Concerning Women

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


I am going to have my first baby in a few months (I'm thrilled!), and I am trying to decide how long I need to take off from work. Since my husband and I are both wage earners it will be a little tight, but I could probably stay off of work several months (my boss will let me come back whenever I like). What do you recommend?


Congratulations! You sound very happy to be having a baby. What you want to strive for is keeping yourself well and reducing your stress. Although I don't know your situation exactly, you might consider the following: most research suggests that a longer maternity leave (over six weeks) is helpful for working mothers. Additionally, finding help to care for your baby when you go back to work is essential. The best options are baby care facilities near by and help from family, neighbors and friends.

There are lots of good books out for new mothers. I like "What to Expect while Expecting" and others in that series. You can find additional helpful information by asking at your public library and by checking with others who are in your situation.


Deborah G. Alicen, Ph.D., is a private practice psychologist who lives in Plainfield, Vermont--a transplanted Southerner who still can't say "cows" the way real Vermonters do. She has spent the last twelve years working mostly with children, adolescents, and adults recovering from sexual abuse and domestic violence.



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