New mothers should work half days when they return to work to reduce stress on babies, says parenting guru
- Erica Komisar, 55, is an American psychoanalyst and parenting consultant
- She was speaking at event in London co-hosted by the Centre for Social Justice
- Mother-of-three also blamed nurseries for poor mental health among teenagers
New mothers should work half days when they return after maternity leave to reduce stress on their babies, according to a parenting guru.
Erica Komisar, who is an American parenting consultant and psychoanalyst, was speaking at an event in London which was co-hosted by the Centre for Social Justice.
The 55-year-old said that taking half days was better than working two or three longer shifts a week because babies’ experience of stress caused by separation from their primary carers increases over time.
Erica Komisar (pictured), who is an American psychoanalyst and parenting consultant, was speaking at an event in London which was co-hosted by the Centre for Social Justice
Ms Komisar said: ‘Shorter periods of time each day are much better than longer days.
‘Parents get it in their minds that it is better to have part-time work where they work three 12-hour days and then two days at home with the baby.
‘That inconsistency is crazy-making for a baby.’
The mother-of-three also caused controversy by criticising nurseries which she blamed for poor mental health among teenagers.
She added that it was much better to leave a child with a relative, where possible, or with an ’emotionally sensitive and passive nanny’ who is able to give one-to-one care.
Ms Komisar, who is the author of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, took six months off after the births of each of her children.
She then returned to work for just one and a half hours every day.
The 55-year-old said that taking half days was better than working two or three longer shifts a week because babies experience stress when they are separated from their primary carers (stock image)
Every new mother is legally bound to take the first two weeks off after the baby is born – or four weeks if they work in a factory.
Statutory Maternity Leave, which is made up of Ordinary Maternity Leave and Additional Maternity Leave, actually entitles new mothers to take up to 52 weeks off.
But 52 per cent of working women in the UK did not feel emotional or physical needs were catered for by their employers when they returned to work, according to a study of of 1,000 mother carried out by The Mummy MOT.