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Would I be mad to start maternity leave at 30 weeks?

(75 Posts)
KnitFastDieWarm Tue 02-Jun-15 11:55:25

I'm expecting DC1 in November and am starting to think about my maternity leave. I'm tempted to start at about 33 weeks with all my extra holiday tacked on the front giving me TWO MONTHS off before my due date (my theory being that, as a first time mum, this is the last time in the next 18 years that I'll get that kind of time to myself...)

My job is not especially stressful (it's sheer self-indulgence that's driving me to do this grin.

I love the idea of being able to relax at home on my own (typical introvert), get everything ready, sleep loads, eat well and mentally prepare for the birth. We can afford it and DH thinks it's a good idea - any good reasons NOT to do this that I haven't thought of?

I'm not planning on going back to my current role - hoping to freelance again like I used to a few years ago - so am not too worried about needing to save up leave for after the birth.

Any thoughts? Anyone done this and regretted it?

however Tue 02-Jun-15 11:59:12

I did. Best time ever. Took leave at 28 weeks.

I thought, "when will I ever get to gave 3 months off, get paid for it, and have no one to bother about except for me, if not for now.?"

10 years down the track and I'm knackered! I look back on that time and feel very nostalgic!

CrockedPot Tue 02-Jun-15 11:59:29

Do it - I would only say don't I you need leave for after the baby is born, but if you don't, why not?

Cadenza1818 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:06:00

Do it. I think a lot Of ppl work till last min and you're thrust into this world of being home all day and having to have a baby. I enjoyed establishing a pattern at home before my baby came. I think it made it much easier.

rubadubba Tue 02-Jun-15 12:07:20

I started mine at 29 weeks, it was the right decision for me.

SummerHouse Tue 02-Jun-15 12:08:00

Do it. Enjoy. X

Preciousbane Tue 02-Jun-15 12:11:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoeBarlow Tue 02-Jun-15 12:14:12

Go for it. I went back to work for 3 weeks after Christmas before finishing up at 38 weeks. If I hadn't been wanting to save leave for the end of mat leave I would have just finished up at 33 weeks before Christmas. Those 2 weeks before DD was born (on her due date conveniently) were very relaxing & I felt quite prepared for her arriving smile

Velociraptor Tue 02-Jun-15 12:14:19

I would have been bored out of my mind doing that, as most of the things I enjoy doing weren't possible while heavily pregnant, but if you are happy you won't get bored, then go for it.

Izzy82 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:18:50

I wouldn't do it. I left the week before I gave birth (and even then I was bored!) and I'm just about to go back to work now after a year off. I'm so glad I had the extra time with my DC and didn't waste it on 'just me' before baby was even born.

CaitSith Tue 02-Jun-15 12:24:41

I did this with DC1, finished at 29 weeks, took all my AL and started mat leave at 35 weeks. Everyone I knew was appalled. I didn't care, I had a ball! Slept late, watched movies, went shopping, pottered round the house and generally pleased myself for 11 weeks. And 3 knackering years and another baby down the line I still look back on it and smile. DO IT! grin

AuntyMag10 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:27:09

Do it! Do all the things you won't get to do for a whilegrin. Pamper yourself, get some good rest, prep for the baby and just take that time out.

NotTallMyself Tue 02-Jun-15 12:28:44

I did! @ 32 weeks but the relief!

Esssss Tue 02-Jun-15 12:29:26

I took maternity 5 weeks before due date due to fixed term contract/maternity pay nonsense. It was nice to relax for a little while,
However my little man was two weeks overdue and by the 7th week off I was crawling the walls!

HamishBamish Tue 02-Jun-15 12:29:57

It's a difficult decision, because you are using time which you could save for when after the baby is born. I planned to stop at 38 weeks, thinking that I would have at least a couple of weeks off. DS1 was induced at 37 weeks, so in the end I had just 1 day! I worked up until the last minute with DS2 who obligingly arrived on his due date.

However, I think it's a really nice idea to take some time off beforehand to relax. You are right that you won't get this chance again with subsequent pregnancies, so if you have the time then I would go for it!

