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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Why does society treat women with babies as second-class citizens?

Facebook. CVS Health. Veterans Administration.

In the rush to do this to “show the compassion” now that another father has been shot, a series of decisions may be in order. Have nursing mothers been given the same personalized medical attention that is given to mothers of newborns? Has the V.A. given them in-office and in-patient services for other medical problems besides postpartum depression? Have pharmacists reported for scheduled appointments and done enough to help them get what they need to get back to normal?

Of course, there’s a problem. Some mothers, even of the postpartum variety, have the appetite for work and are reluctant to lay off their career ambitions or retreat from their kids. But I think they might benefit from the kind of nurturing they’re getting from their V.A. doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

They’re much better served by more folks like Erica Bonke, a pharmacist who cared for both her two daughters who had chronic conditions and her mother who had Alzheimer’s.

The caregiver bias may be greater than even the nanny bias; there was a 2014 survey of female managers where the overwhelming number considered women with kids to be less focused on work than men. This doesn’t mean that the male managers simply didn’t care; they were polite but not particularly interested in women with children.

This paints an incomplete picture, since one survey of 463 U.S. mothers with children under 18 said that fathers spent more time with their kids than mothers.

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