Mom goes viral with video revealing she has to return to work just 18 weeks after giving birth

Former 16 and Pregnant star Nikkole Ledda has gone viral after sharing an emotional video about her return to work – just 18 weeks after giving birth.

Nikkole, 28, appeared in MTV’s hit reality series in 2009, falling pregnant with her son Lyle at just 15 before splitting with her boyfriend Josh Drummond soon after giving birth.

The reality star, who works 10-hour days at a car manufacturing factory, welcomed daughter Ellie in 2015 with Ryan Rice, but the pair split soon afterwards.

Nikkole, who is from Michigan, then married Kyle Ledda in 2020, and the pair welcomed son Bodhi in July this year. 

But just over four months later, Nikkole was forced to return to work as US maternity law only requires companies to provide 12 weeks unpaid leave following birth. In comparison, the UK provides up to 12 months leave for new mothers.

Former 16 and Pregnant star Nikkole Ledda has gone viral after sharing an emotional video about her return to work - just 18 weeks after giving birth to baby Bodhi

Former 16 and Pregnant star Nikkole Ledda has gone viral after sharing an emotional video about her return to work – just 18 weeks after giving birth to baby Bodhi

Nikkole, 28, is seen with son Lyle, 11, daughter Ellie, six, and baby Bodi, on holiday this year

Nikkole, 28, is seen with son Lyle, 11, daughter Ellie, six, and baby Bodi, on holiday this year

Sobbing in the heartbreaking video posted to Nikkole’s Instagram, the caption reads: ‘Tomorrow I go back to work after 18 weeks off with my baby.

‘Everyone tells me I should be happy to have a life outside of being a mom.

‘But I’m not happy, I’m heartbroken. I’m going from nursing, cuddling and loving my sweet baby every day to having a machine suck the milk out of me while I sit in a cold room.

‘And only getting to be with my baby  three hours a day. How is that supposed to make me happy?’

Sobbing in the heartbreaking video posted to Nikkole's Instagram, the caption reads: 'Tomorrow I go back to work after 18 weeks off with my baby.'

Sobbing in the heartbreaking video posted to Nikkole’s Instagram, the caption reads: ‘Tomorrow I go back to work after 18 weeks off with my baby.’

The video, which racked up over 14,000 likes, was captioned : ‘I knew it was coming but it still hurts so much’.

And international followers reacted with shock at lack of maternity leave provided in America.

A Swedish follower wrote: ‘Oh wow! Is that paid maternity leave? In Sweden where Im from I was able to stay at home-with 80% pay from work for 14 months. You are such a strong mama 4 months is still so small but You Will manage!’.

Another British fan added: ‘That’s mental. In UK we get maternity leave for 9months!  And another unpaid for 3 months. How do you go back after 6 weeks?’.

One American follower wrote: ‘There is no such thing as paid maternity leave here in the USA. you can use disability insurance to receive partial pay (if you have disability insurance). but it’s usually something you have to pay for, so not everyone even has that.’ 

Another said: ‘This is terrible. I’m from Uruguay what some would call a 3rd world country and got 6 months, fully paid. Still felt like so little time. Can’t believe this is the standard in the US’. 

‘It feels so unnatural to leave your babies my heart is with you!’, one wrote.

Nikkole married Kyle Ledda in 2020, and the pair welcomed son Bodhi in July this year (seen)

Nikkole married Kyle Ledda in 2020, and the pair welcomed son Bodhi in July this year (seen)

Nikkole is seen with son Lyle at just 15 and says she struggled to provide for her two children after being a single mother for many years

Nikkole is seen with son Lyle at just 15 and says she struggled to provide for her two children after being a single mother for many years

Nikkole, 28, appeared in MTV's hit reality series in 2009, seen, falling pregnant with her son Lyle at just 15 before splitting with her boyfriend Josh Drummond soon after giving birth

Nikkole, 28, appeared in MTV’s hit reality series in 2009, seen, falling pregnant with her son Lyle at just 15 before splitting with her boyfriend Josh Drummond soon after giving birth

But one unsympathetic mum wrote: ‘My work told me I get 6-8 weeks. Be glad you got what you did’.

Hitting back, a Canadian follower said: ‘We get up to 18 months here in Canada. Instead of telling other moms to “be glad you got what you did” you should question why America is the only first world countries without paid parental leave. ‘

Another added: ‘This is why our generation literally has to fight to change everything. You people yes I’m saying it are robots … there’s no empathy within you’. 

Elsewhere one asked: ‘Is 18 weeks normal maternity leave in the US ? Here in Ireland you get 6 months maternity leave’.

And one said: ‘I can’t believe how little time moms get for mat leave in the US!! im sorry you have to leave your boy, hang in there girl’.

The US is among only a handful of nations that do not guarantee paid sick leave or maternity or paternity pay. 

Meghan Markle has been actively campaigning for companies to provide paid maternity leave for new mothers. 

In April, President Joe Biden proposed a £163billion package of worker benefits that would see paid parental leave brought in from 2023.

If passed, workers could take just 12 weeks of absence with their newborn while still receiving up to to two thirds of their pay packet.

The US parental leave pay debate explained 

The USA may be among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it does not offer a government-led paid parental leave scheme in 2021. 

Instead, seven states, including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, offer their own individual forms of paid leave for new parents.

Historically, such decisions have been left for private businesses to decide whether or not employees are offered such benefits. Approximately one quarter of American firms offer paid leave programmes.

Meghan Markle has been actively campaigning for companies to provide paid maternity leave for new mothers. 

In April, President Joe Biden proposed a £163billion package of worker benefits that would see paid parental leave brought in from 2023.

If passed, workers could take just 12 weeks of absence with their newborn while still receiving up to to two thirds of their pay packet.

The Democrat-backed policy would be funded by increasing tax on the top 1% of America’s highest earners.

In comparison, companies in the UK offer up to 12 months maternity leave. 

source: dailymail.co.uk