A MOTHER hugs her baby soon after giving birth..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A bill to provide women who choose to give birth at home the National Insurance Institute birth allotment was passed late Monday in the Knesset plenum without opposition.
The bill was proposed by Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg. Women whose deliveries were carried out at home, according to specifications of the Health Ministry, will be entitled to the allocation.
The amount, updated on January 1, is NIS 1,751 for a first child, NIS 788 for a second child and NIS 525 for any subsequent babies, as well as NIS 8,757 for twins and NIS 13,136 for triplets.
Until now, the allotment was not offered to women who chose home birth because the Health Ministry did not want to encourage the practice, which it regarded as more risky than giving birth in a hospital.
Zandberg argued that the objective of the grant is to help parents purchase basic equipment for a newborn and that it should not be contingent on where a woman delivers her baby. Home births, when performed properly, have not been shown to cause harm to the baby, she argued, saying that the old policy was “discriminatory.”
Every year, some 600 to 800 women give birth to their babies at home.