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when did you finish work before baby?

(61 Posts)
iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 09:42:20

Hi all. I am now 30 weeks and just wondering when it is recommended that you finish work? And when you did?

Ta x

plonko Wed 05-Dec-12 10:14:49

I'm finishing at new year when I will be 32 weeks. I work in a shop so on my feet all day and am contractually signed out of the working time directive with a 1 hr commute each way, and I just don't want to put up with it for longer than I have to. My hours have been reduced to "just" 40 hours a week and I'm already struggling! Also my decision is due in part to not wanting to work next Christmas if I can possibly avoid it grin.

I think in general you're advised to work as long as its right for you. If I worked in a different role I'd be happy to work until about 37 weeks.

paperclips Wed 05-Dec-12 10:22:59

It depends a lot on the type of work you do.

I am a nurse and I couldn't have done it after about 34 weeks. On your feet most of the day, difficult hours, moving and handling (although rest of team helped me a lot, not letting me do turns/ moving patients and they took me off night shifts after about 28 weeks)

If I did a desk job I would have stayed much longer. I feel sorry for people who have to work to their due date, I think you need a bit of time to yourself to rest and prepare before the baby comes.

I am predominantly office based, so will fingers crossed work until just after 37 weeks, same as with DD. depends really on your job, any commuting etc and how you think you are coping.

YDdraigGoch Wed 05-Dec-12 10:28:07

With DD1, until about 3 weeks before she was born. With DD2, I was supposed to leave 3 weeks before birth, but she was early, so was born a week after I left work.
But I was temping, and it was in the mid 90s, so I didn't get paid or get any SMP when I stopped work, so had to work as long as I could.
I worked with a load of blokes, who were terrified I would give birth in the office smile

ivanapoo Wed 05-Dec-12 10:37:23

I am 39 weeks now and worked to 38 but used holiday to make my last 6 weeks part time. I have a demanding job but desk based so not physically strenuous. I found the last week especially tough - I think with hindsight I might have finished a bit earlier.

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 10:40:58

I wont be paid by the company - i'll be paid maternity allowance by the government. I am on my feet for 25 hrs a week and rush round like a headless chicken. It really hurts and if it was up to me I would like to finish asap - but am I being lazy? A wimp? My partner thinks I should keep going for much longer. What do you think?

BuntysFestiveCollocks Wed 05-Dec-12 10:41:49

37 weeks this Friday, and finishing next Friday. Finished at 36 and a bit last time, but that's just because it was Christmas, and there was no point in going back to work for a week or so after the Christmas break.

Ended up being bored shitless, as DS came at 42 weeks.

SecretSantaMN065 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:45:58

I finished at 31 weeks but only because I took 4 weeks holiday first (it was August and my work makes you take at least 3 in August).

Then I had 6 weeks maternity leave before the due date (which is 41 weeks in this country).

Gave birth at 38+5.

I felt so much better once I'd stopped work - something which I didn't twig until some time afterwards! I just thought that the end of my pregnancy was easier than the start.

I did use the time wisely though - found our new flat and sold our old one.

As DS was early I never did get to lie around doing nothing (which I regret a bit now!)

plonko Wed 05-Dec-12 10:53:20

iamwhaticallpregnant I am leaving early for the reasons you've stated. After 3 or 4 days running around like a blue arsed fly at work I invariably come home in tears from backache and exhaustion. My job involves quite a bit of stress which i dont handle too well these days. I wanted to leave at the end of January but ended up getting signed off work by my gp for fatigue, at which point dp convinced me to go early.

Perhaps he's struggling to comprehend how you feel? Moneys not the be all and end all- your health and baby's well being are more important

ivanapoo Wed 05-Dec-12 11:33:54

iam your employer has a legal duty to ensure the tasks you are given are suitable and you have adequate rest periods. Can you speak to an HR person or a sympathetic boss so at least your hours there are less hectic/strenuous?

