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How pregnant were you when you started your maternity leave, and were you happy with it?

(70 Posts)
MrsBromeliad Tue 04-Aug-20 16:18:37

I'm a self-employed private tutor and trying to work out when I should start my maternity leave. Because I work for myself, I'll only get paid state maternity allowance which isn't very much at all, so I don't want to start too early if I can avoid it. I can claim it from 26 weeks pregnant, which isn't far away for me at all, but have no idea when people normally start their maternity leave.

As a tutor, all my work is sitting down, and not physically tiring, and I don't work long hours, so I was hoping to keep working for quite a lot longer than 26 weeks! But I'll need to give my clients some notice, so don't just want to see when I don't feel able to work any more.

Anyone want to recommend me their maternity leave starting date?

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
Hopefulhen Tue 04-Aug-20 16:24:34

If I was well and doing a sedentary job I would finish at 38 weeks. I’m a nurse and am on my feet for 90% of the day so I have decided to take leave a little earlier at 36 weeks.
I would also account for any family history of premature delivery, pre-eclampsia etc. Using your intuition do you think the baby might be early? That would influence me to take leave a little earlier.

MrsL2016 Tue 04-Aug-20 16:27:22

I went just before 37 weeks. I sat at a desk for most of the day but had a long walk to and from the office to my car (nearly a mile) that I really struggled with at the end. I have birth at 41 weeks so had a month off before he arrived.

1990shopefulftm Tue 04-Aug-20 16:28:08

I'm 28 weeks and have just started annual leave for 3 weeks before starting maternity leave.

My job is a sit down job but especially in the last two weeks even being sat down on the phone for 3 hours without getting up was getting quite uncomfortable and the disturbed sleep was starting to get to my concentration.

I think you know your body and how uncomfortable you think you can be and then still do your job well, depends when you want to go back after baby is born too.

TheChosenTwo Tue 04-Aug-20 16:28:28

I work in a school. Most teachers where I am tend to start theirs at the closest half term to when they’re full term unless this leaves them with say 5 weeks before the baby is due when they get back from the holidays. In that case they do work another couple of weeks and leave at about 36ish weeks.
However most teachers I know are control freaks and plan meticulously to fall pregnant in time for a birth around Christmas so that they get the summer holidays at the end!!
I don’t know anyone (teacher or otherwise) who started mat leave as early as 26 weeks, I imagine it would mainly be people having pregnancy complications as no one would want to waste that much of their time off without the baby being there.

BlenheimOrange Tue 04-Aug-20 16:29:29

38 weeks here (office job but long commute and PGP), and wish I had gone at 36 weeks, I was very tired.

frazzledasarock Tue 04-Aug-20 16:30:05

I have an office based job, and I worked up till 38 weeks.

Had DC2 at 39 weeks.

Bitchinkitchen Tue 04-Aug-20 16:30:53

It depends on how much time you want with your baby after the birth before you go back to work. The more you take before the baby, the less you get after. Personally, i scheduled mine for 3 days before my due date.

Dogsgowoofwoof Tue 04-Aug-20 16:31:35

I’m self employed in a semi busy physical job. (Long days on my feet for some of it) and I planned to finish at 38 weeks. I was poorly from 36 weeks so had to finish then.
This time, I plan to finish at 38/39 weeks as I’m only part time now and hoping this pregnancy will be different.
I only took a short maternity leave though so aim to finish as late as realistic without letting clients down last minute.

Chicchicchicchiclana Tue 04-Aug-20 16:32:23

I would keep going to 38 weeks in your position.

Looking back I think I started too early at 32 weeks and I was commuting an hour each way into London and managing fine. And I was old as well (38 y/o) by then.

SockQueen Tue 04-Aug-20 16:33:03

37 weeks both times, though I stopped doing nights/long shifts a bit before then. My job has some physical elements though, which I was struggling with by that point. Desk based, I'd have been able to go on a little longer.

