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Anyone went or going on maternity leave at 32 weeks?

(52 Posts)
ButteryJam Wed 20-Mar-13 23:35:28

Hi,

I'm thinking of going on maternity leave at 32 weeks instead of at 36 weeks. Did anyone else do that? Did you get really really bored or was it a good break? What sort of things did you do?

Also is 32 weeks considered generally too early? I don't want my employers to think I'm not committed.

OohShinyChocolateHollowBunnies Wed 20-Mar-13 23:39:33

Would you not rather spend the time with your new baby? That's potentially 10 weeks at home if you go 2 weeks over.

I finished at 38 weeks. Am 41 weeks tomorrow and I'm already bored stiff. If i knew i would go over, i would have worked longer as id rather have had more time off with my baby.

Trishstar Thu 21-Mar-13 00:09:52

I finished at 32 weeks for various reasons

One because it tied in better with how my holiday year starts/ends

I had holiday to use so my mat leave actually started at 34 weeks.

Another because I got married 2 weeks after I finished work!

Another because I just couldn't give 100% anymore in my job.

It's a very personal decision tbh. I've just spent the time (after the wedding and mini moon), reading my BF and hypnobirthing books, meeting up with friends, spending time with my parents and generally having lie ins and relaxing xx

My EDD is April 16th and my mat leave officially ends on feb 27th 2014 but I shall probably go back just after new year

Shesparkles Thu 21-Mar-13 00:15:07

I went on leave at 29 weeks with my dd-that was the earliest you could start at that time, I don't know if it's changed. I did it because I knew I'd never have that time to myself again, ever, in my whole life.
I never felt bored, I just spent the time puddling about, relaxing and eventually going to ante natal classes.
I've never regretted it and wouldn't have done it any other way

Dannilion Thu 21-Mar-13 06:38:53

I went on ML at 29 weeks due to SPD. I am a nurse in a very 'high risk' unit and just felt too vulnerable and exhausted after at 12 hour shift.

I've loved it and haven't been bored since. Then again, I've had a whole house to decorate, many a book to read and much pottering about to be done. The way I look at it is, I'm never going to have this time and money to myself again. I'm fully prepared for babies imminent arrival, including all my batch cooking, birthday presents bought for the next 6 months etc.

However, I'm quite lucky in that I get 9 months full pay whilst on maternity leave. Of which I'm saving a lot of to ensure I can spend pretty much an entire year off. If I was just on SMP my outlook would probably be very different.

LazyMachine Thu 21-Mar-13 06:48:25

I went on leave at 30 weeks (couldn't have been soon enough!), but I'm not going back to work at the end of my ML, so wasn't worried about not having enough time after LazyBoy was born.

CareerGirl01 Thu 21-Mar-13 06:52:18

32 weeks for me this time round - with DD1 I worked till 38 weeks. I am self employed though and spending some of my Pre baby mat leave retraining. I did have a bleed the other week which made me slow down. My bp went up massively at 37 weeks with DD1 and I don't want that happening this time round. If I were working for an employer I'd probably try and keep going a few more weeks

chickenfactory Thu 21-Mar-13 06:54:32

I've gone on mat leave at 29 weeks, I'm only a week in but as others have said I'll never get this time back. I was getting sore and uncomfortable doing my job but could have carried on with a few adjustments. Wasn't for me. I'd say its totally up to you, plenty to keep you occupied. I probably won't go back to the same job though so that may have influenced me slightly!

bluer Thu 21-Mar-13 07:11:58

I'm going at just over 32 Weeks ...but I have six and a bit Weeks of summer hols. My sure date is 22nd Aug and school stats back on the 15th I think so technically my mat leave doesn't start until then. I feel quite lucky as I'll be able to relax etc and not worry about mat leave being used up! Enjoy the time as i'm sure it'll be the last you time for a long time!

PrincessOfChina Thu 21-Mar-13 07:21:15

A friend did this, but she knew she would be made redundant during her Mat leave and has not returned to paid employment.

