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How many weeks did you work up until before mat leave?

(78 Posts)
scubastevie Sun 14-Oct-12 08:45:51

Just that really, and how many weeks did you wish you had worked up to? Assuming that you didn't have a really early baby grin

I am just wondering. Would like to work up til 2 weeks til due date, as I keep thinking as a first baby it will be late. So if I took 4 weeks then baby was 2 weeks overdue that would be 6 weeks wasted at home without baby.
Is this unrealistic though? I'm worried about tiredness and backache and all the other unknowns, but I'm not especially active ie. I'm sat at a desk most the day.
Experiences appreciated smile

MooncupMishap Sun 14-Oct-12 10:29:00

I've finished pretty early both times, using holiday to go off around 33 weeks with mat leave starting at 36. Both mine have come late too!

Both times I've really enjoyed nesting, cooking for the freezer, resting a bit, and getting to go yoga/aquanatal/midwife groups/long walks/spend time with DC1. When you're having a year or so off as I've been lucky enough to do, I felt using those weeks to go into labour/birth/parenthood rested was a good use of time.tod rested

Secondsop Sun 14-Oct-12 10:30:52

I'm planning to work till 36 weeks because I have gestational diabetes so am expecting to be induced at around 38 weeks. Had I not had GD I would probably have worked till 38.

flossy101 Sun 14-Oct-12 10:38:23

I worked until 36 weeks but used annual leave so mat leave didn't start til due date, I went ten days over so had 6 weeks off before baby came. It was bliss!

LynseyPynsey Sun 14-Oct-12 11:01:20

I'm due 21st of Jan and planning to work until Xmas. Although reading these positive stories I'd love to (financially anyway) get a couple weeks in after the new year.

Splatt34 Sun 14-Oct-12 11:09:35

Last time started mat leave at 39 weeks but took 2 weeks leave so left work at 37. This time probably start mat leave at 38 weeks but use annual leave to go to 3 or 2 day weeks for last month

carrielou2007 Sun 14-Oct-12 11:09:35

With dd finished at 38 weeks took 2 weeks AL so mat leave started at 40 weeks. She was 15 days late but I was ready to finish.

Said would not do that with ds though was only working 3 dats a week then, finished at 37 weeks took 3 weeks AL he was also 2 weeks late.

This time I am finishing at 35 weeks only as have been off sick due to eye ops so will take 5 weeks AL grin but won't be lazing about as will be wZlking dd to school, ds to preschool, then back again for him at 12, then back to school later. Work is like a rest!!

backwardpossom Sun 14-Oct-12 11:13:45

37 weeks with DS and was fine. This time I'll be stopping at 36 weeks.

apprenticeboy Sun 14-Oct-12 11:16:30

I was still working with DS2 -he was due 10 days later and I worked up to 11 days before DS1 arrived.

Onemoreforgoodmeasure Sun 14-Oct-12 11:21:36

Thanks to OP for starting this thread, this is something I've been curious about. I'm due in early June so will have all of next year's AL to take before mat leave. My worry is judging that balance right. I hate the atmosphere of where I work as we're being cut every which way and the atmosphere can be quite negative. So I'm keen to get away as early as possible. Am thinking of mat leave a week or two before due date and AL for the 4 or 5 weeks up to then. But I do like the alternative a few of you have mentioned of using AL to work part time for a few weeks. Might think some more about that.

pickledparsnip Sun 14-Oct-12 11:32:51

Left work as soon as I could, around 31 weeks. Was working two jobs, both stressful & only got worse as they continued to pile more work on. I had no intention of going back, so it didn't really matter when I left. Doctor advised I leave asap, so jumped at the chance.

My son arrived at 37 weeks. Totally unexpected as everyone had told me first babies are always overdue. Yeah right.

Midgetm Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:25

Both pregnancies I worked up to about 2 days before.

Finished 2 days before I had DD and finished Friday and having this one not later than Tuesday. Probably a bit silly but felt fine, needed the money and prefer time when baby is here. I also didn't want time to worry and focus on the birth. Perfection for me would be a week before you go into labour - I just never time it right as mine aren't good at sticking to schedules.

Totally depends in your pregnancy though - I still feel like I could physically work now, but my brain has left the building.

abigboydidit Sun 14-Oct-12 13:33:55

With DS I finished for maternity leave on the Sunday (though Friday was technically my last day at work) & he was due the next day. But - I took 2 weeks annual leave before that so finished up at 38 weeks. I work full time in a post that requires long days and long commutes (25 miles each way) - with more travelling once I get there - so I would have to admit I wished I'd finished even a week sooner!

ivanapoo Sun 14-Oct-12 15:02:37

onemore something to check w your employer is if you don't use your booked annual leave because baby arrives early, will you be able to carry it over/ get paid in return.

Mine said yes at their discretion but in theory you could just lose it.

This might be another reason to choose going p/t for longer rather than blocking all your leave just before due date.

