Maternity Leave: Is It a Feminist Issue?
Also, the baby’s head which puts direct pressure on the cervix causes its effacement and dilatation – the process by which the cervix shortens in length and thins out while enlarging or widening the opening of the cervical canal. With the subsequent intermittent contractions of the uterus and the effacement and dilatation of the cervix, together with frequentfetalposition changes to keep the smallest diameter of the fetal head always presenting to the smallest diameter of the maternal pelvis, and with the natural pull of gravity as well, the fetus is propelled through the birth canal and out of the mother’s system. However, in some instances and due to some abnormalities in the dynamics of childbirth, the fetus cannot efficiently and effectively propel itself out of the birth canal. In such cases, the use of assistive devices such as a vacuum or forceps is necessary to guide and draw out the child from the mother’s womb safely.
Because “new mothers are subsequently at increased risk for a range of psychiatric disorders including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis.” the mandated length of a maternity leave should be highly reconsidered. (pg 45).
Aitken, Zoe, et al. “The Maternal Health Outcomes of Paid Maternity Leave: A Systematic Review.” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 130, no. Apr 2015, 2015, pp. 32-41.
Avendano, Mauricio, et al. “The Long-Run Effect of Maternity Leave Benefits on Mental Health: Evidence from European Countries.” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 132, 2015, pp. 45-53.
Mandal, Bidisha. “The Effect of Paid Leave on Maternal Mental Health.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 22, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1470-1476.