Maternity leave versus tragedy

In a case where a mother has lost a child, while on maternity leave, making a decision on whether to go back to work or not may not be easy. Mwereti Kanjo sought opinions from the streets and this is what women said.


After nine months of carrying a child, every mother looks forward to the maternity leave: to take a breather but mostly to bond with her child. Unfortunately, sometimes the baby fails to make it.

It leaves the mother in a dilemma on whether to go back to work or continue staying home to mourn the lost child, after all paper work for the leave was already done. It would not be breaking any laws.

There are two things here: the maternity leave could be used to mourn or one could choose to go back to work. However, it must be noted that the pressure that comes with work could do more harm than good.

So what would you do?

Chifundo Phiri-I can mourn the death of my departed child for two weeks and then go back to work. I will do this because the love I had for child would be fresh within me.

Penjani Specklah Newa– It will depend on the period at which the child dies. If there is still time, I would continue mourning my child but if the child dies two or three weeks before the end of my leave, I would negotiate with management for the extension of my maternity leave days.

Thathiwe Kachinziri– If the child passes away a week before the leave ends, then I would ask management to consider giving me some more days, at least two weeks, to mourn my beloved child.

Martha Mathlopa -I will ask for one month to continue mourning my child. If they cannot allow me to get additional days, then I would go for unpaid leave so that I mourn my child and get settled.

Jessie Chimpeni-It does not matter whether the child dies a day before going back to work, I will report for duties. Even if I extend my days, nothing will change the situation. I will have to abide by company policy.

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