Her video shows new motherhood in a series of compelling data points
Those of us who have taken any amount of maternity leave know just how much is involved in bringing home a baby. There’s the feeding, changing, lack of sleep, learning a new schedule and person, all while trying to heal from birth. One mom decided to track all of the effort on an app and present it to her coworkers who were wondering how her maternity leave was going.
The now-viral TikTok video shows just how much support a new mom needs during the first few months of a newborn’s life. Kristen Cuneo shared it on her husband’s TikTok account showing the new mom presenting the data to her team after she’d returned to work. The results, while eye-opening, aren’t really a surprise to anyone who’s been through it but it does make you stop in your tracks and wonder how we all made it through.
The data points shown by Cuneo show how much time she spent during each day changing and feeding her newborn and how little sleep she got while doing so. The graphs spin and change shape so you can really see how much time each task took. The video is only 45 seconds long but it packs a big punch.
“This is every diaper feed, breastfeed, and bottle feed for the first seven weeks of Autumn’s life,” Cuneo said, referring to her now 10-month-old daughter. “Objectively, it’s a lot. And every data point took time, ranging from five minutes for a diaper change to 30 minutes for a feeding on average.”
“The labor and love of raising children has often been thought of as invisible,” she told Mashable. “What I love about the use of data in this case, is that in a sort of a weird way, it just helps validate… There might be people who don’t feel seen and heard, because the work that they’re doing is not seen. So I love that the data is able to make it feel more visible.”
She then made the point all new parents try to explain to anyone asking about life with a newborn — you’re doing it on zero sleep. “The real kicker is when it happens. 24 hours a day,” Cuneo said. She then shows a data point when her husband got up for a night feeding allowing her to sleep more than just a few hours. “The midnight bottle feed play by my husband in the third week made it finally possible for me to get more than a three hour stretch of sleep.”
People weighed in on the video with comments like, “Great visualization of what it takes to be a new mom,” and “I bet if you added in self care, house care, etc. it would just be a solid cube.”
For anyone thinking maternity leave is an extended vacation, Cuneo’s data storytelling shows an entirely different, and more importantly accurate, story.