Irish mothers of premature babies to receive extended maternity leave

Couple marry in a hospital to include their premature baby in the special occassion

The Irish Government has announced this week that mothers of premature babies will be receiving extended maternity leave. The decision will affect about 4500 mothers in Ireland.

The initiative originally put forward by the Green Party will see mothers supported for the weeks their babies are premature, and not simply from their due date. Originally, maternity leave is for 26 weeks, but this additional leave will commence after the original 26 weeks. Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty will be including the changes in the Social Welfare Budget Bill.

Premature babies are defined as those born at or before 37 weeks of gestation, and this new initiative will take effect from October the 1st 2017.

State-funded fertility treatment

And for those seeking fertility treatment in the future, there’s more good news on its way. Minister for Health Simon Harris is expected to give the green light to proposals that will allow state funding for those seeking fertility treatment, but can’t afford it. This will hopefully bring some much-needed regulation to the sector, and should hopefully be put into place by 2019.

It’s estimated that one in six couples in Ireland struggle with infertility.

Does this affect you? Let us know in the comments!