Advanced search

When did you start maternity leave?

(47 Posts)
babydust27 Sun 09-Oct-11 19:24:16

Im 20 weeks pregnant with out 1st child, due 1st March. Ive been thinking about maternity as i keep getting asked when i intend to work up to but have no idea as its our 1st.

I work 30 miles from home (45 min car journey each way), im a manager in a high street retail store and am on my feet most of the day but i'd like to stay as long as sensible as id rather have more time off after with the baby

Can anyone offer me some advice as to when to anticipate starting maternity leave?

Enfyshedd Sun 09-Oct-11 19:47:55

I'm only 7 1/2 weeks with my 1st myself, but I can tell you what I know of other people.

My aunt, when she was expecting my cousin, started her leave 4 weeks before her due date; my cousin was 3 weeks early. My friend in work when expecting her first started her leave at 1 weeks before her due date; her son was 10-12 days late. Both had desk jobs.

I think the being on your feet a lot of the time will be more of an issue for you - ultimately, it's your call.

BatFlattery Sun 09-Oct-11 19:51:17

I worked until 37 weeks with DS, but have a desk job, so not on my feet all day. Found the last couple of weeks quite a struggle even so. Also, I only work about 4 miles from home, so no commute to speak of.

But everyone's different, so I think it's definitely worth keeping an open mind. My work were quite good when a colleague of mine decided she wanted/needed to leave much earlier than she had originally indicated, so perhaps you could give them your intended date and then see how you feel closer to the time?

Atomant Sun 09-Oct-11 19:57:36

I worked until 36 weeks as I had some holidays to take. One hour train commute each way, stressful job. Commute was ok as long as I got a seat. DD was born at 37 weeks so I'm not the best model for continuing to work in a stressful situation! Up side was my mat leave started the day DD was born as I was actually on annual leave at that time smile

Just do whatever suits you every pregnancy is different, hold off as long as you can to commit to a date that way you'll have some options.

Congrats & good luck!

m1nn1em0u5e Sun 09-Oct-11 19:59:50

I have finished at 36 weeks (high bp) & 34 weeks as I was totally shattered!..I have planned to finish at 34 weeks again this time, but I am using annual leave up first, so I dont actually start my Maternity leave until my due date..My husband works away & the whole getting everybody up, dressed, fed & washed & out of the door in a morning is taking its toll already, not to mention the mad rush from work to various Judo/Football clubs....glad I only work 2 days! (Im 24 weeks)..

ginmakesitallok Sun 09-Oct-11 20:03:38

With DD1 I worked til 36 weeks, had 2 weeks AL and DD arrived on the first day of my official maternity leave. With DD2 I worked til 36 weeks and DD2 arrived during my annual leave (they had to start my ML earlier than planned). I'd advise to give a late date - if you're feel differently when you reach later pregnancy you can always leave earlier.

BikeRunSki Sun 09-Oct-11 20:13:14

Up to 37 weeks with both. DS came at 38 weeks.
Now 37+6 with DC2, wondering when she might appear.
But - I have a office job and an easy half hour drive to work.
You may find yourself flagging and not keeping up with being on your feet anytime from about 30 weeks, although I much much fitter and less tired in pg 1 than I am now.

PinkFondantFancy Sun 09-Oct-11 20:14:45

I worked until 32 weeks and finishing this early was the best decision for me. This inckuded just over 3 weeks of leave so mat leave from about 36 weeks. It allowed me to properly relax and enjoy bring pregnant before my DD arrived at 38 weeks.

feelingratheroverwhelmed Sun 09-Oct-11 20:15:31

I've finished at 34 weeks both times, the first two weeks being annual leave. DS turned up at 37 weeks so I had a three week break. I'm now 38 weeks and waiting...! I'm a community HCP so have a combination of on-my-feet very active and desk work, plus a 45 minute drive for a commute. I've had a bad back this time so found both sitting at my computer, driving, and doing home visits quite uncomfortable.
With DS I still didn't return to work till 3 weeks after his first birthday, once I'd taken my accrued leave at the other end, so figured it was worth giving myself some time to relax (DS is still at nursery 3 days) and prepare again - I'm having a ELCS at 39 weeks this time so will prob return to work 1 week after DC2's first birthday.

whackamole Sun 09-Oct-11 21:14:14

35 weeks with this one - although 2 weeks holiday first so mat leave really only started at 37 weeks.

29 weeks previous pregnancy, as it was twins. You'll find your workplace will be flexible, so you say, 37 weeks maybe, then if you need to change your mind closer to the time. I have an office job, but walk to work and with low BP and anaemia I just couldn't do the journey anymore without practically passing out by the time I got there.

Don't push yourself to go too far just to have more time with the baby. Your body will not thank you for it!

Nevercan Sun 09-Oct-11 21:21:56

I finished at 38 weeks with both as I wanted to be occupied by work rather than sitting at home waiting for weeks. However I had a 20 min drive to work and sat at a desk all day. Everyone feels different and you may want to chill out at home sooner than that smile

notlettingthefearshow Sun 09-Oct-11 22:04:56

I plan to finish at 36 weeks. I have a short journey to work (2 miles) and teach, but been given a very light timetable this term (thank you! Thank you!) so not at all stressful. Baby is due on Xmas day, ie depths of winter, so I thought I could do with some time to enjoy preparing for the baby and Xmas! It's my first baby and I am looking forward to focussing on the baby - I'm pretty sure I'll have switched off from work by then (it's always happening now!).

If you're really not sure, why not aim for 38 weeks and then see how you feel nearer the time? They will be half expecting you to go sooner and will usually be very flexible, although it's worth finding out if your employer is - strictly speaking you are supposed to give a lot of notice.