I would also think carefully about your financial position and how you would spend your leave before making a decision. I.e. would going off now mean you only got a few months once baby arrived? Would you be able to amuse yourself during leave or would you get bored/impatient? Why does your DP want you to stay on - just because, or for practical reasons?

nananaps Wed 05-Dec-12 11:43:00

Was planning on finishing at 34 weeks, but have been told that i am not allowed to take any annual leave over Christmas and new year.

I had planned taking some of the 45 hours they owe me, and 2 weeks annual leave prior to mat leave.

So now its going to be 37 weeks.

AlphaBeta82 Wed 05-Dec-12 11:49:12

I'm planning to go to 38 weeks. Finished at 36 weeks with DC1. Though I have an equally demanding job now I don't travel nearly as much as I did and work an hour closer to home so hoping to last that long!

wanderingalbatross Wed 05-Dec-12 11:49:32

I have a desk job with an easy commute, so with pg #1 I worked till 36.5 weeks then was induced at 38 weeks. Now am pg with #2 and will probably try and work to 38 weeks (when I may well be induced again) as actually being at work is easier than being home with a toddler! It was nice having a week or so off the first time, but I think I'd have got bored if I'd have had to wait much longer at home.

AlphaBeta82 Wed 05-Dec-12 11:49:54

P.S. I am using my holiday to take prior to mat starting at 40 weeks

1st baby - 3 days after due date
2nd baby - 5 days before baby was born (over Christmas period)

The joys of being self employed!

BraveLilBear Wed 05-Dec-12 12:01:28

I hadn't ralised that mat leave starts before the birth if you leave early, so will have to try and hang on as long as possible in order to maximise mat leave after the birth. Am hoping that 38 weeks is bearable - I have a deskjob which can be stressful but not overly demanding and live within two miles of the office.

I currently walk in, but when latter months roll in, OH has suggested creating a deal with a taxi firm so I don't have to walk.

stargirl1701 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:07

I was 30 weeks when the summer holidays started. Went back to school after the summer at 36 weeks for one week. Mat leave started then. Baby born at 40 weeks.

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 12:09:05

Thanks all. To answer your Qs.

Well - The employer doesn't seem to notice that I am 30 weeks pregnant and thinks nothing of me working 5 hours on my feet every day and running around up and down stairs multiple times for customers. It's just a part time job (not my usual career) which I took on for the Christmas period. I thought it would be fine but I come home most nights and sit and weep over the stress/back ache and exhaustion.
So when I leave I will be unemployed which is fine as partner works and I will go back to my proper career as soon as baby is old enough to be left with grandma and nursery. So I wont have a specific amount of maternity leave. I get something like 39 weeks paid from Government.
Partner thinks that I should work well into January - I am not sure why. I think it's hard for a man (or any of my young colleagues) to understand why I find it hard.

Don't really know what to do!

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 12:12:06

BraveLilBear I get a taxi every day to and from work. Feel terrible about that too but don't drive and the thought of getting on the overcrowded bus (which takes an hour) is unbearable. By the time I have done my 5 and a half hours (break isnt really a break) I just want to roll into a taxi and get through the door. I have SPD and everything hurts.

weeblueberry Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:04

I'd been planning on working until 39 weeks actually. hmm I work in an office where I'm sat on my bum all day so not exactly strenuous. Obviously it depends how I feel closer to the time but it's definitely the plan. My boss is pretty flexible though. DP has said I'm so obsessed with work that I'll be on the phone to clients mid labour. wink

Pootles2010 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:18:54

Actually I worked up until 1 week before due date, but I sit on my bottom all day in office job, and had no physical problems. Wish i'd worked up until due date as bored silly.

However, all my friends who are on their feet all day stopped quite early - i'd say thats your best bet, especially with your spd.

BuntysFestiveCollocks Wed 05-Dec-12 12:33:40

iam you get SMP or MA from (I believe) 16 weeks before your due date, so you could go off and get it now. It only pays out for 9 months, though.

Frontpaw Wed 05-Dec-12 12:34:53

I went into labour two days before I was due to finish work.

