Extend Maternity & Parental leave during Covid-19 Pandemic

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Canadians who are on Maternity or Parental leave during the lockdown due to Covid-19 are currently struggling in isolation. We are struggling because what we thought the last few months of our leave would be time spent bonding with our families and children is instead time spent under mandatory lockdown and isolation. We are unable to participate in any of the activities we had planned to help our babies develop healthy relationships and social interactions. Covid-19 is hindering our children’s social development and fueling post partum depression and anxiety Being a new parent is hard and even harder in isolation. I believe isolation and Covid-19 are causing post partum depression and anxiety in new mothers. It is taking a toll on our mental health. We are unable to take our children to play groups or family gatherings, churches, playgrounds or recreation centres, all of which have been restricted by our government during this time. We are struggling with thoughts of how isolation is going to impact our children's health and development and we are struggling with our own mental health during this pandemic.

Under current social distancing laws we are restricted from visiting with anyone outside of our own households, meaning many babies are not getting the opportunity to bond with their grandparents. Under normal circumstances it is hard enough to leave your new baby to return to work, but now with the isolation even family members have become distant strangers in the eyes of an infant. After being with only their parents for months on end with no other social interactions with peers, family or friends our babies are developing social anxiety and separation anxiety.

Daycares in Nova Scotia are set to open June 8 however schools will remain closed. Many of us who have mat leave ending will not qualify for CERB if daycares are open. Parents are struggling with the thought of sending their children off to a daycare with severe separation anxiety. We are also worrying whether a second wave could quickly and easily spread through a daycare. Dropping baby off after months spent alone with their parents just seems cruel as they have not had the chance to form relationships with any other people. Yes babies are resilient and they will adjust, however we could make it so much easier for them and their parents by extending parental/maternity leave. 

Anyone who is currently on maternity or parental leave should be given the opportunity to extend their leave up to 6 months at 55% of their wages. Given the current circumstances, an extended leave will give parents and their new babies a chance to reintegrate into society as restrictions slowly lift. An extension will help ease the stress and anxieties that Covid-19 has brought to Canadian families. 

If you feel it is unsafe to send your baby to a daycare due to Covid-19 or separation anxiety, please consider signing the petition. If you have been suffering from post partum depression or post partum anxiety due to Covid-19 and isolation please consider signing the petition. If you or someone you know could benefit from an extended maternity or parental leave, please sign this petition. We want our babies to have healthy social relationships and a smooth transition into society! We want to return to work with confidence and without post partum anxiety and depression!