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when to go on maternity leave

(26 Posts)
justalilmummy Tue 08-Jan-13 10:17:29

I'm currently 9 weeks pregnant and am thinking over when to go on my maternity leave. I work as a cleaner, and I had originally planned to stay as long as I can so I spend more time off with baby.
However I am beginning to think I am really goibg to struggle as I get bigger as the job involves alot of bending down/ on my feet for 4 hours straight with no break, I'm not sure I'll cope very well in late stages! My mun thinks I should go off from about 32 week's.
Was wondering what u think or if there is anyone else on here who worked as a cleaner and when u left?

stowsettler Tue 08-Jan-13 11:24:17

I have a desk job, and am now 34+6, due to finish next Fri at 35+2. I'm finding it hard enough just sat in front of a PC, I have to say I think you'll find it hard beyond 30 weeks (or even sooner). However you're obviously quite fit with all that physical exercise in your job so you may cope better than you think.
If I were you I would set myself a reasonable goal (perhaps 32 weeks as your mum suggests?) but review this as you get bigger. You may be able to carry on longer or you may want to go off sooner - you just won't know until it happens.
Good luck!

HavingALittleFaithBaby Tue 08-Jan-13 11:42:54

I'm a nurse so currently 12 hour shifts with two breaks - take their toll! I want as much time as possible with baby so I'm going off three weeks before my due date on leave and only going on mat leave 2 days before I'm due (unless it turns up early!). Can you book a couple of weeks leave and a couple of weeks mat leave? I think you may find the up and down of cleaning hard going near the end of your pregnancy.

IdaClair Tue 08-Jan-13 11:43:21

I have a physical job doing presentations of products so lots of standing up in front of people for long periods and loads of bending/lifting setting up and packing away crates and kit in very busy show type environments. I did plan to finish at about 37 weeks but as it was I couldn't manage to as I was needed so I worked until 39 instead ad she was born 5 days later. It does help that it was part time though. I wouldn't think about it for a long time though, you don't have to tell your employer until you are 25 weeks.

plannedshock Tue 08-Jan-13 11:56:14

I'm a hairdresser I'm working until just over 36weeks, will be hard by then but I'm self employed so will just have to get on with it!!

Snowflakepie Tue 08-Jan-13 12:11:37

I finished at 25 weeks with DD as I couldn't take anymore, standing 9 hours a day 5 days a week with no breaks and no concessions at all. Had 4 weeks holiday then mat leave from 29 weeks, which is the earliest you can take it. This time I am part time and in a much less stressful and demanding job, will finish at 32 weeks with 6 weeks hols, mat leave from 38 weeks. It's hard to know how your body will cope. My hips and back were aching nonstop even though my bump was not that big. You still have time to think it through, everyone is different, but in truth I don't think that one or two extra weeks on mat leave before baby is born makes a lot of difference at the other end, it will be a wrench to leave them no matter how old they are. Your own health now will benefit the baby more.

PipIsOutNow Tue 08-Jan-13 12:33:02

Think you have to go with how you feel at the time. I was planning to work until 37 weeks but have been off work with major pregnancy complications since 25 weeks. I'm
Now 36+5 weeks and booked in a for a section Friday! It's really hard to say how you'll feel until you get there. I found my first pregnancy a lot easier and worked full time as a primary teacher up until the week before I had the baby.

glossyflower Tue 08-Jan-13 13:08:28

I'm a nurse and usually do 12 hour shifts, with if we are not busy enough to have them a 15 min morning break, half hour lunch and 15 min afternoon break. I'm also on my feet for most of the day.
I wanted to work as late as possible but my other nurse friends have gone at 32-34 weeks and said they were so ready for it and struggling by the time they left.
I'm 25 weeks, and really feeling it now. Most of my colleagues are understanding though, and when I tell them I'm going to sit down and do some paperwork or even to do nothing; they are fine with it. They know me, and know I work as hard as I can when I can.

