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Would you finish for maternity leave early or just stick it out?

(18 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 15:15:13

I’m 33+6 and in pain all day. Don’t get me wrong I’m over the moon I can feel my baby moving around so much, but baby’s bum in under my ribs and he/she has this habit of stretching so that his/her back obviously sticks out of my stomach and it’s agony.

It gets worse as the day goes on to the point where I can’t concentrate on anything. I have 2 weeks 3 days left in work but I’m wondering how I’m going to last! I have a 2.5 hour daily commute (I drive) which isn’t too bad but it’s starting to take it’s toll.

I don’t want to let anyone down at work but I really am struggling. I keep thinking that I should just stick it out as if I do finish early I’ll have to take the week upaid – and if baby is two weeks late will 6 weeks at home drive me round the bend?

I’m not concentrating and my work is suffering so am I best slowly getting through my work and sticking it out or just admitting defeat and asking if I can finish a week early?

Has anyone experienced this and were they pleased they stuck it out/happy they finished early?

Pudding2be Tue 19-Jul-11 15:24:03

I'm 34 weeks and this is my first week off. I'm taking all of my holidays first then mat leave.

I would have to say I'm glad I finished early. Like you my work was suffering, I get uncomfortable sitting up all day and I drive an hour each way to work.

Plus I'm getting more tired so being able to stop when I need is nice.


nannyl Tue 19-Jul-11 15:24:18

Im 32+2 and thankfully my contract finished a while ago....

my baby does what you describe and its agony! I dont think i could concentrate and work through it either.

Why would it have to be unpaid? surely you can start maternity leave early? and then at the end could have a week unpaid or go back a week early?

If you had issues with your boss im sure you doctor would sign you off if you asked, and as its pregnancy related it would force your ML to start earlier than planned

Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 15:29:15

Glad I'm not being a wuss! Most of my friends worked up to 38 weeks and I don't have a clue how!?!

I'd rather it unpaid so I can take the week extra at the end - but don't think work would mind paying it earlier. My only problem in broaching the subject - as boss isn't in until Monday and I'd be asking to finish that week.

ThePippy Tue 19-Jul-11 15:32:03

I reduced my week to a 4 day week (using holiday) in the run up to my mat leave as I was struggling with tiredness. It helped a lot and the extra 1 day on my weekend made a massive difference.

This time I was planning to ask to work from home in that final few weeks, as I only get SMP which is a massive drop from my normal earnings so simply can't afford to start Mat leave early without sacrificing time with the baby.

Not sure if WFH is an option for you but its worth considering, I know I can be significantly more comfortable in my home when I can wear what I like and sit/lie where I want.

Bartimaeus Tue 19-Jul-11 15:32:41

I'm in France where standard mat leav is 6 weeks before the birth (which is counted as being at 41 weeks) and 10 weeks after (boooo! grin )

I'm leaving 4 weeks before mat leave as it's August and a dead month here but I don't think I'll get bored. Work is very hard atm and I can't wait to leave! So my opinion would be to leave early!!!!

My midwife mentionned getting babies to move when they're uncomfortable for you.
You put both hands where the baby is, in theory baby should move to show they know you're there. Then you move your hands down a couple of cm, again baby will move but hopefully a bit lower, then you move your hands down a couple of cm and wait for your baby to follow etc. etc.

I'm only 29 weeks (so smaller baby) but I've found it works for me (so far!)

ThePippy Tue 19-Jul-11 15:41:37

Bartimaeus you have just made everyone in the UK very green with envy smile

Here there is no statutory requirement for mat leave before the birth and only 2 weeks after than you MUST take. In terms of being paid we only get 6 weeks @ 90% of salary then the remainder of I think 9 months at what they call SMP which is not great. Anyone who earns a reasonable sum and isn't lucky enough to work for a company that enhances their maternity package would have to seriously consider the decision to start mat leave early, even if they wanted to. Most people I know worked either right o the end or like me 2 weeks before due date.

