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How many weeks did you work up until before mat leave?(78 Posts)
Just that really, and how many weeks did you wish you had worked up to? Assuming that you didn't have a really early baby
I am just wondering. Would like to work up til 2 weeks til due date, as I keep thinking as a first baby it will be late. So if I took 4 weeks then baby was 2 weeks overdue that would be 6 weeks wasted at home without baby.
Is this unrealistic though? I'm worried about tiredness and backache and all the other unknowns, but I'm not especially active ie. I'm sat at a desk most the day.
Worked until 38 weeks with dd1. In hindsight wish I had left sooner as was poorly until she was born 8 days late. Was v run down. Went back part time anyway. With dd2 I left at 36 weeks despite only working part time. With a 16 month old at home too I was exhausted.
Hi. With dd I left at 34 weeks and took 2 weeks holiday before mat leave started. Dd was a week late so I was 5 weeks in to my mat leave before she arrived. I would have liked to have worked longer but I work in a very seasonal job and couldn't face Xmas there heavily pg . I did very much enjoy my sofa a DVD time whilst everyone was going Christmas crazy and it meant for a very relaxing festive period!!
With ds I worked to 38 weeks and took 2 weeks hol. He was on time but it did mean I didn't get as much me time before the birth as I'd have liked
I finished at 35 weeks with ds1 (iugr) an then 38 with ds2 and dd. Ds1 induced at 38 weeks and ds2 10 days late with dd 7 data late. I was knackered at 38 weeks but wanted to have as much time off after the baby was born as possible. Worked for me but not sure how productive I was the last couple of weeks!
If you say you will work to 38 weeks but finding it too hard could you.finish earlier?
I worked till 36 weeks then took 2 weeks leave so maternity leave started at 38 weeks.
Everyone told me to make the most of those 4 weeks and although I spent some time chilling on the settee with cake and TV, as I was feeling ok, I also spent a lot of time rushing about trying to fill my time and keep busy iykwim.
DD arrived on time, but with a bit of hindsight
now DD is almost 3, still doesnt sleep through the night and I am knackered I wish I had done absolutely nothing for those 4 weeks and made the most of just time for me although if someone had told me that at the time I wouldn't have believed them!
Collasped at about 30 weeks at work with DC1, as the paramedics were wheeling me out my boss said see you after your Mat Leave!. With DC2 was about 6 weeks but had an horrendous bladder infection for the last month so wouldn't have been well enough for work anyway.
I'm almost 36 weeks and working to 39+5. Feeling find so fat. Tired in evenings but still doing yoga three times a week.
I think it's a case of mind over matter some times. It's been my plan all along and my replacements doesn't start until Nov1st so can't go off before then!
I'm working until 12 days before due date but using holiday to work only 3 days per week for final month of work.
My job is half sitting in office, half travelling to meetings etc but will be trying to keep it office-based for that last month as much as poss too. Don't fancy going into labour on the M5...
At 31 weeks I'm already starting to struggle with sleep, memory and energy levels a bit so slightly worried I've bitten off more than I can chew!
Should read feeling fine so fat. But also fat so worked either way!
Worked till 36 weeks with DS. I was definitely ready to stop and enjoyed having 3 weeks of chilling and meeting friends before he came. This time planning to work till 38 weeks but may stop sooner.
I'm currently working until 37+1 with my dc1. I am a full time dance teacher (although doing a lot of chair dance teaching at the mo) and apart from feeling very tired and having swollen feet & hands i am feeling fine. (touch wood). I really think its down to the individual. If you're having a straightforward pregnancy then you will probably feel fine to keep working as long as possible. However if you're finding things difficult then I don't think you should push yourself too hard. From what my friends with children tell me, you need to enjoy all the rest you can get while you can. Good luck whatever you decide.
Scheduled to work up to 39 weeks, signed off ill at 34 weeks, which was a nightmare at work.
38 weeks. Wished I'd stayed on for another week and used annual leave to go part time. DS 10 days late so felt I was just hanging around.
With DC1 I left as soon as I could (knew I wasn't going back) I did go in three days a week for a couple of weeks as they couldn't find a replacement, though.
