TOPIC / Baby

Will Australia pass bereavement leave for miscarriages?

As the Mother of not one but three Angel babies, I think it is wonderful that New Zealand’s parliament has unanimously passed a groundbreaking bill legislating three bereavement days at full pay for women and their partners after a pregnancy loss.

Will Australia pass bereavement leave for miscarriages?

The loss of a baby is more than just that. It is the loss of the dreams that you had for that baby. Perhaps it was a brother or sister for your other child/children. Perhaps it was the dream of a particular son or daughter that you are now unsure if you can ever have.

Politician Ginny Andersen, who proposed the bill, praised New Zealand on Wednesday for “leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation. “The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave.”

“Grief is not a sickness. It is a loss. And loss takes time,”  Ginny Anderson


The bereavement allowance gives employees three days’ leave when a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth or miscarriage, rather than forcing them to use their sick leave.


Under the Fair Work Act, Australian parents are entitled to up to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave following a stillbirth or death of a child in the first 24 months of life.


Labor Senator Kristina Keneally is leading the charge for parents to receive the same paid parental leave after a stillbirth as a live birth in both the public and private sector, though she is still waiting to receive commitment as yet from the Morrison Government.

After the loss of a baby women, in particular may experience a roller coaster of emotions such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Even if the pregnancy ended very early, the sense of bonding between a mother and her baby can be strong.

Common reasons for seeking help with us around perinatal loss:

  • IVF ‘failed cycle’
  • Miscarriage
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Genetic termination
  • Stillbirth
  • Neonatal death
  • Pregnancy after loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Find a psychologist near you that can help you with your perinatal loss and subsequent pregnancies.

“I didn’t know miscarriage was so common, and I never thought it would happen to me.” ~ Julie, 34

“I have never known such pain…” ~ Anna, 29

“How can I trust my body with another pregnancy?  Can I carry a pregnancy to term with a live baby?  I just don’t trust my body anymore.”  ~ Sally, 30


Centre for Perinatal Psychology is dedicated to improving the emotional wellbeing of parents and infants before and during pregnancy, and the three years following the birth of a baby. Call  on 1300 852 660 to make an appointment or enquiry.

Watch the moving video below on stillbirth called ‘Born in Silence’, produced by the Seattle Children’s Hospital to understand this topic better.


Organisations such as Beyond Blue also encourage those who need some support to call them on 1300 22 4636.

Support networks for women experiencing pregnancy loss and stillbirths have been pushing for bereavement leave post-miscarriage for years, with the calls gaining momentum following New Zealand’s announcement.

In Australia, one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage in women under 35 – a number that increases to one in three for those over 35 and one in two for women over 40.

That amounts to 282 women a day experiencing early pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation, or 103,000 couples a year.

It turns out that my miscarriages were caused by an underlying thyroid medical condition and after 10 weeks of bedrest, we ultimately gave birth to Sophie at 37 weeks, who joined her big brother, Daniel. I am one of the lucky Mums, who ultimately walked out of the hospital with a baby. My losses enable me to understand that despair that some families feel when their grief is all they will hold.


The beautiful ring can include your own breastmilk, loved one’s ashes, umbilical cord, a lock of hair or more.





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