Reborn mom requires care, affection, rest: Madras High Court

The judge made these observations while allowing a petition from Dr U. Ishwarya relating to availing maternity leave.

Chennai: “Delivery gives birth not only to a child, but also a mother as well. It is not confined to humankind, but applies to all the creatures in the universe.

Motherhood is common to all creatures, as it is evident from the love and affection and care shown by the mother of all creatures to their newborn. Not only the newborn, but the re-born mother also requires nurturing care, affection and proper rest, so that she could look after the child very well by feeding the child”, said the Madras high court.

Justice N. Kirubakaran, who made the above observation, further said there is no substitute for mother’s milk in the world and even the so-called “divine nectar” could not be equal to mother’s milk. Anybody could take care of the mother, whereas it is only the mother, who could take proper care of the child. Therefore, it is the duty of the government or employers, to grant sufficient and required maternity holidays for women government employees or workers during the pre and post-delivery period, the judge added.

The judge made these observations while allowing a petition from Dr U. Ishwarya relating to availing maternity leave.

Justice Kirubakaran said, “It is disheartening to note that in spite of the women’s right to conceive a child, they are denied the benefits which they are entitled to under law by the Patriarchal society. Having a law is of no use unless the benefit is extended to deserving persons by the law”.

The Maternity Benefits Act has been enacted for the benefit of women employed in factories, mines, shops, commercial establishments, employing 50 or more employees. Originally, a 90-day maternity leave was the norm and it is now enhanced to 270 days by virtue of a 2016 G.O. The grant of maternity leave was to safeguard the interest of both the expectant mother and foetus, the judge added.

The judge said that apart, a recent study done by the University of California, Los Angeles, states that one-third of beneficial bacteria in the baby’s intestinal tract come directly from mother’s milk. WHO recommends that women should breastfeed infants till the age of two. However, “national data sources” were said to have reported that 44 per cent babies begin breastfeeding within one hour of their birth and most of the children were given formula milk, the judge pointed out.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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