This week Smallest Things supporters and volunteers handed in 115, 218 signatures to the Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The petition is for the attention of Minister Margot James MP who, among many other things, is responsible for parental leave policy.
Until now the minister has declined our requests to meet with parents affected by premature birth…but we now have a glimpse of hope that our 115,218 voices will be heard!
No dates have been offered yet, but an intention to arrange a time to meet with families has been made. Watch this Space….
Thank you to everyone who shared #NotMatLeave pictures of their time in NICU on Facebook and Twitter – together we can raise awareness and make change happen!
If you haven’t signed the petition yet, the link is still open and can be signed here.
It’s quite simple really, when your baby is born prematurely you miss out on weeks, often months of maternity leave.
Thousands of people have now signed to extend maternity leave for mothers of babies born too soon and this is what we are asking the government to do….
When my first son was born ten weeks early, I had no idea that maternity leave would begin the very next day, months before we would bring him home. Born too soon, the reality of life in neonatal care is very different from what a mother would usually expect from the early days of maternity leave. Lines, monitors, life support machines and recovery from what is often a traumatic birth. Mothers wait days, if not weeks to hold their babies for the first time and face the agonising journey home without their baby each day. The very real cost of premature birth is not only measured in terms of financial pressures placed on families, most recent studies suggest in excess of £2,000 for an average NICU stay, but also upon the long term health implications for the mother, her ability to return to work and her babies development. Extending statutory maternity leave and pay would give mothers the emotional and financial support needed at a time of great stress and trauma – in turn leading to better postnatal health, a more positive return to work and better outcomes for babies development. We call on the Rt Hon Savijd Javid MP and colleagues at the department for Business, Innovation and Skills to recognise the significant and unique needs of families with children born prematurely and to extend statutory leave accordingly.
Not yet signed the petition to give mums more time with their premature babies – SIGN NOW!
✒️… sitting beside an incubator is not be maternity leave
✒️…hooked up to a hospital grade breast pump is not maternity leave
✒️… waiting days, sometimes weeks to hold your baby is not maternity leave
✒️… 40% of NICU mums (compared to 5-10% full-term healthy delivery mums) experience post natal depression
✒️… more than 50% of NICU mums experience symptoms of anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder
✒️… NICU mums need support and time to recover
✒️… the average NICU stay costs families in excess of £2,500
✒️… premature babies develop according to their corrected age, based upon due not birth date
✒️… mothers and babies simply need time to bond together at home
✒️… premature babies are at increased risk of subsequent hospital admissions from otherwise harmless coughs and colds
✒️… mothers often have little choice but to leave the workplace due to premature birth
✒️… visiting your tiny baby everyday in hospital is not maternity leave
✒️… wires, monitors, breathing machines and intensive care is not maternity leave
…have you signed??
Extending maternity leave for mothers of premature babies will make a difference to the lives of thousands of families and babies born too soon – SIGN NOW!!! https://t.co/OQWaWZW4g3