An opera conductor returned to work just three days after giving birth to her second child.
Lidiya Yankovskaya, 35, conducted “Becoming Santa Claus” at the Chicago Opera Theater on Dec. 19, following the birth of her baby boy on Dec. 16.
Yankovskaya — who is currently the only female music director of a major American opera company — said her swift return to work was a bid to prove her detractors wrong.
She also worked while she was heavily pregnant, stepping down from her duties just five days before going into labor.
“When I had my first kid, people told me that no one wanted to see a pregnant conductor, that I couldn’t possibly conduct while caring for a newborn, and that being a mother and being a conductor are incompatible,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
“I hope we are beginning to let go of this ridiculous, sexist stigma. Pregnancy and childbirth are personal matters and do not impair a woman’s ability to judge for herself whether she is in a position to perform.”
The mom of two defiantly added: “We must give mothers and all parents (more) support. However, we should never ASSUME that pregnancy or parenthood would prevent a person from doing anything they did before kids.”
Yankovskaya conceded, however, that she had the support of her husband, who is actively helping look after their newborn baby boy.
The Russian-born conductor — who was appointed the music director of the Chicago Opera Theater back in 2017 — further acknowledged on her Instagram page that “not all women have the same level of health, privilege, and support” to return to work so quickly.
Yankovskaya appeared to be motivated by personal desires rather than political ones, despite the fact that maternity leave is currently a hot-button issue.
The United States is “the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level,” according to the Washington Post.
Federal law guarantees new moms just six weeks of unpaid time off, although most workers get paid parental leave through their employers.
President Joe Biden initially proposed implementing 12 weeks of paid parental leave, but such a bill is unlikely to pass into law anytime soon.