A colleague recently fibbed to all but HR about her due date and finished at 34 weeks rather than 36. Most odd.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 21-Mar-13 07:23:23

Ds1 I finished at 37 weeks, had a weeks hol, was absolutely shattered but recovered in the time as i just slept and lunched really!DS born 38+4.
DS2 got signed off at 32 weeks until my holiday before mat leave started at 36, mat leave started at 37 (DS2 was planed section at 37+6), I was signed off with "stress" but really I just abhorred my job, the environment and the company. I shant be going back so dont really care that it inconvienienced them as they have treated me awfully in the run up. They have for example, told a colleague that they need to make me redundant, but wont so that I just do not return after ML to "save them a wedge" - my redundancy would be under 1k... They are cocks. Anyway after that cathartic rant, with DS2 I didn't get bored as made most of time with DS1, met with friends as majority work part time, sorted a lot out, sued a pharmacy company.. The usual! If it was DS1 I probably would have been bored though.

onyx72 Thu 21-Mar-13 07:23:53

I went on ML when I was 32 weeks because our family was moving out of London and I knew I wasn't going back to work. I was bored out of my mind.

floatyjosmum Thu 21-Mar-13 07:27:35

I'm 36 weeks and still working and wish I wasn't so if you want to start mat leave then do. I've only carried on as I'm not having full mat leave for financial reasons but if I'd been having the year I would set have finished by now!

Msbluesky32 Thu 21-Mar-13 07:52:30

I had quite a bit of annual leave so took week 33 as holiday and officially started mat leave at 34 weeks. I was commuting 3 hours a day and although I've had a relatively healthy pregnancy I was beginning to find it a real slog. I was very ready to go when I did! (my last week of travelling to and from London was half term and it was a killer). I was worried I'd be bored but I'm loving it. I've spent the last three weeks doing all the hobbies I love, meeting up with friends and relaxing. Yesterday I went swimming (i can highly recommend this towards the end (Im 37 wks) - it really helps with restless legs/problems sleeping).

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 21-Mar-13 08:27:07

MsBlue, i swam also
In both pregnancies, nothing quite like feeling weightless when you are big is there ?! grin I did get lapped twice by an elderly man though.blush

wifey6 Thu 21-Mar-13 08:27:58

I am going on ML at 32-33 weeks as my job is manual & I've had SPD for several weeks now. I also want to spend the remaining 7-8 weeks with DS1 & prepare for our new arrival.
With DS1 I started ML at 34 weeks & had the luxury of lie-ins etc...but this time it's all about quality time together before we expand to a family of 4 smile
I feel it's a personal choice & women should start ML whenever they feel they need to..if that be for physical reasons or not.
For all of you who are already on ML..enjoy it smile

Im finishing at 33 weeks and cannot wait!
I'm starting to struggle now as so tired and achy.
I plan on sleeping, resting, packing my hospital bags, catching up with friends I'm too busy to see now and going to some antenatal fitness classes such as Pilates, yoga and aquanatal which run during the day around here!

pebspop Thu 21-Mar-13 08:49:21

I went on annual leave at 34 weeks and start mat leave on Monday at 38 weeks. this last four weeks have been amazing. I don't know how I was managing to commute and work being out of the house for ten hours per day.

to avoid boredom I had an idea of classes friends/family days off and I know I can attend something or meet someone for lunch most days. if I dont feel up to it I stay in and nap.

I also have a list in my head of things that can be done around the house in case I get really bored but haven't done any of them yet.

Msbluesky32 Thu 21-Mar-13 08:50:26

strawberries ha ha, yes I got lapped a couple of times too but third time I tried very hard and I beat him and then spent 10 mins clinging to the edge trying to get my breath back

CityDweller Thu 21-Mar-13 09:17:22

This will probably get me flamed, but I do not understand people who say they get bored on mat leave... There's so much to do - books to be read, films to be watched, tv to catch up on, exhibitions and galleries to visit, swimming to be done, friends to meet for lunch, cooking and baking to stick in the freezer, or just lie-ins to be had and space to be stared into! Maybe it's cos I've always done a lot of work from home and am used to spending time on my own, but I am LOVING my mat leave. (Been off for a week so far - went at 37 wks) and am like a pig in sh!t!! So much so that my fingers are crossed for baby being a week or so late...

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Thu 21-Mar-13 09:21:05

Msblue grin

peanutMD Thu 21-Mar-13 09:30:10

I had planned to work until 37 Weeks but was signed off at 36 Weeks for medical reasons.

I was bored shitless by 38 Weeks!

LeBoob Thu 21-Mar-13 09:42:40

I started at 30 weeks, I spent my days watching crap tv, napping, eating & getting informed on mumsnet

Technically started at 36 weeks as had holiday to use! I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat!

I did. And had a massive APH four days into my maternity leave! So glad I went early as I think i would have blamed work otherwise (have a very physical job). I was never judged for it. Just do what feels right for you.