HelenF350 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:33:06

I was all set to go off 8 weeks before the birth but due to spd ended up signed off at 26 weeks! I'm bored out of my mind now (4 weeks to go) but think this is mainly due to not being able to do very much.

BingBong36 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:34:45

I wouldn't do it you will be bored. Best off adding holiday to the end if mat leave to have longer with baby before return to work.

spiderlight Tue 02-Jun-15 12:36:18

Go for it! I stopped at about 35 weeks but then DS was three weeks early so I actually had very little time in the end!

Allstoppedup Tue 02-Jun-15 12:36:59

I went at 34 weeks and then DS was two weeks was nice for a few weeks but I did get really, really bored. It's a lot of downtime when you are waiting and if you go overdue it can make it feel even longer!

That said, I got lots organised and felt truly 'ready', I couldn't really get very comfortable and had pregnancy insomnia so it did help being able to rest as/when I felt like it!

If you have things to do to fill your time go for it, if you are just planning on lounging around/relaxing it can get dull. I knew I wasn't going back and was going to be a SAHM so using the maximum time to be with my LO wasn't an issue. I'm pregnant with number 2 now but with a toddler so I suppose I should look back on the down time fondly but I do remember being really fed up some days!

Congratulations on your pregnancy whatever you decide! flowers

KnitFastDieWarm Tue 02-Jun-15 12:40:56

a few people have mentioned saving up time for after the baby is born - but I'm not going back to my current job, if that makes a difference? The plan is to be a sahm with the odd bit of freelance work for a while.

Librarina Tue 02-Jun-15 12:42:49

I finished at 36 weeks, and baby was 2 weeks late so had 6 weeks of lovely wafting around, having lunches, getting massaged, pottering around the nursery folding tiny baby clothes. Every afternoon I would lie on the sofa and have a lovely nap then cook something delicious for tea and freeze half of it for when baby got here. It was such a happy, golden time and one I would never get again.

I think for me if it had been much longer than 6 weeks then I would have got bored, but you know yourself and if you would enjoy that time then go for it.

There's not that much difference between a 10 month old or a 12 month old once you go back to work. Mine was pretty much weaned off the boob in the day by then and she was all settled in her routine of lunch and naps so it was fine.

CaitSith Tue 02-Jun-15 12:44:28

If you're not going back to work then definitely get yourself off!

Findingthisdifficult1234 Tue 02-Jun-15 12:46:17

Do it!!
I'm currently off on maternity leave now, my first baby is due on the 18th June- my last day at work was 18th March and I can honestly say I have had such lovely time off. IBe had time to do all the things I normally have to rush around doing- cram in around work! Like getting the pots done in the garden, cooking dinner, food shopping, pottering around. Sleeping in the day when I feel like it etc etc it's been really nice to just relax and see more of my husband as I am home when he comes in from work.
Best thing I could have done for me and I'm still enjoying being off now and only a couple weeks left till due day smile
You fill your time with other things, if you can afford it and your husband is happy for you to take the time off- then do it, it's really good for you and baby.
All the best OP.

gruber Tue 02-Jun-15 12:49:13

I stopped at 34 weeks (quite a demanding job physically), I couldn't face the commute in mid winter with a massive bump. Ended up having a lovely 8 weeks off. I don't regret it one bit. I felt very rested and had no problems once baby was born. For me I cope by being in control, so being able to spend time pottering athome, seeing people etx really made me feel relaxed and ready for baby. In the end he was 2 weeks late but I didn't mind. I'm sure that two weeks helped - had an easy birth, quick recovery and easy start breastfeeding because I was so ready - I wasn't rushed into anything

littleostrich Tue 02-Jun-15 12:50:37

I will be doing this if/when we have another baby. DS was born very unexpectedly at 34 weeks - I hadn't finished work and I hadn't done any of the things I planned to do before the baby arrived! We made it work because we had to, but I think I would have felt so much better if I'd had some time to relax, get the house ready, buy all the essentials, etc. I'll make sure I get it next time. wink <plans to finish work at first sign of positive pregnancy test>

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