NHS Now Offers Baby Loss Leave

The National Health Service (NHS) in England now offers paid leave to any of its staff who experience a pregnancy loss in the first 24 weeks of their pregnancy. A birth parent who has lost a pregnancy can take up to 10 days of leave, and the partner of someone who has experienced a pregnancy loss can take five days. Any staff member who miscarries after 24 weeks (six months) can take paid maternity leave.

Until recently, this type of loss was something most people had to go through alone, or with only the support of their partner or family. Having an employer recognize the value of the cherished child lost, and the emotional pain caused by that loss, is a big step in the right direction. This change could encourage other employers to offer similar policies, helping to protect grieving parents and giving them time to rest after such a difficult experience.

Losing a baby early in pregnancy is becoming more recognized today, with England’s recent decision to offer infant loss certificates to parents who lost children before 24 weeks. Although not legal documents, these certificates will be an official way to recognize pregnancy loss. The new NHS policy on offering paid leave further highlights the importance of this issue and how it is being taken more seriously than in the past.

Losing is common, but that doesn’t make breaking through easy. From difficulty conceiving to losing a hoped-for pregnancy before it’s fully developed, the pain can be significant and long-lasting. Allowing parents to grieve what may have happened, and to fully feel and process their emotions, can make a significant difference in how well they get over what they experienced.

The ability of the NHS to recognize and support this grieving process will hopefully be the start of something bigger, which will encourage people to talk about these kinds of difficulties and normalize taking time out when it happens this. By allowing the option of baby loss leave, the NHS shows that it respects and values ​​its employees and the difficulties they face in life.

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