Maternity protection and parental leave entitlements

Asa Jartav her new baby referred to for now as Budhiya after the Hindi word for wednesday as she that's the day she was delivered. Pictured with mother in law Mathura and Asa's her other daughter. Asa and Mathura very glad that the JE enabled her to have a hospital delivery. The family shows no signs of disappointment that this is her second girl and Dr Rai who accompanied me on the visit said that this wasnt a big deal . Her husband came with her but made his own way to the hospital. . ..Asa had her first baby at home this one at the hospital. she prefered having the baby at hospital for 2 reasons the care and the money she was paid 1400rps as a cheque uponm discharge she could not cash the cheque straight away howver as 'the bank had run out of money !!' so shje must return to cash it she will be accompanied by the Asha. She will receive the cheque after 2-3 days . Her baby was immunised after birth . . When she gets the money she will perpare Ladoo a fatty sweet get some baby clothes and pay back some of the transport and living expenses incurred by her husband during his trip to and from the hospital. . with any money leftover she will buy something for the house. At the hospital they told her to breast feed immediately and to continue to do so exclusively for the first 6 months whenever the baby was crying . This was a message endorsed by the older people in the village who were telling her this b4 the hospital. She was also told about sanitation routine , perparing food in a clean way and and immunisation at the immunisiation station.

Maternity protection includes protection against suspension or loss of income during maternity leave, and access to maternal health care. Maternity leave supported with cash benefits to fully or partially replace women’s earnings during the final stages of pregnancy and after childbirth is of critical importance for the well-being of pregnant women, new mothers and their families. The absence of income security during the final stages of pregnancy and after childbirth forces many women, especially those in the informal economy, to return to work prematurely, thereby putting at risk their own and their children’s health.

Another fundamental component of maternity protection is maternal health care, namely effective access to adequate medical care and services during pregnancy and childbirth, and beyond, to ensure the health of both mothers and children. As with health care in general, a lack of effective access to maternal health care coverage not only puts the health of women and children at risk, but also exposes families to significantly increased risk of poverty.

Maternity protection also includes the protection of women’s rights at work during maternity and beyond, through measures that safeguard employment, protect women against discrimination and dismissals, and allow them to return to their jobs after maternity leave under conditions that take into account their specific circumstances. It also includes occupational safety and health components that are essential to protect the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women and their babies, as well as ­women’s ­reproductive capacity.

Photo credit: “Asha Jatav and her new baby, Budhiya” by DFID – UK Department for International Development (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr)

 

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