Catriona Ogilvy started her petition following the premature birth of her son - born 10 weeks early. This event can be traumatic enough for any new mum but Catriona soon discovered that the health of her baby wasn’t the only challenge she’d be faced with.
On top of the hours at her son’s bedside, and the trips back and forth to the NICU - which on average costs £2000 to every family of a premature baby - Catriona found that her maternity leave began the day after she gave birth, months before they could bring him home.
Since then, her campaign “Smallest Things” has called for reform to statutory maternity leave and pay to help ease the incredible strain that a premature birth can bring. Her petition has so far received support from 126,000 of you and as the campaign has grown, it has been debated in both the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.
As the campaign continues, Catriona shares her thoughts on the campaign:
"This Christmas 7,000 families will visit their babies in neonatal intensive care - it's a particularly tough time of year for parents of premature babies. I began my petition following my own experiences of premature birth and having never realised that maternity leave begins the day after birth for mothers of those born too soon. This is often weeks or months before a baby is able to come home. I've been overwhelmed by the support the petition has received and so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to sign - it really is making a difference! I can’t wait to see what happens in 2017, I really do believe it’s the year we are finally going to make this change."