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Debate:- should parents of premature babies get additional maternity leave.

(87 Posts)
EveOnline2016 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:16:22

Had this emailed to me today.

I need help deciding whether to sign or not.

My reason for is that the parents will get the time to bond and get to know baby away from the hospital environment.

My reason for against is where would the cut off be.

EveOnline2016 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:16:40

megletthesecond Wed 28-Sep-16 16:17:33


Poocatcherchampion Wed 28-Sep-16 16:20:44

Nope. As a mother of a premmie.

I don't see where the line should be drawn - what about poorly non-premmies?

How would it be different from unpaid leave which you have a right to request in any event? (Given you don't get paid for the last 3 mo of maternity leave as it is, I assume the petition isn't for funding for it)

maybethedayafter Wed 28-Sep-16 16:21:30

My daughter was in NICU for 2 months. My maternity leave started the day she was born. Someone I met in NICU was in there for 11 months with her son. She would have had one month at home with him before she had to go back to work. She quit her job instead.

AGruffaloCrumble Wed 28-Sep-16 16:22:38

No. What about people who had traumatic births? Should we refund the people who has c-sections some of their maternity leave as they had a few weeks of not being fully mobile? In principle I agree but the line is too hard to draw.

MrsJayy Wed 28-Sep-16 16:23:15

A very premature baby can be in hospital a very long up to and beyond due date and can take a long while to 'catch up" that must be very stressful for parents so maybe an extra week or Month would help especially if there is hospital appointment s to consider sign if you want or not it's up to you

DragonMamma Wed 28-Sep-16 16:23:41

No, I don't think extra should be added for premature births. I've known premmie babies who are fine and term babies that are dreadfully ill and have months in hospital.

It's unworkable.

superram Wed 28-Sep-16 16:24:22

This was raised by Amanda Davies who now works for sky but may have been at the bbc when she had it. I would argue no they don't but maybe there should be some scope to have longer off but have more than 10 kit days-so maybe go back to work part time then take some full time maternity once the baby is out of hospital. However, I have a friend whose baby is in a hospital 200 miles from her home so my idea wouldn't work. It is hard.

passingthrough1 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:24:24

No - it's not just premature babies that end up in NICU or needing extensive treatment (so delaying time spent together by days / weeks / months). Whilst I understand the sentiment I don't think this would be fairly applied.

ThymeLord Wed 28-Sep-16 16:24:48

No, for all the reasons already stated.

PersianCatLady Wed 28-Sep-16 16:25:17

The problem with giving mothers of premature babies even more maternity leave is that it may further discourage small businesses from employing women of child-bearing age as they cannot afford it.

UsernameHistory Wed 28-Sep-16 16:25:19


TBH, in an over-crowded and over-populated world, I struggle to justify any form of paid maternity or paternity leave.

RJnomore1 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:26:02

There's a huge difference between being at home with your baby recovering and watching them through a plastic box unable to hold them and unsure if they will make it.

I don't know how you would work it out practically though. But in principle yes. It's not comparable to recovering from a c section hmm but possibly if a non preemie baby is ill that should be comparable - if they are in SCBU?

PotteringAlong Wed 28-Sep-16 16:28:12

No. What about non-premature babies who are seriously ill? It's too woolly a line to draw.

Ausernotanumber Wed 28-Sep-16 16:28:19

No. for all the reasons already said.

One of mine was in and out of hospital until the age of 9. I got no additional leave - those hospital admissions started from birth. Where do you draw the line?

They weren't prem, so under your proposal above I wouldn't have got additional leave? Surely that's monumentally unfair ?

chicknquack Wed 28-Sep-16 16:28:27

My just shy by a couple of days premmie went home the morning after he was born and my born at term baby was in scbu. So I would have got extra for the one who didn't need it (if he had been born two days earlier) and not for the one who did? It isn't that simple.

wasonthelist Wed 28-Sep-16 16:29:12

Some other countries do this - surely the extension would just be an earlier start with the end the same as for a full term baby?

PaperStars Wed 28-Sep-16 16:31:53

A mother of a prem baby here. I would say although it was hard going back to work and leaving my little one I did get 7 months at home with him which is I imagine average in terms of mothers with full term babies (if they go on maternity the last month or 2 of pregnancy to rest).

We are lucky in that my understanding is America only gets a month or 2 maternity so they often have to go back to work while baby is in hospital? Also in America they have to pay for their children's nicu stay which is very very expensive we're lucky we don't get a hefty bill at the end of it.

maybethedayafter Wed 28-Sep-16 16:33:11

I would actually say there's a greater need for paternity leave to be extended. My husband's paternity leave was while my daughter was in hospital. And then he had to go back to work so I was at the hospital on my own for a further 7 weeks and then when she came home he had no time at home with her. For 4 days of his paternity leave we couldn't even hold her. I feel he missed out more than I did.

AGruffaloCrumble Wed 28-Sep-16 16:33:24

Yes RJ but people don't always get to go straight home after birth complications. Some are horribly poorly, sometimes life threatening. How is it not comparable in some cases? It's just not workable and is unfair on other people in circumstances like already stated.

lifeistooshort Wed 28-Sep-16 16:35:50

Yes. I think they should at least get an extra three months

EenyMeenyMo Wed 28-Sep-16 16:37:33

yes - not sure of cut off though
I had a colleague who had twins very prematurely one of whom didn't make it.
I will never forget her sobbing to me/HR that she wanted to come back in now (about 2 days later) as she was a waste of space now/useless to her baby and wanted to be able to be there when her baby needed her and not waste her ML. My firm immediately just extended her leave.

passingthrough1 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:37:52

Oh agree with that maybethedayafter - we weren't in NICU very long but it used up half of paternity leave. No biggie for me (even if we'd been in for a month tbh) because what is that time over a year? But for paternity it wasn't great plus then being alone with baby so soon. But again it's unworkable - prem vs sick term vs how sick?

Mermaid36 Wed 28-Sep-16 16:37:53

I would welcome additional maternity leave. My twins were born 14 weeks early.
My full pay leave finished before the girls were out of intensive care.

They spent 18 weeks in hospital. When my paid maternity leave finishes, they may have only just come off oxygen at home and I'll have to put them in childcare straight away to go back to work.
I have 'missed' a quarter of their first year and honestly feel that I've missed out on so much.
I'd love another few weeks off work to actually enjoy my girls, especially once they are off oxygen and I can do normal things with them.

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