On July 11, 2014 | All, Obstetrics & Gynaecology

If you are a working woman and you happen to be expecting, it is important for you to apply for your maternity leave. The Maternity Act of 1961 under the Indian Constitution lays down the maternity rights for women across all the industries ranging from industrial to agricultural. Any woman who is entitled to a salary from her employer is entitled to this maternity leave under this act.

Maternity leave is important for every expecting mother. However, in many cases there are demanding situations which require her to work in order for her to pay her bills and take care of her household. For instance, women who work as nurses, waitresses or teachers do not get the liberty to work from home because such is the nature of their jobs. They do not have the option of working through e-mails also. Thus, they end up returning back to their jobs as quickly as possible because they have bills to take care of and cannot afford to lose their jobs.

Research claims that it is extremely of high importance that a woman, while she is pregnant must take enough maternity leave to ensure good health for her baby and herself. During pregnancy, it is important for her to take adequate rest, eat healthy and remain stress free. And when women work during pregnancy, they are naturally inviting work stress and an imbalance in their work-life. Maintaining a work-life balance is of utmost importance in a working woman’s life. This escalates to a higher importance during pregnancy. Few women give more importance to their work and tend to ignore matters related to their health.

Once you become a mother, your responsibilities are doubled and you need to make greater efforts to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It has been observed that women with short maternity leave tend to fall prey to negative outcomes in terms of health, stress and the baby’s health. And it has been observed that women with two or three month old infants, working full-time reported higher levels of stress, depression and poor health conditions when compared to women who stay at home during their pregnancy, and for a while post-pregnancy. Not only does it affect the mothers, it has an adverse effect on the children also. Conditions like clinical depression, anxiety and psychological distress might sustain in your child’s life.

In many cases, the issue is not about the expecting mother taking maternity leave, it is about the employers who are whiny about giving adequate maternity leave. Hence, the real problem comes down to how many days you can take off under maternity leave. It is all about the time you devote towards your motherhood and towards your baby once you deliver. Being a mom is not easy, especially a working mom. It has its own set of challenges to overcome. The key to this challenge lies in smart maintenance of work-life balance.

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