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Holidays for mothers of premature babies. Aleksandra Gajewska, Deputy Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy announces

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Leave for mothers who gave birth to children prematurely or who have children requiring hospitalization will be extended by the time they spend in the hospital – explained Aleksandra Gajewska, deputy minister of family, labor and social policy, in an interview with the tvn24.pl business editorial team. – We hope that around Mother's Day we will be able to announce the assumptions of such a project – she added.

According to data from the Coalition for Premature Babies Foundation, thousands of premature babies are born in Poland. In 2022, almost 23,000 babies were born before the 37th week of pregnancy.

– There will be absolutely big changes – said Aleksandra Gajewska, deputy minister of family, labor and social policy, in an interview with the tvn24.pl business editorial team, when asked about what the ministry is preparing in the area of ​​maternity leave for parents of premature babies.

According to Gajewska, when the ministry received the petition from the Coalition for Premature Babies, the ministry began analyzing possible solutions to this matter.

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– Leave for mothers who gave birth prematurely or who have children requiring hospitalization will be extended – he announces.

She explains that current solutions regarding maternity leave do not take into account the situation of children born prematurely. – Parents of premature babies, but also of children who are hospitalized, say clearly: what kind of leave can we take when we are fighting for the life and health of our child? What kind of leave do we have when we spend months in hospital incubators? – says the deputy minister.

– So we want to create such an opportunity. We see these needs, we consult them with experts and we will propose solutions that will take into account their demands – he assures.

Read: Longer maternity leave in the case of a premature baby. “It's time for similar solutions to appear in Poland”

“We know how difficult the situation these parents are in”

Aleksandra Gajewska explains in an interview with tvn24.pl that maternity leave will be extended by the time that children spend in the hospital. – If it turns out that the baby is born and weighs less than 1000 grams, we will extend the leave even further. We know how difficult the situation these parents are in and we have to take into account it – he explains.

When asked when such a change could be possible, the deputy head of the Ministry of Family replies: – We are currently working out this change. This system is influenced by international solutions and we must take them into account.

– In the petition we received, there was a proposal to simply take sick leave and then leave. It is not possible. There must be continuity of maternity leave from the moment the child is born. Therefore, we propose extending this leave for people who give birth to children prematurely or whose children require hospitalization. We hope that around Mother's Day we will be able to announce the assumptions of such a project – she said in an interview with the business editorial office of tvn24.pl.

The situation of premature babies and their mothers

According to the Coalition for a Premature Baby Foundation, “there is still a belief in society that a premature baby is just a small child.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Premature birth is associated with many complications and a fight for the health, and very often for the life of the child, who has to spend many weeks in the hospital. It is a difficult time for the baby, but also for its mother, who, full of fear, watches over incubator, and the weeks of maternity leave are irrevocably running out,” the organization described.

She indicated that “maternity leave must begin on the day of giving birth and cannot be interrupted by leave for child care before the expiry of 8 weeks.”

“Many countries have already noticed this problem and introduced solutions to support mothers of premature babies. With our western neighbors – the Germans maternity leave for mothers of premature babies, compared to those giving birth at term, is 4 weeks longer. Great Britain (from 2025 – ed.) i Italy extend such leave by 12 weeks, and France and Slovenia add as many days off as the child was born earlier,” she said.

Additional maternity leave for mothers of premature babies in other countriesTVN24

According to the Coalition for a Premature Baby Foundation, “this shows that solutions are different, but each of them is good because it notices the mother of a premature baby, supports her and takes the burden off her back a little.”

Read also: Maternity leave for mothers of premature babies “is one of the priorities”

Maternity leave

The length of maternity leave depends on the number of children born at one delivery and is:

  • 20 weeks – in the case of the birth of one child at one delivery,
  • 31 weeks – in the case of the birth of two children at one delivery,
  • 33 weeks – in the case of the birth of three children at one delivery,
  • 35 weeks – in the case of the birth of four children at one delivery,
  • 37 weeks – in the case of giving birth to five or more children at one delivery.

Before the expected date of childbirth, an employee may use no more than 6 weeks of maternity leave.

If the employee did not take maternity leave before giving birth, her maternity leave begins on the day of giving birth. A week of maternity leave corresponds to seven days counted from the first day of this leave.

After giving birth, the mother must take 14 weeks of leave. She may resign from the remaining 6 weeks of leave and return to work, provided that the remaining part of the maternity leave is used by the employee – a father raising the child.

Author:Joanna Rubin

Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka



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