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Sharing maternity leave with DH(5 Posts)
Hi guys, this is less about the financial/legal elements and really about what is practically possible.
My DH and I run a business together so we have a fair amount of flexibility in how we plan for maternity leave. Our first child is due in November and I was planning to take 3-6 months off completely and take on a new member of staff to cover. Yesterday DH said he would like to share some of that time off, rather than just take 2 weeks paternity leave ie. Sometimes I could go into work and he'd stay home to look after the baby.
I'm all in favour of equality and actually love that he wants to do this - but I also wanted other mums' input. At what point would it be feasible for me to leave the baby with its dad if I am (hopefully) breastfeeding but happy to express (if all goes to plan)? I'm guessing I'll need at least 6 weeks just to recover from the birth, get feeding sorted and get my head around things, but after that would it be ok to leave the baby with DH while I go to work? Or does the baby really need its mum for first 3-6 months?
Hello. In terms of practicality, yes even if you are breastfeeding you should be able to express enough to leave your baby for a working day, about 8 hours. Mine are 8 and 9 now so memories are fuzzy! And I did do a full maternity leave and b/f for 6 months. but I do remember going out for 11 hours when DD1 was 11 weeks. It was a long time! My boobs were like rocks and DH didn't enjoy it. But if you are organised and do it regularly it would be very doable. It's a great idea to share your leave, it will mean you don't get entrenched into your roles with you ending up doing all the domestic work.
Thank you, so helpful! Anyone else do something similar?
Just chipping in to say it would be a good idea to regularly give your baby a bottle early on to make sure s/he doesn't refuse at the point you want to do a day at work and you have anxious time worrying whether baby is eating or not. We gave a bottle of expressed milk most days after the first couple of weeks for this reason. But I expect once a week would be enough - though it's always nice for DH/a grandparent to give a bottle.
Good idea! We'll try and use the bottle from early on. Really appreciate the thoughts....