Dáil to debate maternity leave and benefit for mothers of premature babies

The Dáil will this week debate a Green Party motion calling for the Government to extend maternity leave and maternity benefit for the mothers of premature babies.

It would see current allowances extended by the number of weeks early that a baby is born.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's motion, Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin says 4,500 babies are born prematurely every year in Ireland and that can mean weeks of medical anxiety as well as financial difficulty for new mums.

"Currently maternity leave kicks off from the moment your child is born, so it doesn't take into consideration if your child comes early and the stresses and strains and emotional turmoil that goes through that.

"After going through that, hell and back really, you only have eight weeks left and that seems completely unfair," she said.


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