Trouble is with your job is that it sounds like you have to mostly work on your own, maybe explain to your manager when you are more heavily pregnant that you will need to make sure you take a break in the middle but maybe start/finish a little earlier to repay the time.

I don't think you need to worry about it now, see how you feel later on, everyone's different smile

justalilmummy Tue 08-Jan-13 13:28:36

I am on my own for the whole shift, so I've started taking a mini break coz no-one knows! I'm already struggling with tiredness while I'm working I dont know how I am going to cope when I have a bump! I shall soldiercon for as long as I can!

justalilmummy Tue 08-Jan-13 13:29:12

Soldier on

weeblueberry Tue 08-Jan-13 14:14:06

I announced at a team meeting that I was planning to work til 39 weeks yesterday.

3 people laughed out loud.


TwitchyTail Tue 08-Jan-13 14:41:00

Everyone's different, but most women I know in real life struggled in the last two months. And that's with jobs not requiring much physical exertion.

I am 30 weeks, finishing at 32 (with annual leave before maternity), and really would not want to go on much longer. I ache, I'm tired, I'm not sleeping well, commuting hurts my hips... you get the picture.

Yes, I keep hearing about so-and-so who did night shifts until full term with twins hmm and it seems to be one of those things some women get competitive about. But really, working until full term is the exception rather than the rule and there are no prizes for being a martyr. My humble opinion is that unless you are superwoman, it is generally kinder to your clients/colleagues, not to mention yourself and the baby, to bite the bullet and go off on maternity at a sensible time, rather than force yourself to keep going when exhausted. Rest is important in the later stages, even with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Try and keep it open as long as you can and see how you feel, but I'd say be prepared to go off from say 32 weeks if you need or want to.

Alias78 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:42:09

I'm going to leave as early as I can I think. I have quite a few health complications and while my job is physically easy, mentally it can be quite gruelling. When is the earliest you can leave? I've heard different stories. One is to count back 12 weeks from your due date, the other is when you're 29 weeks along. Both work out to different dates when I try to calculate them!

BigPigLittlePig Tue 08-Jan-13 14:48:48

I planned to start mat leave 3 days before my due date and take 2 weeks annual leave prior to that. As it was, dd came 5 weeks early thank god waters didnt break at work

What I would say is that, at 35 weeks, I was tired yes, but not so much as I had been in the 1st trimester; I had a teeny tiny bump but it still got in the way and my job is in no way physical.

As a lesser (slightly vain?) point, I also had massive cankles as was sitting/standing all day .

With hindsight, I could never have worked as late as I thought I could - so agree with the posters above that 35 weeks is probably the latest you would want to work.

phoenixrose314 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:00:52

It depends on your job. I work as a nursery teacher, which involves a lot of being on my feet, physically handling children, and because I work in quite a "rough" area, some of the children have severe behaviour and emotional difficulties and I was being kicked directly in the bump even as late as 28 weeks! So I have just gone on mat leave now, at 31 weeks, and think this is right for me. Am not particularly happy about leaving baby earlier to go back to work, but I couldn't have stayed at work and felt safe/secure.

Do what feels right for you. You don't have to decide until you are 20 weeks anyway, when you get your MATB1 from your midwife, so see how you feel. The first trimester is pretty shit so don't assume your entire pregnancy will have you feeling the same way as you do now - I was nauseous until 11 weeks, and then felt great!

You'll know what to do when the time comes, don't panic too much too early smile

Congrats, and good luck with everything!

Snowflakepie Tue 08-Jan-13 15:27:44

It is 11 weeks before due date, but always counts the Sunday as the first day of the leave. So you might be 40 weeks for dates on Saturday 12th jan, but the law considers you to be 40 weeks on Sunday 6th jan, for example. Obv when it comes to medical issues, they are more precise. So you can go on leave from the Sunday at the start of your week 29. Hope that makes sense?!