With DC2 32 weeks with DC3 33 weeks.
I am really rubbish at being pregnant.
I was due to finish on the friday - 2 weeks before ny due date (which I suspected was a little early). I went into labour wednesday evening and had DC thursday am.
I'm going at 34 weeks, with 2 weeks holiday before. I went at a similar time last time and really enjoyed the relaxation and having time to get things ready. This time I'm looking forward to spending time with my son before another one comes.
With all three, I worked up until they arrived, then straight back to work within a week.
Self employed people rarely get the luxury of Maternity Leave, but at least I could either bring my babies into the office, or work from home, which an employed person can't do.
38 weeks, which was probably just about right. DS was 3 days late
I'm working to 36 weeks. I'm 34 at mo but its hard running up and down that ward at the mo. glad of a sit down and and a
I worked up till 38 weeks. I am now 39 weeks and bored, wish I had worked this past week too.
I am still feeling great, though am a little tired as I am not sleeping properly as I keep having to go to the loo, but nothing bad enough to stop me from working.
I worked up until 37 weeks, but I used my leave for the last month so I reduced my hours gradually - by 37 weeks I was only doing 2 days
I'd say it was pretty much perfect for me. I wasn't bored, or too tired, I was still able to get out to Mum and Bump groups (aquanatal, bfeeding support, pampering sessions!) without it interfering with work. I'd recommend finishing gradually!
I worked up to 39 the latest I was allowed. He was born at 40+2 so was fine
I worked til 33.5 weeks, had 2.5 weeks leave and started mat leave at 37 weeks, mainly because I didn't want to work through any of august and I had holiday accrued. In hindsight I wish I had used my leave to drop from 5 to 4 days a week, then 3 days a week for a couple of months beforehand and still finished at 37 weeks.
Till 2 days before I was due to be induced. Meant my new parent anxiety was under control and that I had a long stretch at home with baby
I guess it works differently for everyone. I did get worn out as getting to work involved a total of 3 hours on the tube each day
self employed - worked until my waters broke. actually carried on after my waters broke, as DS was over a week early and I had to organise things at short notice as a result.
(then had to pick up unfinished work when he was 3 days old, but that was hell, so I don't recommend that.)
I'd say it depends entirely on how you feel. I had an easy pregnancy and my job is basically sitting at a PC - I would have liked tiime to lie on the sofa/go for lovely slow walks in the country but it didn't kill me not to have it I suppose.
I did have friends who were keen to stop work but then found themselves at home and 'brooding slightly about the birth and just wanting it all to hurry up. I suppose work is a good distraction in some ways.
I've finished pretty early both times, using holiday to go off around 33 weeks with mat leave starting at 36. Both mine have come late too!
Both times I've really enjoyed nesting, cooking for the freezer, resting a bit, and getting to go yoga/aquanatal/midwife groups/long walks/spend time with DC1. When you're having a year or so off as I've been lucky enough to do, I felt using those weeks to go into labour/birth/parenthood rested was a good use of time.tod rested
I'm planning to work till 36 weeks because I have gestational diabetes so am expecting to be induced at around 38 weeks. Had I not had GD I would probably have worked till 38.
I worked until 36 weeks but used annual leave so mat leave didn't start til due date, I went ten days over so had 6 weeks off before baby came. It was bliss!
I'm due 21st of Jan and planning to work until Xmas. Although reading these positive stories I'd love to (financially anyway) get a couple weeks in after the new year.
Last time started mat leave at 39 weeks but took 2 weeks leave so left work at 37. This time probably start mat leave at 38 weeks but use annual leave to go to 3 or 2 day weeks for last month
With dd finished at 38 weeks took 2 weeks AL so mat leave started at 40 weeks. She was 15 days late but I was ready to finish.
Said would not do that with ds though was only working 3 dats a week then, finished at 37 weeks took 3 weeks AL he was also 2 weeks late.
This time I am finishing at 35 weeks only as have been off sick due to eye ops so will take 5 weeks AL but won't be lazing about as will be wZlking dd to school, ds to preschool, then back again for him at 12, then back to school later. Work is like a rest!!