Hamnvik Thu 21-Mar-13 10:47:05

I went on maternity leave at 33 weeks, used three weeks holiday so technically didn't start until 36 weeks. Its been fantastic!
I haven't been bored at all, I'm going to miss my long naps once the baby is here though. There's no way i could have carried on working full time up to the last minute and I'm so much happier being off. Do it! grin

LazyMachine Thu 21-Mar-13 13:34:29

You'll still get lovely long naps, Hamnvik (babies sleep a lot!) - they just won't necessarily be when you want them to be... grin. It took me about 3 weeks to actually start doing what EVERYONE had been telling me to do and sleep when the baby sleeps. Life saver, that wisdom is!

used2bthin Thu 21-Mar-13 13:42:10

I did last year. Dc 2 tho so had less childcare stress over the holidays and igot married and sorted house stuff out . It was great but I went nearly two weeks over so was fed up by then.

Msbluesky32 Thu 21-Mar-13 14:27:47

If you're not sure could you take some of it as annual leave (say week 32 and week 33) and then start at week 34? Or something similar? Then you could always see how you feel nearer the time and cancel the annual leave if you felt you could continue.

Jollyb Thu 21-Mar-13 16:27:09

I stopped work at 32 weeks with DD. was having a terrible time and finding the commute really hard. First 2 weeks were sick leave, next 2 weeks annual leave and the remainder maternity leave. I didn't have DD til 42 weeks so had 10 weeks at home! I did get a bit bored towards the end but there was no way I could have continued any longer. My aim is 35 weeks this time and as I'll be having an elective section at around 39 weeks hopefully I'll only have 4 weeks before I give birth.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Thu 21-Mar-13 17:25:32

I do think it depends what you do for a living. If you do a sit down job, it might be easier to continue (although if you have SPD/PGP, sitting can be just as bad!).

I'm stopping tomorrow Yippee! At 35+2. I'm taking 4 weeks annual leave and officially go on mat leave 2 days before I'm due. I'm a nurse on a ward and I swapped to short shifts about 6 weeks ago - I couldn't cope with 12 hour shifts! I rather wish I'd gone off last week but you live and learn...can't wait for tomorrow!

TinkyPeet Thu 21-Mar-13 17:37:53

I'm stopping at 30 weeks, considering I'm only 23 now, I look like nearer full term! I'm huge! But I work in a bar so it's all on my feet and up-down all night after having the kids all day! Would much rather be getting ready for bed at 10pm than smiling through abuse from shitfaced customers whilst imagining I'm actually throttling them!

Snowflakepie Thu 21-Mar-13 18:24:40

I finished with DD at 25 weeks. Had 4 weeks annual leave then mat leave from 29 weeks. Extremely stressful job, on my feet 10 hours a day, and despite my complaints and risk assessment there was no way I could change my work environment. I also love crafting, reading, watching films and tv, shopping, sleeping! So I knew it was my last ever real holiday. Babies are immensely hard work and often people underestimate that. I also knew I would be returning part time and to a different role, so I would have more than enough time with DD. Looking back now, that time off was the happiest time of my life. That's just me. This pg I will be finishing at 32 weeks which is more to do with the way holiday years fall than my own feelings. It's fine.

If you like your own company and have lots of interests that might be tricky with a baby, enjoy the time off. If you need other people's company or your friends won't be around during the day, it might be harder. Everyone's different. I got some negative comments but I was so happy, I hardly cared. Do what's right for you.

ButteryJam Thu 21-Mar-13 18:39:10

Thank you so much ladies for sharing your experiences! smile It is reassuring to see that there are many of you out there who did start their maternity leave before 36 weeks. I am considering going early mainly due to getting ill with various things consecutively (it has been a very difficult pregnancy for me), and feeling guilty for taking off sick and stressing myself over the work left to do! I also think it'll be a good time in my life to have some 'me' time which I haven't had in a long time ever, and obviously will not have after the baby comes.

LuckyOwl28 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:57:07

I finished at 35 weeks as I had a physically demanding job with children and felt I wasn't able to give 100% to the role. Didn't seem fair on my colleagues and had a few scares where I pulled my stomach straining trying to do things I shouldn't have been. I was also getting the train to work and had 20 mins walk both sides.

I worried that everyone would think I was copping out early, to later find out all my colleagues had left earlier than me. I really think it's a personal choice based on how you feel, what your job entails etc.

I must admit going from a full time, active job to having so much time to myself was overwhelming at first - I threw myself into a 'To Do List' which is already complete with 2 and a half weeks left to go! We live on a forces base so have no friends and family anywhere near us, so I've had to force myself out to bumps and babes groups to avoid getting cabin fever sitting inside all day. The weather isn't helping!