CharlieMumma Wed 05-Dec-12 12:37:20

I finished at 33 and half weeks as it was Christmas time so I took two weeks hifay over Christmas and then as I was nearly 37 weeks in the jan I decided not to go back just for a few weeks as I was due early feb. the awful snow in late 2010/2011 helped we want to stay at home!

Two weeks - one of which was holiday and the other maternity. Had dd two days after due date.

I have a sit down (85% of the time) job but awful hours (often finishing 11pm and needing to be back at my desk at 7.30am)

Vondo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:38:32

DS1 I finished work two weeks before my due date - I had him the following Wednesday

DS2 I finished work four weeks before my due date (just to be safe) - I had him the following Wednesday too

DS3 I finished work six weeks before my due date and yes you've guessed it I have him the following Wednesday.

So it seems it didn't matter how early I finished up work - the wee monkies were going to give me no rest at all!! grin

^^ grin brilliant!

WillYuleDoTheFandango Wed 05-Dec-12 12:50:20

I finished this week at 37 weeks. I work at a desk but have a 40 mile commute (by car) each way, meaning that I have 10-12 hour days. It has been really hard for the last few weeks and DP has been telling me to finish whenever I like for weeks now.

Running up and down stairs all day must be horrendous, maybe you need to explain to both your boss and DP how hard you're finding it and see if you can come to an agreement about when you finish/light duties etc.

Your health comes first and if you are finding it too tough then scale it back

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 13:07:16

Thanks all. I just feel like I am being a drama queen and should carry on much longer. I am also worried about my Maternity Allowance as you have to have worked 26 weeks to qualify for it and if I work till the end of next week that will be 26 weeks but I am so worried they will decline it as not 100% sure on how it works/how it is checked/if holiday (even though you were still paid during it) counts as a working week etc....

They should have sent you a letter outlining all your benefits and key dates etc. Can you be put on light duties?

BiddyPop Wed 05-Dec-12 13:16:42

I am desk based and finished at 38 weeks exactly (my boss gave out to me for running up the corridor the day before I finished!! I was in great form and full of energy that week!!). I was still walking 20 mins to meet DH to go home every evening (it was a slightly slower walk though, as that normally takes me about 15).

I was grand up to my due date, but I suddenly got tired that day, and went into labour that night.

If I had realised how little time to myself I would get beforehand though (rather than racing around sorting Christmas!!), I would have gone earlier. (But it also didn;t help that the rest of my team flew to Hong Kong the day I finished up, without me, for a MAJOR international conference that I had been due to attend and I wanted to at least be involved in all the preparations even if not the event itself).

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 05-Dec-12 13:17:03

I had to finish at 28 wksdue to illness, but was due to start leave at 33 wks taking 3 weeks annual leave then starting mat leave, most people I know finished wks 34-37

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 05-Dec-12 13:18:20

Sorry OP posted too quick was going to add - do what feels best for you smile good luck

joby21 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:19:20

I normally work 12 hr shifts in quite a physical job. Am on my feet all day and we're only entitled to a 40 min break, and to be honest we don't always get that.

I finished work at 33 weeks. I had 5 weeks annual leave and my maternity leave officially started on sunday at 38 weeks. I was more than ready to finish. My OH was trying to encourage me to work longer to make sure i had more time off with baby but there is no way i could have continued longer than that! To be honest i probably worked about 2 weeks too long!

IveBeenGoodSantaIPromise Wed 05-Dec-12 13:20:28

I finished at 36 + 6. Baby came at at 39 + 3. To be honest I felt good though and almost did another week but needed to get the flat sorted for baby coming.

ksrwr Wed 05-Dec-12 13:22:24

i finished at 36 weeks, it seems most people in my office finish at 36 or 37 weeks. if i have another one.. IF... i'll finish earlier than 36 weeks i think.

FreeButtonChristmasTree Wed 05-Dec-12 13:26:41

I am finishing at 32 weeks but taking holiday for two weeks so starting maternity leave at 34 weeks. But I am expecting twins so I reckon I've done pretty well plus they are likely to come early. I am getting very very tired now and literally counting the days.

evilhamster Wed 05-Dec-12 13:27:28

36wks. 6wks were over the summer holidays though- so not really working! Currently 30wks, won't be so lucky and planning to take it until 38wks if I can! However, 2wks of that is holiday (I'm a teacher, currently snowed out of school) so will be a bit less.