Marmite27 Tue 04-Aug-20 16:33:09

Tried to finish at 37 weeks with DC1 and have 2 weeks annual leave. She had other plans and arrived at 38+2.

I was still working when with DC2. Went for my consultant appointment on the Monday at 36+1 and they booked me in for a section the next day. I phoned work, told them to put me down as sick for the Monday and start my maternity on the Tuesday.

LunaHardy Tue 04-Aug-20 16:33:40

I'm a nurse, with my last I finished at 36 weeks as I was still working in the NHS and it was physically exhausting. This time around however, I'm office based and planning on trying to go to about 38 weeks.

PlanDeRaccordement Tue 04-Aug-20 16:34:05

I worked until my due date with all mine because I planned and only took 12weeks off for each child. If I’d started my 12 weeks earlier, I’d have had next to no time with them as a baby.
My job is primarily a desk job with travel.

Xyzzzzz Tue 04-Aug-20 16:35:07

I worked until 38.5 weeks and dd was born on 39 weeks but I work an office job and was happy to keep working. I felt tired but I didn’t mind.

timeforawine Tue 04-Aug-20 16:35:29

I'm a PA so mostly desk based, running some errands, i went off a week before my due date, baby arrived on due date thankfully as i was getting bored.
Had some mild hip and groin pain in the last few weeks but nothing too bad that i couldn't go to work.

Robs20 Tue 04-Aug-20 16:35:53

36+3 with my twins. I was admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia on my first day of mat leave, and they were born 3 days later. It was perfect timing as they were born during lockdown and I had been wfh anyway so will have more time with the babies.

Avocuddles Tue 04-Aug-20 16:35:55

I'm 32 weeks at the moment and will be finishing at 38 weeks (all being well). I have an office based job but am working from home so don't have the challenges of a commute which I suspect would have made things harder.....

Haworthia Tue 04-Aug-20 16:36:09

I had a office job and left at 35 weeks. I was so crippled with SPD I couldn’t do it anymore.

Fisharefriendstoo Tue 04-Aug-20 16:36:58

38 weeks for non physical job on first baby. You truly never get the time again as if you have a second maternity leave you will have another child! Also two weeks hopefully doing nothing was just enough for me!

Second baby- 36 weeks for maternity leave and 6 weeks annual leave beforehand as WFH with two year old was impossible.

greenflamingo Tue 04-Aug-20 16:37:21

I did 36 weeks first time and 40 weeks second and third times as I just knew they were going to be late (and they were).

zafferana Tue 04-Aug-20 16:38:47

I started mine at 36 weeks. I had an office job, but I was up and down a lot, had a hot, hour-long commute and wanted to 'nest' and just enjoy my final weeks of freedom and peace and quiet. I'm so glad I did it. I walked every day, read a pile of books, got the nursery ready, napped in the afternoons and felt really well rested and calm by the time DS1 arrived.

RowboatsinDisguise Tue 04-Aug-20 16:39:10

In my first pregnancy I finished at 36 weeks (two weeks AL before maternity leave started) and I was bored and got quite down. DS wasn’t born until 41 weeks so I had 5 weeks before he was born and it was too long! I wouldn’t have finished so early if it wasn’t for the fact we’d been having a heatwave for months and I was still driving around doing home visits in a car with no air con, and carrying heavy equipment.

This time I’m confined to admin because of Covid from 28 weeks (although in the office - I refused to work from home!) and only work PT so I won’t be struggling physically. I plan to work until 38 weeks, possibly even 39 - I haven’t confirmed with work yet.

Linnet Tue 04-Aug-20 16:39:29

With dd1 I worked in a restaurant and was on my feet all day. I took 2 weeks annual leave at 35 weeks then started my maternity leave straight afterwards. Then dd was 10 days late and back then you only got 12 weeks leave so that all ate into it.

With dd2 I had a different job where there was some sitting down as well as walking around. I started my maternity leave 2 weeks before my due date.

zafferana Tue 04-Aug-20 16:39:49

PS. He arrived at 39 weeks, so I had three weeks!

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