I keep trying to 'relax' as everyone keeps telling me, but it doesn't feel the same when you have soooo much time. I really am trying to enjoy it though as like other people have said I'll never have this chance again! I suppose it depends on what kind of person you are - my hubby would be in his element as he loves his own company and could sit and slob all day!

willyoulistentome Thu 21-Mar-13 21:29:44

39 weeks with 1st and planned the same with 2nd. Stopped at 38 wks tho cos I was just beggared. I chose to work so late as I wanted to use my leave to spend at home with the baby rather than alone and I had no probs with either pregnancy.

willyoulistentome Thu 21-Mar-13 21:32:24

.....and I had a desk job so easy on the bump.

AlmondFrangipani Thu 21-Mar-13 22:38:40

Hi Buttery

I'm glad you posted this as I'm having the same dilemma. I've been told to expect my baby to be early 32/34 weeks due to a Pre existing medical condition. However if I'm well I could go closer to 36 weeks. I've decided to take 2 weeks annual leave at week 31/32 and prob go after that. The risk is I could be off for awhile before the baby comes but is rather have too much time than not enough. I'm lucky that I'm planning to have a year off so I will still get a good amount of time with the baby!

whateverhernameis Thu 21-Mar-13 22:43:13

I finished at 32 weeks as it was the end of January and the end of our busiest time at work. I also had severe SPD and could barely walk, so I would have been signed off sick and they could have forced me to start ML early anyway.

Because of the SPD I could barely move and was in a lot of pain, so only left the house for hospital appointments mainly.

I was lucky in that I could take 12 months off after the birth due to holiday etc.

If you can find things to do, then take the time and just enjoy it, if you are sure that you wont want those extra weeks afterwards

abbyfromoz Thu 21-Mar-13 22:44:21

Went at 35 weeks. Was bored senseless. DD arrived at 41.
Couldn't have stayed longer though as i had some (asshole) male colleagues demanding i lift and carry heavy things and run up and down stairs...as obviously they were too important for the job...

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 22-Mar-13 12:00:16

Will be finishing at end of next week when I'm 30.
Although not physically affected much yet I am emotionally exhausted - got a stressful job with lots of travel.
Plan is 1 week of sleep!, then a few weeks to sort out house and garden, then can move to more restful jobs (finances, admin & paperwork, sort out computers and entertainment i.e. download movies and box sets!). I can see all that easily taking me to 38 weeks, and then I suspect I'll be ready to slow down and chill out abit...

TTCmay Fri 22-Mar-13 13:46:54

With DC1 i finished at 33 weeks and she came at 42 weeks ! My main reason for stopping was the horrendous commuting.

I did really enjoy it - i'm with those who don't understand how you can get bored. I did sleep a lot ie napped every day, and was happy in my own company (last time for many many years), getting things organised, swimming most days, meeting friends etc.

However, when it came to putting a 10 month old in nursery I did feel sad and questioned whether I should have had all the time off before. But realistically I couldnt have continued - you really have to listen to your body. I am only 25 weeks now and the midwife yesterday said I must start to take it easier.

This time I am aiming for just over 35 weeks. I am taking 2.5 weeks holiday so officially starting mat leave nearer 38 weeks. I'll have a school age child to look after (am immediately stopping childminder) so I will have 6 hours to myself a day and then some good quality time with her.

Just go with what feels right for you. And listen to your body.

x

CitizenOscar Fri 22-Mar-13 22:26:47

With DS1 I went off at 34 weeks (but used annual leave so ML technically didn't start til 39 weeks I think). I was so pleased to finish as I was knackered but after a couple of weeks at home I felt loads better and said to DH that I could have worked a bit longer. He pointed out that I only felt like that because I'd had 2 weeks' rest! A colleague had had her baby at 35 weeks and had no ML (went home from work, had baby) so I was very keen to make sure I went off early enough!

This time I'm planning to do similar - leave at 32-34 weeks but use annual leave until closer to due date. Would leave a bit later but have a holiday booked at 32/33 weeks and doesn't seem worth going back for a week or two.

For us, it means DH might be able to pick up extra days of work (we currently share childcare), I get to spend time with DS (and DH if not working), I avoid commute and work stress and generally slow down a bit.

