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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

Blu Mon 15-Oct-12 12:31:30

2 weeks. And then DS was a week late.
2 weeks was more than enough, but I felt pretty fit.

You start earlier if you need to.

HipHopOpotomus Mon 15-Oct-12 12:40:19

I worked until a few days before DD with baby1 (she was 9 days late) and until a week before with baby 2 (4n days late). I used up holidays for the first week or 2 so maternity leave didn't start for a while anyway.

Worked well for me - I work in an office.

KatyB70 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:45:52

First one I worked to 38 weeks, but wish had stopped sooner as dd was 11 days early! Really pissed off that I didn't get more me time !!!

2nd time around I stopped over a month before due date- it was Xmas too so just finished up before Xmas break. He was also 11 days early!

YokoOhNo Mon 15-Oct-12 13:13:06

I worked until 33 weeks with DS and he arrived at 40+7, so I had a lovely long time before he arrived.

I went on mat leave when the office closed on 22 Dec and didn't seem any point in going back after Christmas. Work was closed for 2 weeks over the Christmas break anyway and I had 1.5 hour commute each way through rush hour London, of then in heavy snow that year due to temporary house move, so I was utterly knackered and struggling with sciatica and no sleep. We moved house in Jan, so needed the time to organise that.

I'd say, have a little break before the baby if you can.

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 13:16:57

I finished 4 weeks before DD each time. DD1 was 9 days late and DD2 8 days late, so, yes I did have a fair bit of time at home before babies arrived but I ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE. Particularly with the first, I'd say don't short change yourself of time by yourself as you won't get much when the baby arrives. Also I had DD1 in 2005 and it was averaging 25C by the end of May, so it was good not to have to travel into work when it was 30C - 35C as it was in the June and July.

With DD2 it was winter and snowing so finishing 4 weeks before EDD meant not driving to work in the snow & ice.

Also consider how many weeks of normal leave you will accrue while on Mat leave, most companies actually want you to add some of these on to the mat leave period so you don't have loads to take when you come back.

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 13:21:36

Before DD1 arrived I spent a lot of time lying on the sofa next to the fan, watching my Dogtanian boxset blush or lounging in the shade in the garden eating fresh pineapple & drinking raspberry leaf tea. I did do a lot of nesting stuff as well, clearing out cupboards, bigger jobs that I rarely got round to while working FT.

kristabelle Mon 15-Oct-12 13:22:57

With DS I worked until 3 weeks before his DD, but then he was 2 weeks late so I sat around at home for 5 weeks and did get rather fed up with that after a while. I did reduce my hours in the last month or so before finishing up, as I was getting tired. I was ready to finish up when I did, my job was mainly desk based but could be stressful. Now I am expecting No2, due mid-January and I intend to work right up until christmas and finish then. I may be having a c-section this time round anyway so didn't seem much point in going back just for a few days. And it will be nice to spend some extra time with DS (I work full time just now) before he becomes Big Brother.

Lambzig Mon 15-Oct-12 13:59:46

With DD I worked until just under 39 weeks and it was fine (desk job with client visits and typical London commute and ability to work at home one day a week). I had a planned c-section so knew that unless she was early I would have five days off before she was born. In hindisght, I wish I had had a week longer as it did all feel a bit rushed.

This time for DC2 I am finishing (this week hurrah!) at 37 weeks, I have a planned c-section for exactly 39 weeks so hopefully will get my two weeks off to relax (although I have loads planned). I am much more tired this time as am running around after a toddler when I am not at work and really glad to be finishing this week.

I think if you are in good health and feel ok about working, you will be fine - do you have any flexibility if you change your mind or feel too tired as it gets nearer?

Do remember, not all first babies are late. My best friend had her baby at 37 weeks very quickly having to leave a client meeting halfway through. Bit of a nightmare as she had to finish some work loose ends for a few days after the baby was born, so if you do work that late make sure you do any handover bits around 35 weeks.

RamblingRosa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:19:47

I worked until 39 weeks and had DD at 39.4 weeks so didn't get much of a break! I was fine though. I found the travel to and from work a bit tiring towards the end but other than that I was quite happy to be working. I guess it depends on how easy your pregnancy is and how physically demanding your job is.

Jymjamjen Mon 15-Oct-12 14:51:24

I am due on 5th February and am planning to start my mat leave at 36 weeks as that is Christmas Eve. I work full time at the moment and I am currently using this years annual leave to take every wednesday off which means I only work two days, a day off and then back in work for two days before the weekend. This is lovely and I thoroughly recommend it!
I am hoping to have 9 months off in total then take next years annual leave at the end of that. The reason for doing it that way is I get an increment in august so i will be paid more more my annual leave next sept/oct than if I took it this dec/jan.
I work on a hospital ward with a mixture of walking around, helping people out of bed but also sitting down. I am actually finding the sitting a lot harder than the being active at the moment (24 weeks) as I am tending to get upper back pain. I have to make sure I get up and walk frequently.
I think it depends on your job, pregnancy symptoms and when your due date falls. There was little point for me taking a week or two annual leave over Christmas to then come back to work for 1-2 weeks. Otherwise I might be planning on staying at work for longer.

Polipencoch Mon 15-Oct-12 14:59:02

Was hoping to work till 38 weeks which seemed about right.

Admitted to hospital after 34 week scan showed placenta praevia - so rapid change of plans. Still doing bits of email and writing handover notes in hospital (which is ok as feeling perfectly fine, just being monitored and watched).