37 weeks with DS and was fine. This time I'll be stopping at 36 weeks.
I was still working with DS2 -he was due 10 days later and I worked up to 11 days before DS1 arrived.
Thanks to OP for starting this thread, this is something I've been curious about. I'm due in early June so will have all of next year's AL to take before mat leave. My worry is judging that balance right. I hate the atmosphere of where I work as we're being cut every which way and the atmosphere can be quite negative. So I'm keen to get away as early as possible. Am thinking of mat leave a week or two before due date and AL for the 4 or 5 weeks up to then. But I do like the alternative a few of you have mentioned of using AL to work part time for a few weeks. Might think some more about that.
Left work as soon as I could, around 31 weeks. Was working two jobs, both stressful & only got worse as they continued to pile more work on. I had no intention of going back, so it didn't really matter when I left. Doctor advised I leave asap, so jumped at the chance.
My son arrived at 37 weeks. Totally unexpected as everyone had told me first babies are always overdue. Yeah right.
Both pregnancies I worked up to about 2 days before.
Finished 2 days before I had DD and finished Friday and having this one not later than Tuesday. Probably a bit silly but felt fine, needed the money and prefer time when baby is here. I also didn't want time to worry and focus on the birth. Perfection for me would be a week before you go into labour - I just never time it right as mine aren't good at sticking to schedules.
Totally depends in your pregnancy though - I still feel like I could physically work now, but my brain has left the building.
With DS I finished for maternity leave on the Sunday (though Friday was technically my last day at work) & he was due the next day. But - I took 2 weeks annual leave before that so finished up at 38 weeks. I work full time in a post that requires long days and long commutes (25 miles each way) - with more travelling once I get there - so I would have to admit I wished I'd finished even a week sooner!
onemore something to check w your employer is if you don't use your booked annual leave because baby arrives early, will you be able to carry it over/ get paid in return.
Mine said yes at their discretion but in theory you could just lose it.
This might be another reason to choose going p/t for longer rather than blocking all your leave just before due date.
Self employed so working up to birth!!
Last time I tried to take a week off. Stopped at 39 weeks (a friday) and went into labour that nights. Baby was there by morning and by Monday I was emailing my staff from hospital.
Makes me sound like a work maniac which I'm not. It's just different when you run your own business!
You get the advantages later on (ie in terms if u never have to worry about being late or leaving early, or an angry boss if your LO is sick) but you don't get a clean break for maternity!
Worked up until 33 weeks, took a load of leave and mat leave then started at 38 weeks. Great idea as I've been so knack weed and really enjoyed chilling and cooking before baby comes.
I'm finishing at 36 weeks, using a week of annual leave and my maternity pay will start at 37 weeks. This is DC1, and we've been running around trying to get house renovations finished before baby comes, so there are boxes of crap everywhere which I'm hopefully going to spend some of that time sorting and organising. I'm looking forward to spending some time doing not very much at all too, plus work have been really good at winding me down - I suspect the next three weeks at work are going to be quite quiet for me as I'm now supervising my replacement instead of actually doing anything!
Thanks Ivanapoo, I'll check on that. And I do feel fortunate for once to be working for a large organisation re mat policy and having the freedom to choose to go on leave earlier.
39 both times. DD1 13 days over; this one now 4 days over. I would work until labour started if I could!
I worked till 40 weeks (39 + 6) as that was a Friday. It was the right choice for me, I'd had an 'easy' pregnancy and my work were understanding and flexible so my usually active role became more and more of a desk job as time went on. I did use annual leave so that for the 2-3months before leaving I never had to work a full week. DS ( currently 5 weeks) was predictably 12 days late so I'm glad I stayed on, the waiting sucks.
I took the maximum amount off. It was lovely to lounge around and watch TV with my feet up during the day.. I also got a lot of baby shopping done, home improvements done, decorated the nursery, had the kids evening meals with them and DP and got loads of sleep.
I was a memorable quiet time that my bump and I had together.
scubastevie - worked to 39 weeks with my first assuming I would be two weeks over. I was planning to return to work at 6 months and wanted to have as much time off as poss with the baby. Went into labour within hours of leaving the office. Not a good plan, was not mentally or physically prepared and still had loads to do at home.