Although I'm a bit worried that running around after a toddler might actually be more tiring than going to work!

glossyflower Sat 23-Mar-13 06:35:37

dannilion do you work for the nhs? I'm a nurse too and my last day is today!
I'm just under 36 weeks.
Up until about 32 weeks my whole pregnancy was horrible, I had 4 months off sick with HG, then I got norovirus, the flu, and iron deficiency which made me soo tired. Now at 36 weeks all that is behind me and I'm feeling the best I have ever felt.
When I arranged my mat leave I meant to go for 34 weeks but somehow got confused and I go off at 36.
I usually do 12 hour shifts but my manager has been really good and given me 8 hour shifts (full time) so although I can't work to my full potential of pre pregnancy I'm managing work quite well.
I'm glad I will have more time off with the baby with a couple of weeks or so before hand to myself.

Jemimapuddleduk Sat 23-Mar-13 06:50:40

Hi I finished at 34 weeks and absolutely loved having the time off! Did lots of reading, eating cake, catching up with family/friends and dog walking. Also started going to a lot of free bumps and babies groups and ante natal sessions at local children's centre. Was not bored at all (and my job is usually pretty hectic so wasn't sure how I would cope).
Good luck with it all

Ginfox Sat 23-Mar-13 07:00:39

I started mat leave at 32wks - had to take my annual leave up-front or I would lose it. I cleaned the house properly (for the last time!), did huge batch-cook, did lunch with friends, went swimming, preggo-yoga, built a greenhouse... generally had a very productive time. Wasn't at all bored, and am very glad I had so much time off before the chaos began!

MortifiedAdams Sat 23-Mar-13 07:00:42

I only had a weeks AL left when I started Mat Leave so stopped at 38wks woth one wk AL and one week ML. Although I have a sit down.job amd a very short commute, what exhausted me was trainig my replacement. It took 4/5 weeks full time in the last month before I left. I was exhausted, and tbh just wanted to sit and muddle through my in tray each day.

I had dd at 40+2 so.only really had the two weeks.

Im ttc atm and already planning what to.do.this.time - if im successful this time then ill.be due late Dec so am trying to save as much AL as possible just incase. If I.roll over into the new year then Ill tale my whole AL entitlement before starting ML (32 working days inc BHs).

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sat 23-Mar-13 07:16:26

glossy I was the same! The 12 hour shifts were killing me although I hated that with short shifts I was there all the time. So happy to finish!

<waves to Jemima>

Jakeyblueblue Sat 23-Mar-13 08:12:12

I stopped at 33 weeks as I had masses of annual leave to add to it. I'm a community Macmillan nurse in inner city Birmingham and the lugging my heavy bag and hiking up dodgy high blocks started to get too much. Having said that, I wouldn't do it again. I was bored to tears and the time afterwards is much more precious so I'd say save it for when the baby arrives. Next time around I will be working right up but will ask my employer for light duties instead.

Steffanoid Wed 03-Apr-13 21:22:07

I'm finishing next week! I'll be just short of 32 weeks but got holiday before my leave kicks in, I wanted to finish later but am so glad I'm finishing early, I work in a busy call centre and I'm getting so uncomfortable sat at a desk for 9 hours, I can't wait to finish, helps my sister had a little boy 2 weeks ago smile

weeblueberry Wed 03-Apr-13 21:53:53

I'm 35 weeks but having to work another month. sad. I want to take at least 8 months off with the baby and couldn't afford to do that unless I went off just a week or so beforehand. I'm taking my annual leave for December though (the month before I go back) so I have a decent paycheque for Christmas.

I'm lucky though in that my boss has authorised me to work from home in the afternoons as of next Monday so will be able to come home and nap before doing my afternoon work. I'm also pretty lucky in that I have a desk job and my commute is easy so it's not a difficult situation. It's just the exhaustion that's getting me down now.

But I'm very very jealous of everyone who can go sooner than me. Id spend a LOT of the time napping!! grin

PurpleStorm Wed 03-Apr-13 22:04:29

I stopped work at 33 weeks when expecting DS, partly because I had lots of annual leave built up. I planned to finish decluttering the house, get all the baby stuff ready, relax and so on....

But DS had other ideas. My waters broke about 12 hours after I waved goodbye to the office, and DS turned up a week later.

So it was a good thing I stopped work early really, but I didn't get the break I'd been planning!

LastOrdersAtTheBra Wed 03-Apr-13 22:11:17

With DS1 I went at 32 weeks, due to the way my holiday year worked (DS born the same day it began/ended) I was still able to be off until he was 14 months so didn't miss out on any new baby time after. I'd do it again if it worked the same way, I wouldn't take the extra time if it meant going back while the new baby was tiny. DS1 turned up 2 weeks early so it didn't feel like a ridiculously long wait... if he'd been 2 weeks late I'd still have found plenty to do though!

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