New Mom Katy Tur Tears Down Inaction on Parental Leave on Her First Day Back at MSNBC

MSNBC anchor Katy Tur returned from maternity leave and gave viewers an unfiltered and brutally honest peek into postpartum life. While showing off photos of her adorable son, Teddy, born in April, she explained in detail the challenges she faced immediately after giving birth via an unplanned C-section. Not only did her incision become unknowingly infected (her husband noticed because she was “too terrified to look down there”) but she had difficulty producing breast milk, which became even more stressful when her son, already born small, started losing weight. “Breast milk is not the grab n go, ready-made meal you think,” she said.

Katy also revealed her exhaustion while in the hospital was so consuming, she found herself in a “waking dream.” This caused her to believe her mother-in-law was hiding under the bed and a tall man was speaking to her in German. The nurses didn’t find it as amusing as Katy did, however, and ordered a full psych evaluation. Not to worry, she was sane—but that didn’t take away from how terrified she was to go home. The one comfort Katy had was the extended time off from work both she and her husband, CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil, had to spend with their new baby and figure out their new lives as parents—together.

Knowing that she and her husband are actually minorities in this country with the option to take a significant amount of leave turned her speech into a call for action that lawmakers—and Ivanka Trump—work on passing equal paid time off for both parents during family leave. “The people who work around here, who work in that building on the Hill behind me, talk about figuring it out,” she said. “But for some reason, it still hasn’t gotten done. Hasn’t even gotten a vote. And that is shameful.”

Katy, using her own experience as proof, didn’t mince words on why things must change. “Parents need time with their babies. Babies need time with their parents. And moms need support, and if that support is coming from a partner, that partner should get equal time off, paid time off, emphasis on paid,” she demanded. “Family leave supports babies, which supports us all.”

Katy ended by saying if lawmakers—and Ivanka—want to come on her show and talk about getting paid leave passed that she will “have a seat waiting for them, or for her.” And when that happens, we’ll be tuning in.

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