Sunday, March 6

Grateful for maternity leave

I am so thankful for my longterm maternity leave. As a nurse working on an intensive care unit, we're sent on maternity leave as soon as we're 12 weeks pregnant. It actually depends on the head nurse and hospital management to make that decision (in our hospital on regular units, you're sent home immediately. I think that's weird since on an ICU you're much more at risk for contacting X-rays, arterial blood and other human fluids - and in one of the most prominent universitary hospitals of our country you have to work until 24 weeks, even on intensive care units). So there's no federal law that states when a nurse can be put on maternity leave exactly. There are laws about pregnancy leave and maternity leave for employees though, not working in healthcare and I'm sure there are other exceptions too, because, well it's Belgium :-D we live from exceptions in laws and only get on the frontpage of world newpapers when it's about pedophilia or creating the perfect circumstances for terrorists to make their plans to attack the world. ;-)
Back to maternity leave: I do enjoy it and think this advantage is very welcome, since through the year, for the last 11 years, I've been working one out of two weekends, one out of two holidays (yes, even Christmas and New Years, Easter, evenings, nights,...) and do a lot of irregular shifts. So while I'll be almost home for a year until I go to work again - if I plan to breastfeed - it might be that I won't even celebrate my baby's first Christmas, because maybe I'll have to work on Christmas Eve this year. So despite all the overload of free time I've been given - and really, physically I could have worked much longer, but maybe not in the circumstances of hospital care - I really think I deserve it :-)

I spent my time being creative, like knitting - duh - drawing, preparing birth announcements, doing the household chores - cooking - drinking tea and coffee with fellow pregnant colleagues and other friends who come and visit me, and basically planning almost everything for the baby. Within a few weeks, our lives' rhythm and organisation will change so much! But I'm looking forward to that. We've been together for 13 years now and have had enough time to do all the things we love together.


5 comments:

  1. Love those slippers! What is the name of the pattern?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! They're the simple house slippers :-)

      Delete
  2. wow, what an incredible maternity leave! Here in the US, there's no mandatory maternity leave laws, just one law that states that someone can take up to 12 weeks off (unpaid), and they won't lose their job. It's ridiculous, really. Enjoy your time off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my! I even get paid, not the full 100%, but still. That's really insane in the U.S.! I believe in Sweden it's even better, you're forced to take up 60 days off, dad and mom each and you can take up tot 18 months of maternity leave for each child, to be divided between mom and dad.

      Delete
  3. yay! in the US there is no law mandating maternity leave and it's up to the companies policy. The standard is six weeks off and you work up until you pop out the baby unless of course there are complications or health risks. I do think the employer has to keep your job...We are not a progressive country!!

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comment!