To procreate or not to procreate -- that is the question. Here is the answer.
With shared parental leave legislation impending, 44% of working women consider sharing their entitlement
From April next year, it's expected that new legislation in the UK will mean that parents finally have more options over who takes time off work to care for their new arrival.
Although this is a breakthrough both for parental equality and hopefully for gender pay equality in the workplace, the impact will completely depend on how many couples take the newly available options.
A recent survey by Workingmums.co.uk suggests that 44% of working mothers would consider sharing their parental leave with their partner - up 3% on last year's figure.
17% of women living with a partner say they were the main breadwinner in the household - an embarrassing statistic in 2014 by any measure - however at least this number is improving slowly.
Other findings from the survey of 2391 working parents:
- 56% of women say they earn less pro-rata than they did before having children
- 56% make use of grandparents to reduce their childcare costs
- Many women got the flexible working they requested from employers, but 23% did not with 11% feeling their request was not even considered
- 41% pay nothing for childcare (up 11% from last year's responses), 11% pay up to £100 per month, 14% between £100 and £250 per month. 13% between £250 and £500 per month and 20% pay over £500 per month
- 60% think they have to work harder than men due to unconscious bias
The average weight of babies has been going up for the last 30 years but the number of 'large' babies has gone up by a staggering 20% in the last decade - and the trend seems to be continuing. The question is why?
According to an article in The Guardian recently, the average birth weight is now 7lb 8oz and while this is not far from the 1970 average of 7lb 6oz, the number of babies over 9lb 15oz has increased significantly. The article goes on to say that most health professionals class a baby over 9lb 15oz as 'above average' but is a large baby a healthy baby and what is best for mum?
In our little poll of mums, there were mixed views about the ideal birth weight with some suggesting that a heavier baby is both easier to look after and stronger in later months. Others felt that an 'average' weight baby is better for all concerned as they are more mobile and less likely to lose as much weight in the first few weeks. Our little panel wasn't even in agreement that a smaller baby is easier on mum at birth, so clearly there are lots of views and lots experiences to take into account.
Our standard of living has increased dramatically in recent history as has the quality of medical care we all enjoy so it seems logical that there is a link between these factors and birth weights. The issue is what should we and what can we do about it.
The advice appears to be the same as it has for many years - eat a balanced diet for you and baby and let nature take its course. Is there cause for concern with the increase in birth weight? Opinion is split.