At a time that should be the happiest in their lives enjoying their new babies, mothers who gave birth during the pandemic are left feeling uncared for and isolated.
This is the view of Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh, who has said that Sinn Féin is seeking to offer support to new mothers through its PMB motion to extend paid maternity leave for 60 days.
Speaking on the motion in the Dáil, Deputy Conway-Walsh said: "This Motion is enormously important to thousands of mothers and families throughout this state. We are only talking about 12 Weeks – 60 working days.
"I have spoken with dozens of mothers distressed and under pressure because of the situation they find themselves in.
"Mothers describe to me how they couldn’t go for a walk with their baby. How they were up all night caring for their baby and trying to home school other children; how they had no childcare for their other children; how they couldn’t even accept the help of their own mothers and siblings due to the lockdown; how they worried because they couldn’t get to the clinic for their babies’ injections.
"The Sinn Féin motion allows us to make good this situation. It gives them an extra 60 days to spend quality time with their babies. It means mothers are not forced to give up their jobs or to take unpaid annual leave compounding the financial stress many families find themselves in.
"I understand that retrospective legislation is extremely rare, but this Pandemic that these new mothers are coping with is also extremely rare. Many TDs promised their support for extended maternity leave before the election and I urge all Mayo TDs to do the right thing now."
The Sinn Fein Deputy concluded: "It is time to give these moth