can’t be with your baby? This. Is. America.”
@edensmomma10_12 #nicu #postpartum #ppd #preemie #americanhealthcare #maternity ♬ original sound - Rabs
“My expectations of maternity leave were, this is the time to spend with your baby, and it’s going to be obviously a learning curve,” Shumard told In The Know, as per Yahoo News. “You spend those short six weeks with them, if that’s what it is that you get, and during that time you are creating a schedule that works for the baby that changes daily, hourly." Moreover, the parent is healing from a major procedure and going to multiple doctor appointments for them and their newborn, which is applicable to babies who aren’t in the NICU, too. "So those six weeks turn into minutes real quick,” she said.
Medical assistant slams government for 'failing new moms' as she reveals she had to return to work 12 DAYS after giving birth https://t.co/MPInU3o3mL— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) January 19, 2022
Rebecca's experience sadly resonated with many other people. Her TikTok has garnered nearly three million views, with over half a million likes, 20,000 comments, and an overwhelming amount of support with many even sending her donations. After 72 long days in the NICU, she updated her followers saying that Eden was able to come home just in time for Christmas. The young mom expressed gratitude for the incredible warmth she received from the TikTok community, the nurses at the NICU as well as her partner.
The U.S. remains the only wealthy country without a national paid parental level program, noted Bored Panda. Only 21 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave through their employers as per BBC Worklife. In the European Union, paid parental leave is mandated and employees cannot be punished for asking for it. “Both parents are entitled to at least 4 months leave each. As a general rule, employees cannot transfer their leave entitlement to the other parent. However, some countries may allow them to transfer part of their entitlement, but no more than 3 months,” the official webpage of the EU stated. “Under EU rules, staff can take parental leave at any time until the child is 8 years old. However, this age limit may be lower in some countries, under national law.”
American citizens surely deserve better?
Cover Image Source: TikTok/@edensmomma10_12