A new law will come into effect in New Zealand that will allow mothers and their partners time off from work after a miscarriage or stillbirth.
The progressive move was voted unanimously by the county's parliament and means those coming to terms with a loss have time to pause and rest.
Parents, their partners, and parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy will be allowed to take three days from work under the new legislation rather than using sick leave entitlements.
The Guardian reported that Labour MP Ginny Andersen, who presented the bill, said: "The grief that comes with miscarriage is not a sickness; it is a loss.
“That loss takes time – time to recover physically and time to recover mentally; time to recover with a partner”.
Green MP Jan Logie praised the bill and said it would remove some of the "stigma" around losing a pregnancy.
She said: " “It is an incredibly normal experience, but normal doesn’t mean easy; it doesn’t mean without pain. But we have for a long time, through silence and stigma, forced women – primarily women – into actually just pretending as if it hasn’t happened.”
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One New Zealand MP raised her concerns that there were no provisions in place for women who end a pregnancy through abortion.
While she supported the bill MP Erica Stanford said: "The grief and anguish and trauma experienced during an abortion and the fact that it’s not included in this bill makes me uncomfortable – personally uncomfortable”.
Leave for miscarriage is already in place in the United Kingdom, Canada and India to varying degrees
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According to Maternity Action, a maternity rights charity, if your baby is stillborn in the UK before the end of the 24th week of pregnancy it is treated as a miscarriage and you cannot qualify for maternity leave or pay if you have a miscarriage.
If a mother's baby was delivered stillborn after the end of the 24th week of pregnancy they are entitled to maternity leave and any maternity pay that they qualify for.
If you have been affected by this story, advice and support can be found at the Miscarriage Association. You can call them on 01924 200799 or email [email protected]
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