Author Says Women Should Prioritize Mothering For The First 3 Years After Giving Birth

The author of a new book that has already courted controversy for calling on women to prioritize mothering for the first three years after giving birth instead of returning to the workplace spoke out today on Good Morning America.

Erica Komisar, who penned the book Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, links a recent increase in mental illness and developmental disorders in children with an increasing “cultural devaluation of mothering.”

Komisar cites data from the CDC, which states that antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased nearly 400 percent between the periods of 1988 through 1994 and 2005 through 2008, which offers some correlative–though not causative–support for her ideas.

Some skeptics have pointed out, however, that for many women, staying home is not an option.

“The title’s a little deceiving in that the book isn’t really about working versus non-working,” Komisar admitted this morning. “It’s about prioritizing. So that word was chosen very carefully. Prioritizing your children in the first three years whether you’re a working mom, or a non-working mom. In an ideal world, we want to be there as much as possible…but there’s reality and women have to work.”

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