Paternity leave: The women angle

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By Chinwe Uzoechi

There is no gain-saying the fact that men come in handy around the house when their wives are nursing new born-babies.

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And there is no better time for the man of the house to come closer to his family than when his wife is tied up with the maternal responsibility of tending a new born.
Needless to mention the delicate nature of the nursing mother and the need for close monitoring as she recuperates.

On these and many other counts, there have been of late, widespread albeit credible advocacy for paternity leave for working fathers to enable them attend closely to their families especially, during the early days of child birth.

The notion actually stirred the interest of a good number of women, while some endorsed the idea, others had  contrary views.

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Excerpts:

Mrs. Rose Eme – The idea is good to have the father close to both child and wife, it will increase the bond, having him around to, maybe, drive both to the hospital or to the market, instead of the driver doing that, sure it will increase the love in the family.

Mrs. Uzoma – This is a wonderful idea, it will enable the fathers to contribute immensely to the upbringing of the child as he will not have any excuse in carrying out his responsibility as a father, he will be there for both mother and child, at least for six months, it is something. It will also enable him to understand his child better by creating a bond between him and the child.

Madam Gloria – My dear, many fathers will see it as an opportunity to carry out other things, rather than the purpose for the leave. Most of them will have many excuses to give in order not to be around the child for the six months, they will either go to the village to tend to their farm, or sick parents or even try to create another business in order to run away from the responsibility, claiming that they have to provide for the family and cannot do so by always being at home. So I think it is not necessary.

Mrs. Ruby – I think it’s a nice idea so long as all the incentives will be given to them, at least it might not be up to six months but three months so I think it will go a long way to help we mothers, because it is not easy; after carrying the baby for nine months and also taking care of the baby alone afterwards. In as much as it is the duty of the woman to nurse and nurture her child. It is also vital for the husband to contribute, to balance the equation and for the child to be close to the father also, it helps a lot, because, if you see a child that grew up without paternal care, he/she always behaves differently from one that experienced the love of both parents.

Angela – Honestly, it will be fun to have my husband beside me for some months, tending to my baby and I, it will surely encourage me to give the baby exclusive breast feeding because, it is not easy to do that alone without encouragement. It sure do take a lot from a mother. It will also give room for closeness to father and child.

Adaobi – Inasmuch as that will give room for the husbands to be there for the family always, (laughs) it will also give room for the women to maybe conceive while breast feeding the baby, I have seen a case like that, where a woman gets pregnant while still breast-feeding her baby. You will agree with me that it will not give room for child-spacing, thereby, increasing the population of the country. I think the disadvantage is more than the advantage.

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