StuckOnTopOfTheChristmasTree Wed 05-Dec-12 13:48:31

I'm desk based - but freelance. My contract is definite till 22 weeks, and I'm hopeful for an extension that will take me to 30 weeks. At that point I will stop (I don't think there's much chance of someone taking on a pg freelancer for 4-6 weeks!)
I am looking forward to having some time off to prepare as its unlikely we will have a chance to do much shopping/nursery prep before then!

DeckTheHallsWithBartimaeus Wed 05-Dec-12 14:50:26

In France maternity leave is 6 weeks before due date (which is 41 weeks) and 10 weeks after. Obviously if you give birth early you still get your whole 16 weeks.

At ante natal class a woman asked if she had to stop at 35 weeks or if she could keep going. The midwife said that the Dr has to sign to say you can keep going and it's max 2 weeks so everyone stops by 37 weeks.

They've found that the more rested women are before labour, the better the labours go (obviously there are exceptions) and the more women are rested after the birth.

Weissdorn Wed 05-Dec-12 15:11:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jubjubbird Wed 05-Dec-12 15:54:36

I finished at 32 weeks with my first by using holiday. My problem was my v stressful commute on a packed Victoria line during the swine flu epidemic and no time off from my employer, which had initially been promised.

Many women stop this early, you're not alone and you're not being silly. It's your body and you should follow your instincts, not your dp's (you will find this in 10 weeks time too wink).

Less stress will mean more precious sleep and more time to cook healthy meals for yourself too. I have no scientific basis for this, but I'm sure it benefits the babe too. I still value the time off I had then. The only thing I'd say is use the time wisely and, in the nicest possible way, make sure your dp sees this too, otherwise arguments may ensue!

SneezySnatcher Wed 05-Dec-12 16:22:16

I'm going at 33 weeks. I'm a teacher and wanted to stop at one of the holidays. Easter would have taken me to 39 weeks so I'm going with feb half-term. I got signed off at 35 weeks last time (due to BP) so another reason to go earlier is to avoid that!

iamwhaticallpregnant Wed 05-Dec-12 16:36:03

Thanks jubjubbird - i find it very stressful there due to various factors - and I find the job very demanding physically. I come home very weepy everyday. I find it very difficult to cope with stress generallyand i am starting to worry it might affect the baby.

Dinosaurdrip Wed 05-Dec-12 20:09:28

I finished last week at nearly 37 weeks. I would have finished earlier but I was trying to make it so I was still on mat leave for the majority of the summer holidays. It was so tiring come the end, especially working nearly full time and with 2ds at home (4&3) but needs must just to save a few quid on child care.

redwellybluewelly Wed 05-Dec-12 21:56:49

I am aiming to work FT until 34weeks and then three days a week until 38weeks. I have a job where I am often out and about in site but will move to more desk based work when I go part time.

scissy Wed 05-Dec-12 21:58:18

I'm going at 34 weeks, I wanted to go on until beginning of January, then realised that I'd be in the office for 3 days after the Christmas break (didn't fancy being one of 3 ppl in the office over the Christmas period!) Didn't seem worth it :D

lookingfoxy Wed 05-Dec-12 22:42:11

Im planning on leaving pretty early as im exhausted, im only 12 weeks just now so that may change if I start to feel better. My job involves travelling by public transport between 'clients'.
In my last pregnancy I worked till around 36 weeks, a long commute there and back but in an office and kept much better first time round.

LadyMaryCrawley Thu 06-Dec-12 12:54:28

I'll be nearly 34 weeks when I finish but I'm using annual leave as it didn't seem worth coming back for 2 weeks after the Christmas break, so officially on mat leave from 37 weeks.