MacMac123 Sun 14-Oct-12 15:12:37

Self employed so working up to birth!!
Last time I tried to take a week off. Stopped at 39 weeks (a friday) and went into labour that nights. Baby was there by morning and by Monday I was emailing my staff from hospital.
Makes me sound like a work maniac which I'm not. It's just different when you run your own business!
You get the advantages later on (ie in terms if u never have to worry about being late or leaving early, or an angry boss if your LO is sick) but you don't get a clean break for maternity!

elvislives2012 Sun 14-Oct-12 15:18:16

Worked up until 33 weeks, took a load of leave and mat leave then started at 38 weeks. Great idea as I've been so knack weed and really enjoyed chilling and cooking before baby comes.

GrandPoohBah Sun 14-Oct-12 15:56:00

I'm finishing at 36 weeks, using a week of annual leave and my maternity pay will start at 37 weeks. This is DC1, and we've been running around trying to get house renovations finished before baby comes, so there are boxes of crap everywhere which I'm hopefully going to spend some of that time sorting and organising. I'm looking forward to spending some time doing not very much at all too, plus work have been really good at winding me down - I suspect the next three weeks at work are going to be quite quiet for me as I'm now supervising my replacement instead of actually doing anything!

Onemoreforgoodmeasure Mon 15-Oct-12 11:01:59

Thanks Ivanapoo, I'll check on that. And I do feel fortunate for once to be working for a large organisation re mat policy and having the freedom to choose to go on leave earlier.

Goldrill Mon 15-Oct-12 11:41:02

39 both times. DD1 13 days over; this one now 4 days over. I would work until labour started if I could!

Nightfall1983 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:07:31

I worked till 40 weeks (39 + 6) as that was a Friday. It was the right choice for me, I'd had an 'easy' pregnancy and my work were understanding and flexible so my usually active role became more and more of a desk job as time went on. I did use annual leave so that for the 2-3months before leaving I never had to work a full week. DS ( currently 5 weeks) was predictably 12 days late so I'm glad I stayed on, the waiting sucks.

WitchesTitWhistles Mon 15-Oct-12 12:12:39

I took the maximum amount off. It was lovely to lounge around and watch TV with my feet up during the day.. I also got a lot of baby shopping done, home improvements done, decorated the nursery, had the kids evening meals with them and DP and got loads of sleep.

I was a memorable quiet time that my bump and I had together.

oscarwilde Mon 15-Oct-12 12:12:48

scubastevie - worked to 39 weeks with my first assuming I would be two weeks over. I was planning to return to work at 6 months and wanted to have as much time off as poss with the baby. Went into labour within hours of leaving the office. Not a good plan, was not mentally or physically prepared and still had loads to do at home.
Finishing at 37 weeks this time so sods law says I will be sitting around at home for 5 weeks grin. Physically, I am finding it tougher the second time around - you simply don't get the personal time to rest that you do when you don't have kids and I think it is quite common that people finish up a little earlier if they can manage it. Hoping I will get a few days to myself this time to sit down and refresh my memory about latching on etc etc.
If I had to do it over again I would:
finish at 38 weeks, but complete a handover at 37 weeks and use the final week to wrap stuff up, delete mail, do some networking lunches, update my CV [just in case] etc.
be considerably less focused on leaving work "perfect" and get my shit together at home. Didn't have a single meal in the freezer, hadn't packed a hospital bag when my waters went, the list went on.....
acknowledge that if the baby turns up immediately that you can get the benefit of some time off to yourself before you go back to work as they adjust into childcare. grin

YouHaveBeenOutbid Mon 15-Oct-12 12:20:08

I worked till 37 weeks and it was ca struggle. Personally I was ready to stop around 34 weeks. It all depends on how you feel. I also found backache was worse from sitting at a desk all day and eased offonce I left work. My son arrived on his due date so I ony had 3 weeks at home but still hadn't done everything I'd planned to before I went into labour. I too was convinced I'd be 2 weeks overdue!

I worked till 37 weeks, and went into labour on the Tuesday the week I started maternity leave. I don't think I can handle doing nothing at home. I'd be very very bored. I think it'll be very different if you have another child to look after.

Have to add I have a very easy pregnancy. I have no trouble carrying my bump onto a bicycle and cycle to work. I think I'll feel differently if I wasn't feeling well. Also my work is very sedatory. I sit at my desk all day.

ladymarian Mon 15-Oct-12 12:28:31

with DD I working FT. I finished at 34 weeks, had 2 weeks holiday then mat leave started at 36 weeks. She was 4 days late. I'd say that was about right. I was able to rest and get things done as well as nice things like going out for lunch with friends etc. This time I only worked 16 hrs over 2 days and finished last week at 35 weeks, I have 2 weeks holiday then mat leave starts at 37 weeks. I'm having an ELCS at exactly 39 weeks.

I would say finish as early as you can!! My friend at work recently had her first baby 4 weeks early and hadn't even finished work so she got no time off! [shock

With DD I was very tired by 38 weeks and had swollen anklles and diidn't feel able to do much. I certainly wouldn't have been up for working.

Enjoy whatever you decide x

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