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When did you go on maternity?

(25 Posts)
candi404 Mon 28-Jul-14 07:44:00

Can I ask when other mums went on maternity? I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant. My employer wants me to work up until 39... As this is my first ... When she asked me I thought, yeah why not? Now I'm at 34 I'm struggling, getting maybe 4 hours sleep a night... And I've now been told she really needs me to pull in extra hours this week and next... I'm talking an extra 12 hours a week. I'm feeling so anxious about trying to get through the day... Do you think it's unreasonable to ask to finish earlier? Or is it too late?

Spanielpuppy Mon 28-Jul-14 07:48:01

Say no to the extra hours immediately you need to look after yourself and bump.

Could you take annual leave before the maternity leave starts? To change it I would imagine you should contact your HR department?

beccajoh Mon 28-Jul-14 07:50:22

32 weeks! Had loads of holiday to use up so actual maternity from 36 weeks but wasn't there after 32 weeks.

If you want to finish now then do so. Your boss has no right to dictate when you can and can't start. Government recommends no later than 36 weeks.

BlueStarsAtNight Mon 28-Jul-14 07:52:17

You can bring it forward at any time, you just need to write to them. They don't have to agree, it's completely up to you. I think it's actually horrendous that they are asking so much extra of you at this point.
I had tons of annual leave to use, so my mat leave started at 39 weeks but I was off from 35 weeks. DS was 2 weeks late so I had 7 weeks off. Maybe a bit on the long side, but I was bloody glad I had it and could just potter around getting stuff ready, resting when I wanted.

candi404 Mon 28-Jul-14 07:58:17

Thank you so much. I know I'm abit of a pleaser with a 'I'll just get on with it attitude' but I really felt it this past weekend after working extra hours last week. I had to cancel all plans and lie down all weekend. Now the thought of doing it all again for the next two weeks is also keeping me up. I need to go in and have this chat with her. Wish me luck.

SouthDerbyshireMamma Mon 28-Jul-14 08:05:47

I went on Maternity leave at 39 weeks however I had underestimated how difficult working that late would be so I took some annual leave leading upto my leave date. Good job really as my little one came at 39 weeks!

You must be mad to consider additional hours lol

misog2000 Mon 28-Jul-14 08:12:21

I would ask, and if they say no and you are really struggling then get signed off sick by your GP. After a certain time (36 weeks I believe, but don't quote me) this will automatically trigger your mat leave anyway. I know it won't be what you want to do, I'm another one that loves my job and wants to do everything I can to help them out but nothing is more important than your health and that of your baby.

Asking you to do extra hours at this stage of pregnancy just isn't on and they know that really, they are jus trying their luck. Fingers crossed your chat goes well and you don't need to resort to the above.

No matter what you said to your manager previously, you need to look after your health, and the baby's, and if that means stopping earlier, or cutting back, they should support that. Adding to your workload at a time when you're struggling seems unreasonable and you should be well protected in your employment rights. If you are worried about burning your bridges with them, could you have a conversation along the lines of needing to make some adjustments (eg working from home more, taking a bit of annual leave, not taking on anything extra) to make it manageable to continue longer than normal? Basically I'm suggesting portraying a request for the support/flexibility you need as something you're doing to help the company rather than the other way around!

That said, if you need to stop, you need to stop and it is your right to do so. I'm stopping tomorrow at 35+4 and it feels about right for me, particularly given the heat! It may be worth knowing that if you take more than a day or so of pregnancy related sick leave after 36 weeks your maternity leave normally starts right away.

weebairn Mon 28-Jul-14 08:15:58

I worked till 32 weeks last time and nearly dropped dead. I work busy shifts in emergency medicine on my feet.

Going to try and work till 36.5 weeks this time - I am part time now so hoping it will be a bit easier. Three days in a row is a killer anyway! I am spending a day a week recovering from work which is a bit shit, spending extra to put toddler in nursery just to lie in bed. I think as you go on it's reasonable to ask for adjusted hours. Not sure what sort of work you are doing but I stopped doing night shifts around 20 weeks and am going to ask to come off the long days (13 hours ) this week - i am 31 weeks.

Not reasonable at all to be asking you to do additional hours at this stage!

Also your employer has no real say in when you work to. You need to notify them that you are going on maternity leave and say when and providing it's after 29 weeks they can't say no. I know in reality it's not always that easy.

I think working till 39 weeks is a bit miserable - you'll have no time to de-stress before the baby. I would say 37 weeks at the latest unless you work in a lovely relaxing air conditioned office with minimal work to do or something!

I absolutely loved my long mat leave last time, saw all my friends, loved sorting things out for baby, did walking and swimming every day, felt so healthy and prepared for baby (she was 5 days late). It won't be like that this time with hyperactive toddler which is why I'm not really craving stopping early this time - going to try and power through to 37 weeks and then have as long as I can with my two babies.

