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When to go on Maternity Leave?

(25 Posts)
RockerMummy184 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:06:36

So, I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I'm 22+5 with twins and have no idea when to start maternity leave. I know I need to start thinking about it and make a decision soon as I need to give 8 weeks notice.

I have an office job, so nothing too strenuous, and I think I'm coping pretty well at the moment. I have SPD but it's manageable with pain killers and I also have a referral for physio, so hoping for an improvement on that soon.

The only downside to remaining at work for as long as possible, which is a purely selfish reason, is that the company has employed 2 new people who so far do not have a clue what is going on and a colleague has recently left us, making me the most senior member of staff and in charge of training them both up! (One of them couldn't even start up a computer until I showed her how last week, she is still struggling to flick between programmes.) And to be honest it is causing me a lot of undue stress that I really don't need at the moment.

I obviously have no idea how big/uncomfortable I am going to get, so don't want to say I'll work until I'm 35 weeks, then end up too massive to drive/get up and down the stairs/sit at my desk, or too exhausted to work. But I also don't want to say I'll leave at 33 weeks, then end up sat around bored for another 5 weeks and have less time at home with the babies when they arrive if I'm coping ok.

Any advice welcome. TIA.

jammiecat Tue 23-Jun-15 14:11:47

With my first pregnancy (singleton) I left at 36 weeks which although I was tired was totally fine and manageable but second (twin) pregnancy was totally different. Third trimester was really tough and I had to be signed off work at 28 weeks due to exhaustion. (I was due to finish at 29 weeks). Whilst some of what made it tough was the lively 3 year old I've not yet met a twin Mum who made it past 30 weeks. (And this is in desk-based job). I hope this helps.

CMP69 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:16:18

It maybe worth getting this moved to multiple births, as I imagine the later stages of pregnancy are very different. I worked until 38+ with my singleton

RockerMummy184 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:19:07

Oh dear!! I worked up until 38 weeks with DS, I would have stayed longer but I was convinced he would come early. I ended up getting induced at 42 weeks, by which point I'd been off work almost 5 weeks and was pulling my hair out. Haha!

DS is now 2 and I think running round after a hyperactive toddler is also going to have some bearing on my decision to stop working.

quesadillas Tue 23-Jun-15 14:21:45

I've been advised by my doctor that on average, his twin patients tend to leave work at 32 weeks, so that's what I'm going with. It's the commute that's getting to me more than the job.

babymouse Tue 23-Jun-15 14:23:17

You might not make it to those later weeks with twins. You should request that this thread get moved to the multiples board. Fwiw I know only one twin mama that made it to 40 weeks.

claracluck1978 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:24:38

Congrats on your pregnancy - twins rock!
I planned on working until the day before our planned c section with my id boys at 36 weeks. Even planned the date to fit in around my work. In the end I was hospitalised at 33 weeks with pre eclampsia & as I was safely monitored in there, the boys were delivered at 35 weeks. If it hadn't been for the protein in my wee I would have felt able to continue working right up to the original date. I have a fairly sedentary job though & I had given up walking the mile into work each day that week! (I also went back 10 days after the boys were born, though, so I may be in the minority!)
Speak to your boss & work put the date you want but also have a back up plan just in case! Good luck, life is amazing with twins!!!

jammiecat Tue 23-Jun-15 14:26:35

Whilst it's not guaranteed there's a good chance your twins will come early, it's certainly more common than with a singleton. My twins came at 36 weeks. I think they ran out of room. If you've got a 2 year old too I would definitely consider finishing at 30 weeks. Even after having finished work my two days with my 3 year old were exhausting and I only got through it with the help of CBeebies!!! You may want to get some more views from multiple mums so if you pm me I can tell you about a couple of Facebook groups which might help. Although of course the multiple board here too is worth posting on.

jammiecat Tue 23-Jun-15 14:30:22

Just to echo a previous poster I would agree have a back up plan so if you decide for example 33 weeks if it gets too much talk to your employer and if they won't change your date you can see your GP to get signed off until your mat leave starts. And yes having twins is absolutely amazing, I love watching my two develop alongside each other. The relationship they have already at 1 is lovely to watch smile

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Jun-15 14:35:36

Hi everyone - we're just going to pop this over to the Multiples board at the OP's request.

Rudawakening Tue 23-Jun-15 14:39:22

Just maybe something to think about, legally you only have to give 28 days notice for mat leave. Also it's 28 days notice to change the date if you find you can't cope closer to your due date.

Whoever told you 8 weeks is wrong and if it was your HR then I'd find the relevant info online and send it to them.

