Mary And Joseph

If Mary and Joseph were living in the US, they would probably be low income persons of color. And Mary would have to work in order to help make ends meet.

Once pregnant, she would have calculated her personal time off (PTO) and prayed that she did not get sick or have any pregnancy complications because the days taken off before the birth of the baby would mean less time with the baby after the birth. While the thought of leaving her baby to return to work just days after giving birth is depressing, she has no choice as their expenses are too high. And since she has no seniority, she is not in the position to ask for a change in work policy. Doing so, she would risk losing her job.

There's a good chance that the three wise men would not have been able to see Mary and the baby because Mary would have already returned back to work. What a shame! What a disservice to baby Jesus. While we are not expecting the birth of another Messiah, each child birth is a divine miracle. And the maternal- infant bond that begins forming during pregnancy is the bedrock for our families and our society.

More US companies i.e. Netflix and city governments i.e. NYC are changing their policies and are now providing paid maternal (parental) leave. However too many families are still without. For those that say small businesses can't afford this, consider opening discussion among all stakeholders and re-evaluating the cost /benefit analysis. In the US, we're smart. We find solutions. We can do better.

Author
Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

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