In Germany, a legal distinction is made between miscarriages (less than 500 grams birth weight) and stillborn children (over 500 grams birth weight). For the former, the mother is entitled to follow-up care and rehabilitation, but cannot claim maternity leave. Understanding gynecologists regulate this with sick leave in order to provide the necessary physical and mental support. At a stillbirth the mother has the right to follow-up care and rehabilitation as well as statutory maternity leave. In Germany, this amounts to 12 weeks after the birth for premature births (before the 37th week of pregnancy and/or a child weighing less than 2,500 grams) and multiple pregnancies, plus the days to be added from the maternity protection period that has not been completed before the birth. If the child is born on time, the maternity protection period after the birth is eight weeks. If the baby is born alive and dies shortly thereafter, all legal provisions corresponding to living children apply. This also applies to children who weigh less than 500 grams and are born alive.
Legal situation in case of a stillbirth in Austria and Switzerland
In Austria, a child is considered misborn up to the 28th week of pregnancy if it does not live after birth and weighs less than 500 grams. Then there are no protections. Only a sick note from the gynecologist is possible. If a child is stillborn (starchild), there is an entitlement to maternity leave, normally eight weeks, after caesarean section, premature birth or multiple births 12 weeks. In Switzerland, there is an entitlement to maternity leave if a viable child is born or if the pregnancy lasted at least 23 weeks.
Special offers for mothers of star children
In more and more cities, consideration is being given to the fact that orphaned mothers do not want to attend rehabilitation courses together with mothers whose baby is alive. There are special meetings called the Empty Cradle Recovery Courses. If there is one nearby, the midwife can also guide you through individual recovery at home.
Author: edition riedenburg
Photo Credit: Srijaroen, Evgeny Atamanenko /Shutterstock.com