Finishing at 37 weeks this time so sods law says I will be sitting around at home for 5 weeks . Physically, I am finding it tougher the second time around - you simply don't get the personal time to rest that you do when you don't have kids and I think it is quite common that people finish up a little earlier if they can manage it. Hoping I will get a few days to myself this time to sit down and refresh my memory about latching on etc etc.
If I had to do it over again I would:
finish at 38 weeks, but complete a handover at 37 weeks and use the final week to wrap stuff up, delete mail, do some networking lunches, update my CV [just in case] etc.
be considerably less focused on leaving work "perfect" and get my shit together at home. Didn't have a single meal in the freezer, hadn't packed a hospital bag when my waters went, the list went on.....
acknowledge that if the baby turns up immediately that you can get the benefit of some time off to yourself before you go back to work as they adjust into childcare.
I worked till 37 weeks and it was ca struggle. Personally I was ready to stop around 34 weeks. It all depends on how you feel. I also found backache was worse from sitting at a desk all day and eased offonce I left work. My son arrived on his due date so I ony had 3 weeks at home but still hadn't done everything I'd planned to before I went into labour. I too was convinced I'd be 2 weeks overdue!
I worked till 37 weeks, and went into labour on the Tuesday the week I started maternity leave. I don't think I can handle doing nothing at home. I'd be very very bored. I think it'll be very different if you have another child to look after.
Have to add I have a very easy pregnancy. I have no trouble carrying my bump onto a bicycle and cycle to work. I think I'll feel differently if I wasn't feeling well. Also my work is very sedatory. I sit at my desk all day.
with DD I working FT. I finished at 34 weeks, had 2 weeks holiday then mat leave started at 36 weeks. She was 4 days late. I'd say that was about right. I was able to rest and get things done as well as nice things like going out for lunch with friends etc. This time I only worked 16 hrs over 2 days and finished last week at 35 weeks, I have 2 weeks holiday then mat leave starts at 37 weeks. I'm having an ELCS at exactly 39 weeks.
I would say finish as early as you can!! My friend at work recently had her first baby 4 weeks early and hadn't even finished work so she got no time off! [shock
With DD I was very tired by 38 weeks and had swollen anklles and diidn't feel able to do much. I certainly wouldn't have been up for working.
Enjoy whatever you decide x
2 weeks. And then DS was a week late.
2 weeks was more than enough, but I felt pretty fit.
You start earlier if you need to.
I worked until a few days before DD with baby1 (she was 9 days late) and until a week before with baby 2 (4n days late). I used up holidays for the first week or 2 so maternity leave didn't start for a while anyway.
Worked well for me - I work in an office.
First one I worked to 38 weeks, but wish had stopped sooner as dd was 11 days early! Really pissed off that I didn't get more me time !!!
2nd time around I stopped over a month before due date- it was Xmas too so just finished up before Xmas break. He was also 11 days early!
I worked until 33 weeks with DS and he arrived at 40+7, so I had a lovely long time before he arrived.
I went on mat leave when the office closed on 22 Dec and didn't seem any point in going back after Christmas. Work was closed for 2 weeks over the Christmas break anyway and I had 1.5 hour commute each way through rush hour London, of then in heavy snow that year due to temporary house move, so I was utterly knackered and struggling with sciatica and no sleep. We moved house in Jan, so needed the time to organise that.
I'd say, have a little break before the baby if you can.
I finished 4 weeks before DD each time. DD1 was 9 days late and DD2 8 days late, so, yes I did have a fair bit of time at home before babies arrived but I ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE. Particularly with the first, I'd say don't short change yourself of time by yourself as you won't get much when the baby arrives. Also I had DD1 in 2005 and it was averaging 25C by the end of May, so it was good not to have to travel into work when it was 30C - 35C as it was in the June and July.
With DD2 it was winter and snowing so finishing 4 weeks before EDD meant not driving to work in the snow & ice.
Also consider how many weeks of normal leave you will accrue while on Mat leave, most companies actually want you to add some of these on to the mat leave period so you don't have loads to take when you come back.
