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(13 Posts)
stereolove Thu 20-Apr-17 22:09:31

Hi all. I'm very new and only 8 weeks pregnant. I'm trying to find my way through what's to come with EVERYTHING. At the moment I'm most freaked out about work and mat leave so I emailed the HR helpdesk (I work for an enormous third sector housing provider where HR is 400 miles away) and asked for clarity on enhanced mat pay, as opposed to statutory. Now I'm disappointed in general with what I'm entitled to but that is not my main gripe right now. The issue I have is that the admin assistant who emailed back said "as your confinement begins on..." Am I right to be seriously naffed off by use of the word confinement? I've read enough bodice rippers and historical writings to associate this most definitely with locking women away for the last three months of a pregnancy. I find it archaic and stinking of misogyny and condescension. Or is it just the hormones?

Wondermoomin Thu 20-Apr-17 22:11:21

Yes it's shit wording but it's what the government uses in all the bumph about SMP etc hence HR uses it. hmm

Datun Thu 20-Apr-17 22:15:26

It's completely outdated and should be signed to the bin along with covering up the legs on a piano.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 20-Apr-17 22:47:29

I don't think the Government and the DWP does use that term. This is an example of the sort of language on Gov.UK site.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Employees must:

be on your payroll in the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth

Wondermoomin Thu 20-Apr-17 22:56:31

Pass yes, they do. EWC is the standard term in a lot of gov stuff.

Wondermoomin Thu 20-Apr-17 22:57:00

Lass not Pass bloody autocorrect!!

stereolove Fri 21-Apr-17 12:06:20

I sent a snarky email back asking them to reconsider use of the term. Might have jumped the gun but it was either that or I would have gone on a massive rant about the hatchet job they did to our terms and conditions last summer.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 21-Apr-17 12:44:34

The term "confinement" doesn't imply that the woman was locked up. In the past it was a period from the last bit of pregnancy, when people feared exertion might trigger labour, to the first few weeks post partum. The sole purpose was to protect mother and baby. In those days people thought extended bed rest was good for new and expectant mothers. Confinement excused women from work and social life while recovering from delivery and establishing breastfeeding. Of course there was a lot more physical work in being a SAHM.

I'm well over 50 and my mother was confined with me and my two brothers. She loved it. Two weeks in the cottage hospital just bonding with her newborn while her mum looked after the home and existing kids. She said she thought her generation had it better than new mothers chucked out of hospital in under 24 hours.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 21-Apr-17 12:51:29

Should have said that the idea excused women from all normal obligations. In a more rigid age, women were expected to conform to loads of social rules, which varied depending on social class. During confinement this was all put on hold, excusing women from these expectations.

NurseMama Wed 26-Apr-17 13:04:13

I was shocked as well when I saw the word on my MATB1! As if we're going to be shut up in a dark room with only the company of a few old women!

starlight57 Tue 11-Jul-17 16:17:13

Yes. It's more of letting us have better rest and recovery after the delivery. "Confinement nanny" are much sought after by families to help take care of baby and mummy, cook meals, household chores.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Tue 11-Jul-17 16:55:58

That's in Asia - I had chinese friends in Hong Kong and Malaysia who did the whole shebang - special cleansing products (not supposed to wash), not leaving the house, some soup which seemed to be mainly made of vinegar etc.

It's not a thing like that in the UK though.

OlennasWimple Wed 12-Jul-17 00:13:19

I hate the term but love the concept smile

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