20 Dec 2010

Mums advised not to delay births

10:51 am on 20 December 2010

The federal government in Australia has asked obstetricians not to help pregnant women who are trying to put off giving birth to qualify for paid parental leave.

The ABC reports the scheme begins at the start of the new year and allows eligible parents to access up to 18 weeks pay.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin says she has asked the Royal College of Obstetricians to ensure mothers are putting their baby's health ahead of any financial benefits.

"The number one consideration I'm sure for the mothers, I'm sure for the obstetricians concerned, certainly from my point of view is that we have healthy mothers and healthy babies," she said.

Ms Macklin says mothers who give birth before January 1 may still be able to get the baby bonus.

"The baby bonus will continue to be available for the vast majority of parents," she said.

"Parents who are expecting a baby before 1 January can still apply for the baby bonus and the family tax benefit."