I don't think its realistic or practical to expect a mom to be back at work within 2 weeks of giving birth. I'm involved with a private day care charity (we provide high quality child care to the working poor) and we don't accept infants until they are at least 6 weeks (standard in the industry) and most infant day care programs have quite the waiting list.
What about a live-in nanny? If both parents are working, then surely that would be an option, at least until the infant is old enough to go to daycare.
Of course, I would much rather see a child being raised by its own parent
, rather than a stranger. I'm simply pointing out that it is a choice
. The parents choose
what's important to them. If the woman wishes to keep up with her childless co-workers, then she'll have to sacrifice time with her child. If she values family time more than money, then she can take the full year of parental leave, and return to work a year later.
All I'm saying is, it is ridiculously unfair to expect her to be allowed to take a full year of parental leave, then return to work with a salary that has been automatically raised to stay on par with her childless coworkers, who have spent the same year advancing their careers. I'm sorry, but you can't have it all. We all have to make choices.
Additionally, babies at two weeks require regular feeding
That feeding doesn't have to be administered by the mother. A father or nanny is perfectly capable of providing a bottle of formula when needed. Or if the parents are adamant about breast milk, they can employ a breast pump and store the milk until needed.
I'm just pointing out that their are options that would allow the mother to return to work and remain on-par with her peers, if that were really important to her. If she chooses to stay with her child instead, then she is choosing to let her peers advance without her. It is unfair to automatically "catch her up" to her hard-working co-workers when she eventually chooses to return to work.