The Unexamined Life

Fathers Help Improve New Mothers' Postpartum Health, Research Shows

A new study claimed that a new mother is more vulnerable to postpartum troubles when the father is not around to help out at home. The researchers studied the implications of a 2012 Swedish law that allows fathers to have a 30-day leave after their partners give birth to measure the effects of their presence in the home environment to the mothers’ health.

A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper claimed that the father’s presence after a new mother gives birth affords postpartum benefits. The results suggested that fathers should be given a 30-day work leave and must be allowed to excuse themselves a few days from work whenever needed to maintain the mothers’ postpartum health.

Researchers Petra Persson and Maya Rossin-Slater looked at the effects of a 2012 Swedish law had on new parents. They found that there was a 26 percent decrease in anti-anxiety prescriptions during the first six months postpartum after the policy went into effect. There was also a 14 percent decrease in hospitalizations or health professional visits in new mothers and 11 percent decrease in antibiotic prescriptions.

Researchers then claimed that the presence of the father or another adult caretaker who will assist the new mother in caring for the child significantly improved the mom’s health. They attested that improving the home environment results in reduced rates of postpartum troubles and that having someone to assist in child care reduces the risk thereof.

According to Harvard Health, In the United States, maternal mortality including childbirth-related deaths within a year after giving birth has increased by 50 percent. Subsequently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued new guidelines to improve postpartum health care. These included paid leave for new parents and the promotion of better access to health care for new moms.

Moreover, the Labor Department also claimed that they will review the Family and Medical Leave Act to reduce postpartum troubles among new parents and possibly reform the law to assist new parents during the postpartum stage. The law gives a 12-week unpaid leave for American workers who meet the qualifications. However, James Sherk, labor adviser to President Donald Trump, noted that the benefits afforded by the labor law are abused by workers and are therefore considered burdensome.

baby delivery New parents after mother gives birth in the operating room. cynthia_groth/Pixabay