New maternity leave laws are needed to protect mums of premature babies
Every year, about 4,500 babies are born prematurely (fewer than 37 weeks' gestation). One in 16 Irish women delivers a pre-term baby.
The impact on parents and extended families can be significantly challenging and sometimes very daunting.
The joyous occasion of the birth of their newborn moves swiftly on to fear and concern for the well-being of their baby. Emotionally draining and physically exhausting days, weeks and months lie ahead for these parents.