Beamur Sun 09-Oct-11 22:07:36

I worked until 38 weeks and DD was nearly 2 weeks late, those few weeks off were great, I felt well and enjoyed being able to potter around at my own pace. I have an office job though and could not have been on my feet all day by that stage - I reckon I'd have finished a few weeks sooner if that was the case.

FetchezLaVache Sun 09-Oct-11 22:09:42

I'm self-employed and I cut down my workload massively from about 37 weeks, but accepted the odd short contract if it suited me to do so. Out of boredom when 9 days overdue, I accidentally accepted a job that was longer than I thought- I ended up finishing it sitting on a pile of old towels after my waters had broken. blush

LikeABlackFlameCandleBNQ Sun 09-Oct-11 23:11:53

Try and tag your annual leave onto the start, if they'll let you. If, say, you are entitled to 4 weeks AL, plus 8 BH days, this totals 5 working weeks plus 3 days. Maybe take these in the last 5 and a half weeks before you are due. Then, you could officially start Mat Leave on the day the baby is due?

sleepevader Mon 10-Oct-11 08:40:22

Dc1 I planned to start at 38 wks but was bullied out by 34wks. Regret it now and wish I had gone sick instead. Not the most supportive boss.

DC2 well I finished my uni placements at around 18wks And didn't return this term as baby due soon and degree is 5 days a week.

I think that by 36 weeks I would have been ready to have finished. This is based on previous commute/job. If I was actually enjoying job though I'm sure I could have eeked it out til 38 wks.

tinky19 Mon 10-Oct-11 10:43:24

2 weeks!!! I can't wait!!! grin
I'll be 34 weeks but will get half term (I'm a teacher) so mat leave propper will start at 35 weeks. Did exactly the same last time.
DS was late so quite a long wait but my body just isn't up to standing in front of thirty 7 yr olds all day and entertaining teaching them. It's hust too tiring and my back aches!

Mondayschild78 Mon 10-Oct-11 16:44:18

I left work at 33 weeks (although took annual leave until 36 weeks), desk job but hour commute including a bit of a walk too. It was the best decision for me to leave early but then again I had literally bought no baby stuff plus we had some house stuff to sort and a new car to buy so I have had a busy few weeks. Having said that the extra time has allowed me to relax quite a lot and take things at my own pace. I guess it depends on your health and being on your feet all day plus what you want to get out of maternity leave before the baby arrives. Good luck!

IssyStark Mon 10-Oct-11 16:55:10

I worked until 39 weeks with my first and am planning the same with this one. BUT, and it is a big but, I work a 10-20 min bus ride from home and have a desk job. I was able to drop my hours for a limited period so I was about 3/4 time in the last month anyway.

If I were commuting, especially driving, I would have stopped much earlier if only because I wouldn't have been able to comfortably fit behind the wheel. I'm 31w now and am feeling the wheel psuh against my bump so if I'd been commuting I doubt I'd make it another 3-4 weeks before I would have to stop.

banana87 Mon 10-Oct-11 17:10:08

I'm 34 weeks (tomorrow) and have pretty much started. I have one more appointment. Like you, my job requires a lot of travel (up to 2 hours one way!) and then requires me to work hands on with children with special needs (not easy when you have limited energy!). I think if my job was sitting in front of a computer all day then I would easily be able to go to 38 weeks but any job that requires you to be on your feet alot and/or travel extensively is not the same.

If I were you I would plan to stop at the 34 week-ish mark.

annekins Mon 10-Oct-11 18:29:33

I'm supposed to start mat leave at 38 weeks, but have 2 weeks annual leave tacked on to the front so technically leaving at 36 weeks.

But, I am seriously considering bringing my mat leave start date forward to 36 weeks and taking my annual leave from 34 weeks. Am 28 weeks now and really feeling it, am very tired, even with being at work for only half a day today. I have a MW app on Thursday so will discuss it with her then.

At the end of the day, you body will tell you when it's had enough and that you need to be resting. Your work should be flexible enough to allow you to move any date you agree to start your mat leave..they have a duty to protect you and your child.. as you will be on your feet a lot and have a pretty demanding job, I would guess starting at 34 weeks, you'll be suprised how much it takes out of your body in the last weeks.

VFVF Mon 10-Oct-11 19:24:09

With DD I left at 37 weeks, was on my feet and wearing a stone's worth of lead apron (xray environment) BUT I was able to drive home in 15 mins, and then lie on the floor all evening (bad back)

Theirs no way I would be able to do that this time around (although fortunately not a problem as now I'm a SAHM) I'm only 16 weeks and bloody knackered!

skinnychai Mon 10-Oct-11 19:43:23

I stopped at 36 weeks and work 40 miles from home. I actually didn't find the driving too bad at all (had a small cushion to sit on and one behind my back) and also have a job where I was on my feet most of the day. I felt like I could have probably worked on for at least another week but it was nice to be able to have a lie in.

CitizenOscar Mon 10-Oct-11 19:50:02

I stopped at 35 weeks and the first 4 weeks were annual leave. I have a desk job and an hour's commute on public transport. I was definitely ready to leave. Don't underestimate how tired/large you might feel. Other people at my work planned to leave later and then brought it forward, but I wanted to make sure there could be a proper handover with my cover etc, so I wanted to get my leaving date right first time so everyone knew where they stood.

minicc Tue 11-Oct-11 09:40:34

I planned to go up until half term (38 weeks) but brought it forward by a fortnight. Was just so tired and stressed out after not sleeping properly and knowing I had a full day of work (teaching a reception class). Am now on my second day of maternity leave and feel soooo much better already! Don't beat yourself up for going sooner than you 'think' you should. I did and it got me no where!x

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: