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Opinions on when to take maternity leave?!

(40 Posts)
Lj8893 Thu 09-May-13 17:03:26

Hi all,

I work in retail and am on my feet all day and up and down stairs. I'm only 15 weeks and already got a bump so I anticipate being huge later on!!

I'm not planning on returning to work after my maternity leave so not too worried about not havin enough time after the birth with the baby, however I don't want to go on maternity leave too early as I will get bored quickly!! But will enjoy having some time to myself before the madness starts!

When seems sensible to begin my maternity leave?

Excited85 Sat 11-May-13 19:16:28

Gloti, I'm the same office based with an hour drive to work and was planning to leave at 38 weeks as have 2 weeks holiday I can use, then start mat leave at 40 weeks (only get SMP) so would rather use after baby here... Also worrying now that working to 38 weeks might be unrealistic?

bluecarrot Sat 11-May-13 19:23:29

I had planned to leave two weeks before due date but mum persuaded me to leave earlier (I had severe back pain, but other than commute, I was just sitting in an office all day, so I didnt see the problem)

Glad I listened as I went into labour 2 weeks early and I needed the 2 previous weeks to rest and buy the last minute things (I purchased the car seat approx 2 hours before waters broke)

Id say just see how you feel closer to the time tbh.

pegster Sat 11-May-13 19:35:44

It's really difficult to know how you'll be feeling. I have an active job and on my feet a lot with long days (vet). With DS I worked comfortably til 37w then took remaining weeks holiday so started ML at 38w, was actually home alone for 5w as finally induced at 40+12!
This time planning an ELCS at 39w & only working 22h a week so think in theory I could do 37w again but actually it might be nice to have longer than those 2w off with DS before another one turns up?

Giggle78 Sat 11-May-13 20:05:12

I went at 36 weeks with ds1. I remember at the time thinking that I should have gone at 33 weeks as it was from that point on that I found everything got harder.

I didn't take my own advice and am going at 37 weeks this time. Both this time and last time have coincided with my students GCSE and A-level exams. If I make it to 37 weeks them I will see them up to their exam.

However sat here at 35 weeks after last nights performance of four hours of braxton hicks I wish I had finished already.

jammiedonut Sat 11-May-13 20:06:58

I was very optimistic that I'd last til at least 38 weeks . . . boy did I underestimate just how tired and uncomfortable I'd feel by now. Am now 34 weeks and have had to take 1 week off sick and move my maternity leave forward by a week as I was in tears working my last shifts (I'm a very active restaurant manager, still 50 hours a week) and just couldn't cope anymore. My sister worked up til 36 weeks and expected a nice 4 weeks to relax, baby arrived 3 weeks 6 days early! You never can tell, just play it by ear - if you're not coping your body will soon make it known! If you can afford to go early, do so, and enjoy some time to yourself. If you're finding work too difficult legally they are meant to make appropriate adjustments to your working conditions to enable you to work. Of course, my company did and I still pushed myself too hard. . .

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Sat 11-May-13 21:01:37

I have put my maternity leave date as my due date, but I am planning on taking 2-3 weeks annual leave before then. First baby so I have no idea how hard it will get towards the end though. My job is quite stressful and full on, but I am getting much better at taking it easy when I need to and not caring about what my manager and supervisors think.

I was meant to be getting made redundant as of Septmber this year, but my pregnancy got in the way of that grin. Knowing when I get back from my year's leave I will have to go through the at-risk process then possibly lose my job I am keen to work as late as possible to keep some money coming in for longer.

Don't know how realistic this is though.

Lj8893 Sat 11-May-13 21:02:32

Thanks all, its been very eye opening to hear everyone's different experiences, thoughts, advice etc.

My work are brilliant, and are so accommodating so I don't have a problem in that aspect. Just that I can't sit down, (I can sneak the odd sit down on the display furniture when there's no customers!!) and my risk assessments have stopped me doing anything too strenuous which is good smile

Sunnysummer Sat 11-May-13 21:08:38

Agree that early is better, if you don't need the cash and aren't going back! I was feeling pretty good even in the 3rd tri, so organised leave for 38 weeks, and planned to spend 2 weeks nesting at home and on cozy date nights with DH...

Of course, DS arrived unexpectedly at 38+1, and now he's a couple of weeks old and I keep looking mournfully at my cupboards and wondering when they'll ever be tidied, and movie ads and wondering when I'll next get to the cinema wink

Simian0 Sat 11-May-13 22:07:53

I worked up until 39 weeks. I had a 1.5hr cross-London commute (each way) and a half mile walk to the station at both ends. I work in an office but am mostly running to and from meetings all day.

I have to say total naivety kept me working that long. As it was my first (born 13 days ago now), I had NO idea how tired I'd feel. I'd say that however much you think now that you'll be fine, plan to definitely have finished up by 38 weeks. You really don't want to be running any risks late in the day for one thing, and considering it'll be dead of winter by the time you're full term you won't want to be dragging yourself out of bed in the dark/cold so treat yourself to plenty of time on the sofa wrapped in a duvet.

Good luck!

SweepTheHalls Sat 11-May-13 23:08:13

49 weeks with no. 1 and 38 weeks with no.2. Both went overdue so I was glad as I think I would have gone mad waiting at home any longer!

SweepTheHalls Sat 11-May-13 23:09:17

bloody phone! 39 weeks!

mikkii Sat 11-May-13 23:23:55

I'm office based. I worked until 38 weeks with DS admitted for induction at 39.5 weeks. I felt fine, but as soon as I stopped working my feet swelled and the brain went.

With DD1 I was hospitalised at 33.5 weeks and baby born at 37.5 but worked from the hospital as I was going nuts. The midwife suggested it after I had a meltdown one evening.

With DD2, I was first admitted at 24 weeks, then 26, 31, 3 times at 33 weeks then kept in, again worked from home/ hospital until DD2 born at 36+1.

I' not really qualified to advise!

FoofFighter Sun 12-May-13 11:49:46

LJ please please bear in mind your employer is legally bound to make adjustments for you to continue working without distress/pain/etc, this can include providing you with a chair!! To not do so they could be breaking the law, have they done a risk assessment on you and have you seen it?

Lj8893 Sun 12-May-13 14:15:34

My work are brilliant, and my manager did my risk assessment with me, in fact she pretty much got me to state everything and she had some input and she filled in the forms.

I can sit down when I need to (there is display furniture) but working in retail, most of what I do involves being on my feet. I can only really sit down when there's no customers or nothing to do. Those that work in retail will understand this.
Thankfully any jobs that I am able to do sitting down are being thrown my way which is great smile

Bunnychan Sun 12-May-13 14:35:33

I've just finished at 38+1:I'm a teacher with a 40 minute drive to work. I've had a good/textbook pregnancy so far. I found this last week a struggle but I'm glad I made it to the end. I think 37 weeks would have been better as I spent the last week worrying about going into labour at work. X

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