Shared Parental Leave

Being a new mother is a mixture of joy and worried thoughts. One minute you are pregnant, the next you are at home with your new baby. It can is tiring. You need all the rest and support you can get, so you have the energy to look after your newborn, so accepting any help is a must do when you are a new mother.

When I was a new mother to Mia, her dad wasn't around but I was lucky enough that my Dad was allowed 2 weeks off work to help me. I really appreciated it. I could hardly walk. I had quite a few stitches, I struggled to stand up to make bottles and I sometimes struggled to move to pick Mia up. I suffered for a few months, a few weeks after birth I went back to hospital and I was told my stitches had fallen out! But they wouldn't re-do them so I suffered instead. I took me at least a year to feel 'normal' below.

When Elliw was born I was with my partner. He took 2 weeks off. I was on Maternity leave. It was different this time because not only did I have a newborn to look after, I also had a 2 year old little toddler to look after! We were also in the middle of moving house. The first two weeks, I was very happy. Over the moon infact. The midwife was pretty shocked how well I was doing. I stopped bleeding in the second week, I was full of energy, walked everywhere, you would never of thought I had given birth. The first few days of my partner going back to work I was still happy but a few days after something knocked me down for six. I hit depression.

I felt like an useless mother. I wanted help, but didn't want to ask for it incase people judged. I was stuck in the house, every day. If we ever have another baby then I would like both of us to be off with shared parental leave.

From the 5th of April 2015 Shared Parental Leave was legalized in the UK. This includes parents who have adopted too! This change means, both parents can take time off together or the time can be split, where one parent goes to work whilst the other stays at home with the new baby. Gemma Falconer has posted Everything You Need To Know About Shared Parental Leave including a very interesting infographic where you can learn a lot more about the new legislation.

* In collaboration with Citric GoToMeeting

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