How did you feel seven hours after giving birth? Me, I was quite perky (it was a Caesarean: I was off my head on painkillers) but nonetheless I wouldn't have tried anything as complicated as, say, getting out of bed.
Feeble stuff compared to Helen Wright, a headteacher at a private girls' school who apparently went back to work seven hours after having her third baby. She is terribly gungho about great it all is having the baby at work with her, but it's hard to read without feeling faintly exhausted and depressed.
Nonetheless, the kicking promptly administered by today's Daily Mail, who seem to think she should have been sectioned instead, seems unkind.
When Wright says parents at her school expected to see an 'excellent role model' in the job I did wonder whether she felt under pressure not to be away: did she worry the parents wouldn't have tolerated a head absent on maternity leave, when they're paying the fees?
It's all a bit reminscent of Rachida Dati, the impossibly glamorous French minister (as was) and single mother who went back to work days after giving birth. Everyone condemned her for general heartlessness: a few weeks later, Dati was dropped from government, and it became clear that she had actually rushed back because she was terrified of losing her job if she didn't.
And she won't be the only one. When I was writing a piece about the impact of the recession for the Observer last year, one of the saddest things I heard was that nurseries were seeing an increase in very young babies (six weeks and up) coming into their care because their mothers didn't dare take proper leave while redundancies were flying around. In parts of the City, it's normal not to take longer than three months max (otherwise you don't look committed) while in politics, it can be even less (I know at least one MP who dictated letters all through her labour and was back doing constituency work within two days, terrified that her constituents would revolt if she didn't).
It's probably too early for figures to be available, but I'd be really interested to see what impact the recession has on uptake of maternity leave. I doubt many people have cut it to seven hours, but maybe Dr Wright's approach isn't as unusual as it seems.
UPDATE: The Daycare Trust, whose annual report on childcare costs is out today, apparently confirms anecdotal evidence of rising demand for childcare because of women taking less maternity leave during the recession.