I think most of Europe has it much better than we do in the UK however, lucky people.

Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 15:46:01

That's a big issue for me too as I'll be on SMP - which is a lot less than I earn sad

Plus I have no holiday left and am not allowed to bring it forward sad

Bartimaeus Tue 19-Jul-11 15:48:36

Ooops! grin not my intention.

Thing is, after those 16 weeks you get nada and there is no child benefit until the 2nd child so I think it's all swings and roundabouts

PandaNot Tue 19-Jul-11 15:50:53

I finished at 34 weeks with ds and very glad I did because I was quite ill with him. I finished at 32 weeks with dd, in anticipation of maybe being ill again. Didn't get bored at all and it was absolutely the right thing to do for me. Maternity leave is for preparing for and looking after yourself as much as it is for caring for the baby (and yourself) afterwards.

Bartimaeus Tue 19-Jul-11 15:50:54

Not sure how much we get paid during mat leave either...must check!

ThePippy Tue 19-Jul-11 16:17:53

I totally sympathise newmummy and I have even been talking to my mortgage company about a payment holiday which could significantly help if I need to take more time before.

Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 16:33:00

I hope they let you ThePippy - I know it would make a huge difference to us but ours won't let us sad

I'm just worried how my boss will take it as it's holiday season and they'll struggle staff wise ... but I could suggest working from home in my last week I guess?

ThePippy Tue 19-Jul-11 16:39:29

Frankly stuff what your boss thinks. At the end of the day you could suddenly have to leave due to early labour or other pregnancy complications, so asking to start Mat leave early if you are finding it hard is entirely your right and you should not feel even a tiny bit guilty for this. If they aren't putting in place adequate cover for you with some decent form or overlap then to be honest it is entirely their problem not yours that it is happening during the holiday season.

Hope you get to do whatever helps - it is a tough time if you are struggling and working full time!

silverangel Tue 19-Jul-11 16:41:06

I finished on Friday at 29 weeks - saved up four weeks leave so mat leave kicks in at 33. Am expecting twins and being delivered around 35 weeks so two weeks mat leave but there is no way I could have carried on commuting at that stage.

As it actually happened I got signed off at 26 weeks for the remaning three weeks and felt really really bad about it. At the end of the day you've got to do what's right for you and the baby.

mpops Tue 19-Jul-11 16:49:33

I'm terrified reading this. My maternity leaves kicks in on week 37... It's way too late isn't it? My daily commute takes about 2.5 hours and I'm already struggling with concentration and back pain (I'm 29 weeks). But I've no holiday left so I have no option but to stick it out. Gaargh!

I really hope you find a solution Newmummytobe. Let us know how it goes.

Aloha31 Tue 19-Jul-11 17:21:48

36 or 37 weeks is fine, I stopped at 37 and dd was over two weeks late so I was off work for five weeks. I thought I'd be bored and never imagined I would go so overdue, but I loved those five weeks! You need at least one week to learn to relax. If this is your first,it's your last chance for "me time" so indulge yourself.

Good luck and enjoy those last weeks of being pregnant, it's a wonderful time!

JimmyChoo17 Tue 19-Jul-11 19:12:35

Hi I worked to 39 weeks and was fine it was baby stretching out that ever affected me at work but I had the choice of working from home the odd day and also appointments during those last weeks help break up the time. I'm lucky that I have carried all annual leave to take paid at the end of maternity leave.

However week 39 was my first week at home and like aloha has said it does take time to unwind, I found I felt like I was on a long weekend but was still thinking about work. Now I'm in week 40 and overdue and finally wound down from work I'm suffering other ailments and part of me wishes I had taken another week (38) to myself. Power of hindsight ey!

Depends I suppose how u feel about being at home. Any earlier than 38 weeks would have done my head in personally! mainly because I felt so energetic and didn't have a long list of things to do at home. But if I was in any way struggling I Wouldn't have given it a second thought and I'd have been out the door!

Good luck with what u decide but never feel bad it's for u and baby smile

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