Snowflakepie Tue 08-Jan-13 15:29:42

Also don't forget the first trimester is hard with tiredness and sickness, and this does often get better before the real effort of carrying the weight kicks in. I feel so much better at 17 weeks than I did at 9. Apart from the manky cold, but that's life! Listen to your body and ask for help if you need it, there are no prizes for harming yours or your baby's health.

MaMaPo Tue 08-Jan-13 15:34:03

I planned to work to 38 weeks and made it as far as the day before my last day, when I was hospitalised for a night due to high BP! Baby came when I was 38+2 (induced). I missed my leaving do and effectively had no mat leave prior to the birth.

I felt completely fine until about week 35, when I started getting pretty tired. It was a desk job (mostly), plus pushing wheelchairs, and definitely mentally gruelling. Also a 45min each way commute across London (3 tube changes). I was ready to finish at 38 weeks!

milkyjo Tue 08-Jan-13 15:34:55

My last shift will be at 37+2 and it is a 13 hour shift on my feet all day. I worked until 36+3 with my first and I was really feeling the effects. This time I have a toddler to look after so can't just have naps on my days off! I am already contemplating speaking to my manager to bring mat leave forward a week to save any last minute 'sick days' for which they would be under prepared.

milkyjo Tue 08-Jan-13 15:36:44

Oh and I think the commute of an hour to work and an hour back on motorways will be hard. There are no trains on Sundays at 6:00 either so I'd have to drive!

loveschocolate Tue 08-Jan-13 18:50:48

Tough one as you really don't know how you are going to feel. My job is split into a desk job and a physical job. Finished being on my feet at Christmas when 34 weeks and was beginning to really struggle despite being fit and only having a small bump. The holidays came at exactly the right time. Finishing at 38 weeks but have been desk bound since going back to work after the hols and it is so much easier - couldn't be on my feet, running around now.

InPraiseofOldHouses Tue 08-Jan-13 19:00:16

I'm finishing next week at 35 and a bit, though had planned to stay in work till 38+4. I'm a secondary school teacher and just felt that what with the lack of sleep and general heaviness and aches that I'd be better off using any energy I might have during the day to prepare healthy meals and go for a swim, prepare for baby etc. I was sure before Christmas that I'd be fine as I felt ok and pregnancy has been straightforward. But week 34 hit me hard and I wasn't really expecting it. I agree with everyone else, see how you feel but please don't put pressure on yourself to stick it out if your body is telling you to slow down.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 08-Jan-13 19:04:43

Well, your manager should do at some point a risk assesment with you so it may be work discussing your workload when you get bigger - maybe they will authorise three ten minute breaks instead of one half hour, or allow you to finish a little earlier if its later working.

I have a sit down job and worked til 38wks (1wk holiday and 1wk mat leave, dd born two days late). If I had no Leave left I would have worked til 39wks. If I get pg again, I would contemplate working til I deliver however as I say I sit down and I only have a 15min drive to and from.

Could you save up all your annual leave and have all that first?

SneezySnatcher Tue 08-Jan-13 19:49:59

I'm finishing in just under six weeks, when I'll be 33 weeks. To be honest I could go now quite happily, even though I love my job.

I'm a primary school teacher and at the end of the day I'm exhausted. I'm trying to sit down as much as possible but it can't be done. Plus I have 2 yo DD at home so that's not exactly restful.

I may end up finishing earlier as my BP is on the rise and I'm on weekly monitoring.

YuletideDollie Tue 08-Jan-13 20:00:06

Im a cleaner working 4 hours a day on an industrial mine site so it is hard graft and im finishing on 25th march at just under 37 weeks, im 26 weeks tommorow and STILL waiting for a damn risk assesment to be done! I also work as a dance teacher and have just given up performing professionally so I might be expecting a bit much of myself to work til 37 weeks in both physical jobs but my theory is that I want as much of my maternity leave to be spent with my baby rather than waiting for her to arrive its all down to you and how you feel personally everyones different (forgive any typos im on my phone!) [Smile]

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