“I am a pediatrician and a mother. Children are at the center of my everyday work professionally, yet I can still remember what it felt like to be a new mom. I recall coming home from the hospital feeling a complete lack of knowledge about what parenthood truly looked like — and certainly no experience yet. Lucky for me, what I did have was state-funded paid parental leave that afforded me the time to figure it all out.

During this time, I didn’t have to worry about my family’s financial stability. I remember the drop-in visits from friends and colleagues who made the adjustment to parenthood that much easier. These are the moments all parents deserve. The time spent examining every little finger and toe, jokingly arguing over which relatives the baby takes after most and giving their full attention to their newest addition. What’s more, as a pediatrician, I know that this time is vital to setting the foundation for strong parent-infant attachment and healthy relationships, and in turn, long-term child health and well-being.”

Read on for Dr. Alderman’s full opinion piece, published 9/9/21 in the Portland Tribune.


OPS Member Dr. Sherri Alderman is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Early Childhood.

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