The Indian government has granted moms who have stillborn infants or who lose a child soon after delivery 60 days of special maternity leave, which is a fantastic choice.
This Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) policy, however, does not apply to women who work for private organizations; rather, it applies exclusively to central government employees allocated to civil services and positions connected to the Union of India’s business.
This decision was taken after considering that new mothers, especially those who have lost a child due to stillbirth, deserve TLC (tender loving care) just as much as new babies. The government has addressed the sorrow caused by this grievance and its repercussions on the mother’s mental health.
The following is listed in chronological order:
The criterion for newborn death soon after birth can be identified up to 28 days after birth. A stillbirth occurs when a baby is delivered with no signs of life at or after 38 weeks of gestation.
Furthermore, the restriction only applies to female workers who have less than two surviving children.
The special leave will be granted only if the birth occurs in an authorized hospital. In this case, an approved hospital is a government or private hospital that has been accredited by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). In the event of a delivery in an unaffiliated private hospital, an emergency certificate must be produced.
This measure comes at a time when dealing with mental health issues is critical for stabilizing many aspects of people’s lives, including good behaviors, emotions, and thoughts.
Giving women a much-needed respite from a potentially stressful environment, such as work, may therefore be good to their mental health. Women who lose a pregnancy typically suffer extreme grief as well as feelings of shame, humiliation, failure, and loneliness.
In these settings, it is also common for women to develop despair or anxiety. As a result, it is critical to concentrate more on the trauma caused by this tragedy right now.
A report asserts socioeconomic discrepancies in stillbirth and infant mortality rates:
According to a 2019 estimate, 2.4 million babies die in their first month of life globally, while around two million newborns are stillborn each year. India has the highest rate of stillbirths and infant mortality worldwide.
Given these statistics, it was critical to take this step to provide some safety and support to working mothers in government offices, if only as a starting point.
Every country has shortcomings, but the benefits should always serve as motivation and inspiration to implement equivalent measures that will ultimately benefit everybody.
Similar rights for working mothers are aggressively championed in Pakistan, which is only a few miles away.
The Maternity and Paternity Leave Act 2020, passed by the Senate, spells forth the rights of new parents (both mothers and fathers) working in public and private companies under federal administrative control.
Pakistan already made steps in this area by extending maternity leave to mothers who have stillborn kids in 2020, but India’s new edict has only recently taken effect.
The same metric defines “baby” to include both a child in a pregnant employee’s womb and a stillborn child. Furthermore, paid maternity leaves are available for 180 days (six months) for the first birth, 120 days (four months) for the second, and 90 days (three months) for the third. A male employee’s paid paternity leave, on the other hand, is just 30 days lengthy.
The wellbeing of new mothers has been considered by neighboring nations, with physical and mental health in mind. Given the dramatic increase in the number of working women, adequate legal safeguards must be given to ensure that their private lives and obligations are not jeopardized.
A solid framework is required for them to maintain a good work-life balance. As a result, it is proper to acknowledge and celebrate these new accomplishments, and the natural next step would be to encourage other private organizations to do the same.