Want2bSupermum Mon 15-Oct-12 15:04:19

My obn put me on bed rest at 35wks because I was so swollen. My employer forced me onto maternity leave as they didn't want me working from home. I was fine with this as maternity leave is unlimited before birth.

I would suggest you start handover at 30/32 weeks so those taking over from you know what they are doing. You will be tired so it is a great way of speading your workload and if something happens the transition will be smooth for your employer.

Xenia Mon 15-Oct-12 15:31:51

I worked until I went into labour in all 5 cases (or 4 - one was twins) and that worked out fine and then back after 2 weeks of annual leave. Not surprisingly the children have done pretty well and it has paid huge dividends financially. Obviously make sure whoever is taking over is ready or you have done hand over notes in case it comes sooner. If you take two weeks of annual leave you lose no money. Statutory maternity pay is just 6 weeks a 90% of pay and then what some of us earn in 30 minutes so most people who have a mortgage, child care for other children to pay for etc are a bit financially foolish or else rather well off or else in very low paid work or have a lot of savings or married a rich man if they can take much more than the 6 weeks off. Also that then engrains sexist patterns at home and when you do go back it is upsetting for a baby ripped from its sole carer's arms, whereas going back at 2 weeks you have stbability and nice routines right from the start.

Jollyb Mon 15-Oct-12 15:37:23

33 weeks but was having a shocking time at work and with hindsight I had SPD too. DD was born at 42 weeks so had 9 weeks to go crazy in!

Tiredalready Mon 15-Oct-12 16:02:00

I stopped at 37 weeks but my last two weeks were part time to finish an important project. I had quite a full on job and I really regret staying so long because now I'm five months into my maternity leave and my house is still a bomb site. The two weeks I had before the baby was born were melting hot, I was the size of a house and in complete denial that a baby was arriving..... I wish I'd stopped at 32 or so when I was still mobile and organised my house, because it's one thing to leave a disorganised house and be at work all day long, quite another to live in it all day every day with a baby who never lets you tidy or clean anything at all.

susiedaisy Mon 15-Oct-12 16:05:12

I left work at 34 weeks with dc 1 and 36 weeks with dc2

Callmecordelia Mon 15-Oct-12 16:08:25

I worked until 36 weeks, went off just before Christmas which was lovely. I had about 4 weeks at home, and spent the time cooking meals and putting in the freezer - I can't tell you how grateful I was that I had done that after DD was born. We'd have starved.

Dandelion75 Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:33

Glad I came across this thread - thanks OP! Pleased to hear 36 weeks worked for lots of others - I'm planning to finish then and hope to spend time stocking my freezer with home cooked food like cordelia

It's a case of each to their own, but I have a pretty good job with a lot of responsibility and have worked hard to get there but I won't be thinking twice about taking the time off or how much money it's costing me. I'm planning to finish in March and stay off until the January. My workplace won't crumble without me, and even if it did I wouldn't care as I will be at home with my lovely, long awaited LO grin

MissCalamity Mon 15-Oct-12 19:20:57

I was 35+2 with DS and was in an office based job, but I was so bored as there wasn't much work on so the days really dragged. Used 3 weeks holiday before mat leave started and DS was 6 days late.

I only started getting bored in the week he was due. I managed to fill my time doing my Xmas shopping. I don't regret leaving work when I did.

emmyloo2 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:12:08

38 weeks with DS1 and he was two weeks late so it was waaay too long to be sitting at home bored. This time I will work to 39 weeks I think as I will have a 2.5 year old at home so at least I won't be bored.

I hate being at home though and feel lost if I am not working so I was quite happy to keep working right up until the end. I just worked shorter hours and found people were quite accepting of that.

NAR4 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:54:18

I worked up until my due date to get as much time off after the baby was born as possible. I have other children though, so wouldn't have been at home resting and relaxing anyway. Night feeds make me far more tired than being pregnant and that's how I persuaded myself to keep going at work when I was so tired. With this pregnancy I work evenings and feel like going to bed before I even leave for work. Have told work I intend to work until my due date, but if it all gets too much can give 4 weeks notice to change the leave date. After this the doctor or midwife can sign you off sick, which automatically triggers maternity leave in late pregnancy.

It's a very personal thing. Just see how you go.

scubastevie Tue 16-Oct-12 19:36:48

Great, thanks so much for your responses everyone. I'm still hoping 38 weeks but will see how I feel and ask the latest I can tell them grin great to hear lots worked up til due date though, amazing!

Xenia Tue 16-Oct-12 21:01:33

I suppose you don't know when the due date is and only 6 weeks is 90% pay most people need the money so they want to have most of the time with the baby therefore for me working until I went into labour worked the best particularly as first labours are often over 20 hours plus and all my labours were very long so there was never any rush.

Zara1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:07:42

I finished at 38 weeks - this past Thursday! It was totally fine! Although given what's happened since then (hospitalised for high blood pressure & sudden heavy bleeding), I wish I'd gone at 37 weeks. For future pregnancies that's what I'll do!

RedGreenWhiteViolet Tue 16-Oct-12 21:08:25

DP worked at home from two weeks before both times, although she had to go in two days before her due date as somebody had fucked up something crucial. She drove to work from 37 weeks, though, as she couldn't stand being crushed on the Tube, the long walk or cycling.

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