Obviously if you know 8 weeks before then great, but with twin pregnancy everything is little more uncertain especially in last trimester.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 23-Jun-15 14:42:12

Congratulations!
I'd ask on the multiples board too.
Also do check your work's policy if you're planning on using annual leave before your due date. My DS was premature and I was going to use my annual leave from weeks 36-40 but because he was born before, maternity leave automatically kicked in. I did manage to get the holiday back even though we had a 'use it or lose it' policy but it was stress I didn't need with a preemie. Also going from my desk to being a mum was hard to get my head around. He was my 1st so I never had that me time, and won't for about 18 years grin
Of course many twins aren't early or premature but it's something to consider if your medical team think it's possible. My friend was told with her twins to think of 37 weeks as her due date, but I know all pregnancies are different.
Once you've decided you can change your dates by giving 28 days notice as well. So if you start to struggle you can change it
Good luck

jammiecat Tue 23-Jun-15 14:59:30

Rudawakening is right it is 28 days. The 8 weeks is how much notice you need to give before returning to work.

I just wanted to add as well, don't worry about how you'll cope with two newborns and a toddler if you do find it hard in your final trimester with your two year old. I found 2 newborns and a 3 year old much easier than being pregnant with twins and a 3 year old. You may find it easier than I did anyway as I'm an older Mum as I was 42 when the twins were born.

I'll shut up now, probably been over posting on this thread!
Good luck smile

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 23-Jun-15 15:06:03

It is definitely 28 days as the latest you can let them know is 25 weeks and the earliest you can go is 29 weeks, which is 4 weeks notice.
A lot of HR depts are surprisingly confused by the rules though. I work for a massive employer and felt like I was the first person to ever go on mat leave, they were quite unsure of the law.

MumOfOne14 Tue 23-Jun-15 15:10:22

I tried to hold out as far as I could so I could have more time afterwards. I work only 2 nights in a supermarket & only one baby in belly, but I was pooped towards the end & finished at 36 weeks, using 4 weeks of my holidays before maternity started. Worked out well. But it all depends on how you feel. You could give a late date, cos surely they can't do anything if you finish before that??

Rudawakening Tue 23-Jun-15 15:14:26

As Abbey said, it is definitely 28 days notic I work for a small company, only one HR person but a) she is brilliant and very knowledgeable and B) she has kids and knows the rules from her own mat leave.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 23-Jun-15 15:18:17

My twins were born spontaneously at 34 weeks. I really struggled towards the end especially as I had other young dc. I would say no later than 30 weeks.

RockerMummy184 Tue 23-Jun-15 15:29:19

Fantastic advice ladies. Thank you all very much! smile

2015isgoingtobeBIG Tue 23-Jun-15 17:43:22

I was advised by my midwife that by 28 weeks I'd feel ready to stop as it would be the commute that killed me...and he was right. I used up my annual leave to get me to 32 weeks working only two days a week which worked well because to all intents and purposes I had finished so wasn't involved in any projects but I was still there so people could ask me questions and I could Handover over the month. I was desk based by the due to my SPD and would come in later so the commute wasa bit easier. I gave birth at 36 weeks and although I had four weeks at home which may seem a waste of mat leave, the reality was by then I could bare,y walk at more than a slow dnails pace, I wasn't really sleeping as I couldn't get comfy and if I did I'd wake myself up trying to turn over and I would have never been able to work. I'd seen a physio at about 24 weeks and although they brave Mr strategies to manage the SPD I'd already worked most of them out so it didn't really help.
Feels a lot longer ago than the 8 weeks it really is but twins are definitely awesome!

rubyred84 Tue 23-Jun-15 17:56:00

I had plans of finishing at 34 weeks with my twins...was feeling fab until just after 24 weeks and then it hit me like a train. I struggled on for 4 more weeks (desk job also), suffering with severe rib flare, SPD, carpal tunnel etc before my doctor signed me off at 28 weeks. I was honestly shocked at how quickly I 'went downhill' when I had been feeling so well. now I'm 32 weeks and definitely couldn't have still been working! I was also conscious (as was my doctor) that not resting enough can contribute to early labour. you will know what feels right for you, but I would plan on going off sooner rather than later. smile

neversleepagain Tue 23-Jun-15 20:10:02

I had a very physical job working long hours so finished at 30 weeks, I found it tough going from 28 weeks. My twins arrived 4 weeks later.

2015isgoingtobeBIG Tue 23-Jun-15 21:00:50

I agree with rubyred my midwife said the quickest way to meet my babies was to do too much....quickest way he could have got me to slow down that's for sure!

Magicalmrmistofeles Wed 24-Jun-15 13:10:10

I was booked to go off at 32, was due to have section at 36. In reality I was signed off from 21 weeks with crippling SI / SPD issues and couldnt handle the commute.

They actually turned up at 31 weeks, which triggered early start of ML.

andadietcoke Fri 26-Jun-15 11:54:50

I worked until 36w and then took two weeks of annual leave until they were born at 38w. I could still drive and was able to work 'properly'.

mrsm16 Sun 05-Jul-15 13:03:16

I was due to be signed off at 28 weeks (physical job) but with back issues I ended up being signed off at 20 weeks and couldn't walk further than around the house or drive by 28 weeks! twins arrived at 36 weeks and I was very ready at that stage!!

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