New Zealand is considering changing the law to allow parents who are faced with the emotional trauma of a miscarriage to take bereavement leave.

It is a painful reality that 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Most women have experienced the emotional trauma of losing a baby first hand or have a friend or family member who has gone through it.

Since last year, New Zealand has been considering changing the law to allow bereaved parents to take leave from work following a miscarriage. While the changes are aimed at reducing the taboo around miscarriage, some have pointed out the potential complications for employers.

Not Uncommon

Speaking about the proposed changes, panelists on British show Loose Women shared their own experiences of miscarriage and feelings about going back to work.

“When I lost it, it was absolutely devastating,” actress Nadia Sawalha told the panel. “With all my miscarriages I went straight back to work because work is my medicine and that’s what is right for me. For an awful lot of people though, that may not be the case.”

“If there’s nothing in place for a woman to take leave, I think that needs to change, but to protect employers from people abusing that leave, there would need to be some kind of doctors or counselors note.”

“I don’t think you can make it law,” panelist Gloria Hunniford said. “I think it gets tricky when you start making it law. I like to think an employer would offer it, but I don’t think it can be mandatory.”

Whether the changes will be passed remains to be seen, but any opportunity to talk about miscarriage and reduce the stigma surrounding it can only be a good thing.

Did you take time off work after your miscarriage? Share your story in the comments.

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  • I miscarried at 8 weeks, so didn’t take any time off as no one knew about it at the time. I think the option should definitely be avaliable for everyone. It’s not an easy thing to go through at any stage.

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  • I took 1 month off when I had my miscarriage last year, I think the leave should be introduced because I know how hard it is during that time so definitely a leave should be offered.

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  • It certainly should be introduced nobody should be expected to go back to work soon after such a harrowing event.

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  • I took time off after both of mine. I was in a lot of pain, physically and emotionally. My boss was wonderful in supporting my each time with time off and work covered

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  • Yes bosses should offer miscarriage leave as you won’t be in the right frame of mind to work properly after enduring a miscarriage.

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  • Definitely should be an option. Of course safeguards would be required but that could be worked into any agreement. People need to be able to heal and grieve in their own way.

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  • I was never allowed to take time off due to a miscarriage. I did find it best to go back to work. I just took a few days sick leave for each one.

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  • So great that this discussion is taking place. It’s such an emotional time.

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  • My company gave me a week of paid maternity leave. It was great to heal physically with the support of my workplace.

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  • Most definitely it should be given.

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  • Absolutely! You get mental health days so I don’t see why not

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  • Yes I think it is important to have the choice if you need time off to recover, though some may feel they would rather keep busy. I cannot believe 1 in 4 pregnancies are miscarried, is this associated with health or what is going on?

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  • Should be included!

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  • It certainly should be included as a part of sick/bereavement leave!

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  • This is a hard one as most people could use alternative leave

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