I went back a year after leaving work (at 29 weeks) for each of my 1st 2 kids - took advantage of the great UK maternity laws that allow 3 months paid leave then up to another 9 months unpaid.
When number 3 came along I took a career break so it was 5 years before I went back to nursing. there was NO WAY
I would have been ready even 6 weeks after the birth, I was breast feeding & still walking around looking like a zombie. You would not have wanted me on the ward!!!
Having a long time with my kids was great I fed them all up to 12 months, never had to even buy a steriliser, the dishwasher was fine by the time they were weaning.
I think you should be able to enjoy your babies & allow your body time to repair. Women's lib is fine but I'm sure glad my childbearing years were in the UK. I kinda worry about my daughter in the USA when the time comes, I hope she has the choice, if she wants it, to leave & stay at home for a while because your maternity leave sucks!
Oh & please Im not knocking those who want to go back to work quickly but all the same I think it's a shame not to have the choice
of a decent amount of time to recover & be with your baby.