The Wider Image: New mothers suffer nerves, guilt as maternity leave ends
Ferzanah Essack, 36, a software developer and her husband Hassan Essack, 37, a software developer, pose for a portrait with their 4.5-month-old baby Salma on the morning of Ferzanah's first day back to work, in Cape Town, South Africa, February 18, 2019. South African labour law allows mothers to take four months of consecutive maternity leave although employers are not obliged to pay employees during this time. Ferzanah was on leave for five months in total - four months maternity leave, two weeks annual leave and two more weeks of unpaid leave. She says six to seven months would be more reasonable amount of maternity leave. Hassan took 10 days off. "I think paternity leave should be longer. 10 days isn't enough. Fathers also need time to bond with the newborns." Ferzanah said she is nervous and a bit scared about leaving baby Salma and returning to work. "Nervous, very nervous, scared little bit, but I think I'm ok, I'm ok, I'll survive," she said of leaving her baby to go to work. Grandparents will be taking care of the baby while parents are at work. "We pay (for childcare) in love and kisses", she said. "With lots of love, because it's the grannies," Ferzanah said. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham SEARCH "MOTHERS GLOBAL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.