Before DD1 arrived I spent a lot of time lying on the sofa next to the fan, watching my Dogtanian boxset or lounging in the shade in the garden eating fresh pineapple & drinking raspberry leaf tea. I did do a lot of nesting stuff as well, clearing out cupboards, bigger jobs that I rarely got round to while working FT.
With DS I worked until 3 weeks before his DD, but then he was 2 weeks late so I sat around at home for 5 weeks and did get rather fed up with that after a while. I did reduce my hours in the last month or so before finishing up, as I was getting tired. I was ready to finish up when I did, my job was mainly desk based but could be stressful. Now I am expecting No2, due mid-January and I intend to work right up until christmas and finish then. I may be having a c-section this time round anyway so didn't seem much point in going back just for a few days. And it will be nice to spend some extra time with DS (I work full time just now) before he becomes Big Brother.
With DD I worked until just under 39 weeks and it was fine (desk job with client visits and typical London commute and ability to work at home one day a week). I had a planned c-section so knew that unless she was early I would have five days off before she was born. In hindisght, I wish I had had a week longer as it did all feel a bit rushed.
This time for DC2 I am finishing (this week hurrah!) at 37 weeks, I have a planned c-section for exactly 39 weeks so hopefully will get my two weeks off to relax (although I have loads planned). I am much more tired this time as am running around after a toddler when I am not at work and really glad to be finishing this week.
I think if you are in good health and feel ok about working, you will be fine - do you have any flexibility if you change your mind or feel too tired as it gets nearer?
Do remember, not all first babies are late. My best friend had her baby at 37 weeks very quickly having to leave a client meeting halfway through. Bit of a nightmare as she had to finish some work loose ends for a few days after the baby was born, so if you do work that late make sure you do any handover bits around 35 weeks.
I worked until 39 weeks and had DD at 39.4 weeks so didn't get much of a break! I was fine though. I found the travel to and from work a bit tiring towards the end but other than that I was quite happy to be working. I guess it depends on how easy your pregnancy is and how physically demanding your job is.
I am due on 5th February and am planning to start my mat leave at 36 weeks as that is Christmas Eve. I work full time at the moment and I am currently using this years annual leave to take every wednesday off which means I only work two days, a day off and then back in work for two days before the weekend. This is lovely and I thoroughly recommend it!
I am hoping to have 9 months off in total then take next years annual leave at the end of that. The reason for doing it that way is I get an increment in august so i will be paid more more my annual leave next sept/oct than if I took it this dec/jan.
I work on a hospital ward with a mixture of walking around, helping people out of bed but also sitting down. I am actually finding the sitting a lot harder than the being active at the moment (24 weeks) as I am tending to get upper back pain. I have to make sure I get up and walk frequently.
I think it depends on your job, pregnancy symptoms and when your due date falls. There was little point for me taking a week or two annual leave over Christmas to then come back to work for 1-2 weeks. Otherwise I might be planning on staying at work for longer.
Was hoping to work till 38 weeks which seemed about right.
Admitted to hospital after 34 week scan showed placenta praevia - so rapid change of plans. Still doing bits of email and writing handover notes in hospital (which is ok as feeling perfectly fine, just being monitored and watched).
My obn put me on bed rest at 35wks because I was so swollen. My employer forced me onto maternity leave as they didn't want me working from home. I was fine with this as maternity leave is unlimited before birth.
I would suggest you start handover at 30/32 weeks so those taking over from you know what they are doing. You will be tired so it is a great way of speading your workload and if something happens the transition will be smooth for your employer.
I worked until I went into labour in all 5 cases (or 4 - one was twins) and that worked out fine and then back after 2 weeks of annual leave. Not surprisingly the children have done pretty well and it has paid huge dividends financially. Obviously make sure whoever is taking over is ready or you have done hand over notes in case it comes sooner. If you take two weeks of annual leave you lose no money. Statutory maternity pay is just 6 weeks a 90% of pay and then what some of us earn in 30 minutes so most people who have a mortgage, child care for other children to pay for etc are a bit financially foolish or else rather well off or else in very low paid work or have a lot of savings or married a rich man if they can take much more than the 6 weeks off. Also that then engrains sexist patterns at home and when you do go back it is upsetting for a baby ripped from its sole carer's arms, whereas going back at 2 weeks you have stbability and nice routines right from the start.
