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New Mom’s Teary Video About Having To Go Back To Work While Her Newborn Is In The NICU Goes Viral

@edensmomma10_12/TikTok

TikToker Rebecca Shumard is a new mom who has gone viral for her post under the handle @edensmomma10_12. Shumard shared a clip of herself crying at her desk at work because it was 12 days since the birth of her newborn, a daughter named Eden who arrived at 27 weeks. Eden has to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, to be kept alive. However, Shumard felt she had to return to work so she’d be able to use her maternity leave when Eden came home.

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In the clip, the Pennsylvania mom works at her job as a medical assistant, doing paperwork in her cubicle, and weeping.

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@edensmomma10_12/TikTok
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“You have to return to work 12 days after having a premature baby at 27 weeks, so that when she is eventually discharged from the NICU you can spend what little maternity leave you have with her,” the TikTok caption over the footage reads.

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Shumard’s leave will still be unpaid, but she felt the need to save her six weeks of leave to care for her child at home.

“How can anyone afford to stay home during a NICU stay?” she asked her followers. “How can anyone handle the guilt when you have to work and can’t be with your baby?”

@edensmomma10_12/TikTok
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She added that she feared her separation from Eden will affect her ability to breastfeed when the baby comes home.

“You try to pump at work every three hours, but they’re understaffed,” she said. “Milk supply is (diminishing) at 8 weeks postpartum.”

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@edensmomma10_12/TikTok
@edensmomma10_12/TikTok
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The upside to this dark story is that TikTok was viewed almost three million times and people reached out to ask Shumard her Venmo and she was sent enough money to take time off and spend time with her daughter. She shared a video of herself with Eden at the NICU, thanking viewers.

“TikTok … because of you I will not be forced to choose between being with my daughter or paying the bills,” she shared. “I am eternally grateful.”

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“I wanted to come on here and say, ‘Thank you.’ This is freaking crazy — so many of you guys have shown support and reached out and donated,” she said.

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“It is absolutely not the responsibility of generous people like you to take something like this on and to do that. I think our country needs to realize that this is a problem that six weeks of maternity leave … is not enough. And if you do use FMLA, which is Family Medical Leave Act, those up to 12 weeks, depending on how long you’ve been with the company are unpaid.”