Good luck.

bruffin Mon 28-Jul-14 08:22:09

The first pregnancy i was taken into hospital at 32 weeks with high blood pressure and stayed there until ds was born at 38 weeks. I had planned to take maternity leave from 34 weeks. Went back at 12 weeks (I think it will be exactly 19 years ago on wenesday i went into hospital)

2nd pregnancy had changed job and was working 3 days a week. I was offered working from home and started that at 34 weeks and planned to take maternity leave from 37 weeks. Last day i packed everything up and sent it back to the office and then gave birth 4 hours later. I went back to working from home 6 weeks later.

I never had a proper maternity leave before the babies were born so i would advise grab all you can get as you wont get that time back.

MrsMarigold Mon 28-Jul-14 08:26:43

37 weeks - went on maternity leave and went into labour on the first day.

MrsGiraffe12 Mon 28-Jul-14 08:31:55

I've just started now at 34 weeks but have a weeks annual leave so don't officially start maternity leave until 35 weeks. Also have 2 weeks holiday after my paid 39 weeks are finished.

Do what's right for you and baby x

Heatherbell1978 Mon 28-Jul-14 10:09:27

I'm 37+2 and started mat leave at 35 wks. I have had an easy pregnancy and sedentary office job. I could have worked another week easily enough but would be a struggle now. Really tired now and nausea has returned in the mornings too.

fluffymouse Mon 28-Jul-14 12:31:45

I started at 38/39 weeks, for various reasons it worke out best at that time. I don't think it was too late, and felt myself going a bit made having nothing to do and waiting for labour so I was glad it wasn't earlier

hubbahubster Mon 28-Jul-14 13:01:02

My mat leave started at 39 weeks but I took annual leave and went off at 36 weeks last time (DC2). I knew baby would be c

hubbahubster Mon 28-Jul-14 13:02:21

Born at 39 weeks so was able to plan it.

Your boss sounds like a chancer - if you want to go earlier and say no to the extra hours, you are within your rights to do so.

nyldn Mon 28-Jul-14 14:57:05

i finished on the day i was 38 weeks. 2 weeks annual leave then maternity starting at 40w. I honestly wish I had started a week or two earlier. The last week was really tough AND I was able to work from home sitting on a yoga ball!

Say no to the extra hours and move up your maternity if you aren't feeling great and are able to. They cannot tell you to work to 39 weeks. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost.

PeppermintInfusion Mon 28-Jul-14 16:43:20

Is working from home an option? (That is of you want to keep going for a bit).

Andcake Mon 28-Jul-14 16:51:51

I finished on the day i was 38 weeks. 3 weeks annual leave then maternity starting on due date however I knew planned cs was at 39 weeks.
hated it - bored stupid - wish I was at work etc would have worked up until the day before the cs if I had the chance. I had 10 month maternity leave and I am in no way a workaholic but I just found sitting around at home with bump worrying awful - I used to sit in nursery upset that it was too hopefully that baby would arrive safely - I was v scared of something going wrong as we had been trying for years!

Mistyautumn Mon 28-Jul-14 17:54:56

I have taken it at 32 weeks. Had some annual leave so may leave officially from 33 weeks onwards.

I was commuting 2 hours each way to/from work and I had enough.

Your employer cannot dictate your hours. If necessary you can ask hr to carry out a risk assessment to check your working environment (including hours and pressure) as you feel that you are struggling. At 34 weeks your employer should be ensuring that your work is being reduced and handed over as necessary. If they can't cope without you at this stage and haven't put anything in place for cover then that is their responsibility not yours x

MrsPatMustard Mon 28-Jul-14 18:06:29

It's a completely personal choice and your employer has no right to influence you. I quit at 34 weeks, could barely get off the sofa by 36 weeks and DS arrived at 38 weeks. The last few weeks were exhausting, I couldn't have done a day longer...

notkatemiddleton Mon 28-Jul-14 18:22:44

When you start and end maternity leave is totally your call, provided that its within the weeks that you can legally start your mat leave. Please don't feel that your employer can stipulate this and in addition, you wouldn't be completely reasonable to turn down extra hours. in fact that totally reasonable. Make sure they do a risk assessment.

I can imagine at 34 weeks you are struggling, sleep at the moment is a pain in the arse!.

Do let me know if you have any further issues with them, am an employment lawyer (winding down for maternity leave) so I can hopefully advise.

notkatemiddleton Mon 28-Jul-14 18:23:20

legally start and end your maternity leave

Pastperfect Mon 28-Jul-14 18:31:08

DC1 was born on the way to work (I detoured via a hospital) @ 36 weeks; DC2 I went off at 36 weeks and DC3 & 4 I wasn't working.

I wish if had more time to laze around before DC1 if I'm honest

ohdearitshappeningtome Mon 28-Jul-14 18:35:21

What did your boss say

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