33 weeks but was having a shocking time at work and with hindsight I had SPD too. DD was born at 42 weeks so had 9 weeks to go crazy in!
I stopped at 37 weeks but my last two weeks were part time to finish an important project. I had quite a full on job and I really regret staying so long because now I'm five months into my maternity leave and my house is still a bomb site. The two weeks I had before the baby was born were melting hot, I was the size of a house and in complete denial that a baby was arriving..... I wish I'd stopped at 32 or so when I was still mobile and organised my house, because it's one thing to leave a disorganised house and be at work all day long, quite another to live in it all day every day with a baby who never lets you tidy or clean anything at all.
I left work at 34 weeks with dc 1 and 36 weeks with dc2
I worked until 36 weeks, went off just before Christmas which was lovely. I had about 4 weeks at home, and spent the time cooking meals and putting in the freezer - I can't tell you how grateful I was that I had done that after DD was born. We'd have starved.
Glad I came across this thread - thanks OP! Pleased to hear 36 weeks worked for lots of others - I'm planning to finish then and hope to spend time stocking my freezer with home cooked food like cordelia
It's a case of each to their own, but I have a pretty good job with a lot of responsibility and have worked hard to get there but I won't be thinking twice about taking the time off or how much money it's costing me. I'm planning to finish in March and stay off until the January. My workplace won't crumble without me, and even if it did I wouldn't care as I will be at home with my lovely, long awaited LO
I was 35+2 with DS and was in an office based job, but I was so bored as there wasn't much work on so the days really dragged. Used 3 weeks holiday before mat leave started and DS was 6 days late.
I only started getting bored in the week he was due. I managed to fill my time doing my Xmas shopping. I don't regret leaving work when I did.
38 weeks with DS1 and he was two weeks late so it was waaay too long to be sitting at home bored. This time I will work to 39 weeks I think as I will have a 2.5 year old at home so at least I won't be bored.
I hate being at home though and feel lost if I am not working so I was quite happy to keep working right up until the end. I just worked shorter hours and found people were quite accepting of that.
I worked up until my due date to get as much time off after the baby was born as possible. I have other children though, so wouldn't have been at home resting and relaxing anyway. Night feeds make me far more tired than being pregnant and that's how I persuaded myself to keep going at work when I was so tired. With this pregnancy I work evenings and feel like going to bed before I even leave for work. Have told work I intend to work until my due date, but if it all gets too much can give 4 weeks notice to change the leave date. After this the doctor or midwife can sign you off sick, which automatically triggers maternity leave in late pregnancy.
It's a very personal thing. Just see how you go.
Great, thanks so much for your responses everyone. I'm still hoping 38 weeks but will see how I feel and ask the latest I can tell them great to hear lots worked up til due date though, amazing!
I suppose you don't know when the due date is and only 6 weeks is 90% pay most people need the money so they want to have most of the time with the baby therefore for me working until I went into labour worked the best particularly as first labours are often over 20 hours plus and all my labours were very long so there was never any rush.
I finished at 38 weeks - this past Thursday! It was totally fine! Although given what's happened since then (hospitalised for high blood pressure & sudden heavy bleeding), I wish I'd gone at 37 weeks. For future pregnancies that's what I'll do!
DP worked at home from two weeks before both times, although she had to go in two days before her due date as somebody had fucked up something crucial. She drove to work from 37 weeks, though, as she couldn't stand being crushed on the Tube, the long walk or cycling.
Xenia not everybody has 90% pay for 6 weeks. My company does full pay for a while, then half & SMP then SMP for a while.
We're saving as at the moment I would prefer to spend more time with LO then have more money but who knows!
I never even had the 90% pay for 6 weeks.
I left work 2 weeks before my due day and good too i went into labour the day after i left. Take it easy in the last few weeks my job is stressful. Goodluck
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