My job is mostly desk-based but involves varied hours, and late shifts followed by day shifts are exhausting these days. And my boss is all stressed and horrid and seems to resent the fact that I'm not able to scamper up ladders or move the grand piano/tables/chairs any more (she won't say anything, she just looks. Just because she'd come into work if she was on fire doesn't mean the rest of us would!)

sheeplikessleep Thu 06-Dec-12 13:07:03

DS1 - finished at 37 weeks, went into labour the following day!
DS2 - finished at 36 weeks, went into labour a week later.

Ameliac28 Thu 06-Dec-12 14:48:04

As much as partners go on about "we should work up until the end" their not the ones suffering with the back ache and tiredness! I'm staying on until the end but that's coz I sit at a desk but I have already told my DH that if it gets to much I WILL be leaving earlier! I'm in the same position as you I am getting maternity allowance from the gov but I believe this can start a bit earlier if you want to leave your job earlier. Do what's best for you and your baby, suppose it would be different if your employer didn't make you run around on your feet all day but they do so maybe leave a Christmas x

ethelb Thu 06-Dec-12 15:00:23

By the way there was a study recently that showed working past 8 months is as dangerous as smoking. Maybe show him that?

blondietinsellyminx Thu 06-Dec-12 15:18:27

I finished at 35 weeks. Was intending to finish at 37 weeks but my boss wouldn't give me the time off over Christmas (i only wanted 3 days ffs!) so I started my mat leave a bit earlier and was paid instead of taking the annual leave. Baby finally arrived at 40+6.

Definitely get it in writing from your manager as to confirmation of your intended mat leave start date and also the date your mat leave/mat allowance payments will start. That'll be a good time to talk about your duties/adjustments to your role as spelt out in the HSE advice smile

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 06-Dec-12 15:31:00

With DS1 finished 37+3 had a weeks hol and he was born 38+4, currently 35+5 and have been signed off from 29+3 as i have had various medical issues, and didnt feel bad as my job wasn't very nice tbh! was signed off until my holiday started 34+3, my maternity leave will start 12/12 when i will be 36+4, and baby is being delivered 21/12 (37+6), so I've had a nice long time off before this baby, which sounds lovely but in reality has been overshadowed with various medical issues, it has been nice not to be at work though and has given me lots of time with DS.

MelonThroughaLemon Thu 06-Dec-12 16:05:00

Im on my first week of leave this week! Day 4 in the maternity leave house! I was attempting to work up until the end but just couldn't do it so finished last Friday at 37+4! So glad I did, I'm much more relaxed and it's really allowed me to focus and get things sorted and therefore be calmer about the birth. x

Longfufu Thu 06-Dec-12 17:19:38

I finished work at 30 weeks. I had a long commute, SPD and wanted to.

mylittlemonkey Thu 06-Dec-12 22:28:45

I am finishing at 32 weeks. I am sooooo glad I did as am really struggling already and exhausted by the end of the day and I don't have any energy to play with DS etc. My job is a desk job but the hours are at least 9 hours a day plus more when I take work home and it is continuous and stressful with no break at all, not even for lunch.

TackyChristmastreedelivery Thu 06-Dec-12 22:35:37

I was a delivery suite midwife until 37-38 weeks, working days, nights, for 12 hours. I left when I could reach the theatre table when scrubbed. With my second.

Wearing flight socks really helped with sore legs and varicose veins.

I had no.choice. husband made redundant when I was about 30 weeks.

With first I left at 32 weeks, bliss. Was commuting 140 miles a day and was just such hard work.

If you have actual financial choice, do whatever you feel happiest with smile


TackyChristmastreedelivery Thu 06-Dec-12 22:37:20

Couldn't reach theatre Table.scrubbed. sorry, stupid phone.

iamwhaticallpregnant Sun 09-Dec-12 11:16:10

Thanks all. I really dont know what i'll do at the moment.
For those of you claiming MATERNITY ALLOWANCE from theGovernment - do any of you know how rigorously it is checked? How the process works once you have filled in yourforms?
My partner wants me to worktillchristmas incase they dont grant it to me because you have to have worked 26 weeks of the yr and next week will be my 26th but hes worried that they might look at every single individual week with scrutiny and rule some out.

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