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When to take maternity leave?

(41 Posts)
FredFlintstonesSister Tue 17-Dec-13 15:34:46

When did you/ are you planning to start your maternity leave? I had tentatively said 36 weeks but have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, 4 or more weeks off before the birth seems really decadent when my husband is still working. On the other hand, at 30 weeks I am exhausted already and very tempted to just stop after Christmas! Any thoughts?

didireallysaythat Wed 18-Dec-13 23:53:41

41 weeks with DS1 - induced at 42.
39+3 with DS2 - elcs at 39+5

Statutory mat leave so wanted to leave it for post birth. Back to work at 3 months both times. Bloody knackered for the last 7 years !

quackojuliet Wed 18-Dec-13 23:46:07

Also don't bank on having '4 or more weeks' before giving birth if you leave at 36 weeks. Pregnancy is unpredictable and baby might arrive sooner than expected. You'll be very glad to have a buffer if he/she shows at 37 weeks!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 18-Dec-13 23:36:46

34 weeks here if I can stick it out. I'm a market trader and its pretty bleak out there in January! sad Given that the baby is likely to turn up around 37 weeks I'll be quite pleased if I can make it. Lots of leave left over for after then!

Anothermrssmith Wed 18-Dec-13 23:02:08

Started mine at 33 weeks but as I'm diabetic being induced at 38 weeks,which is the first week of January. Had I been due any other time of year would have kept going for another couple of weeks but wanted a few weeks before Christmas to get organised. Just as well I did as the pregnancy insomnia has well and truly kicked in since I finished up!

Naturegirl82 Wed 18-Dec-13 22:26:14

I planned to work until 36+2 then use leave so would start ml at 38+5, but I had a 1.5hour daily commute and a stressful job, and a stressful pregnancy. Felt guilty about bringing leave forward but I finished at 34+2 instead as I was exhausted and best decision I made. But I didn't intend to take full maternity leave allowance so it hasn't affected my return date. Do what is best for you, only you know how you feel.

BlackholesAndRevelations Wed 18-Dec-13 21:18:48

3 months full pay is way better than the 4 weeks we teachers get in England!!

Anyway why decadent? You're the one who's carrying the baby. It's emotionally, physically and mentally draining. I worked up to 36 weeks and was practically crippled with SPD by the end. 36 weeks sounds more than realistic!

quackojuliet Wed 18-Dec-13 16:56:51

pooks that's a lovely way of putting it. I wish someone had said something as kind to me when I was wrestling with whether to struggle on or not.

Pooks123 Wed 18-Dec-13 16:47:55

Think about the time off as a buffer between work and parenthood. A time to network and get ready for a new way of life. it is seriously worth taking as long as you can. in the long run you will really enjoy it.

quackojuliet Wed 18-Dec-13 16:42:52

I'm also a teacher and worked til 34 weeks - was hoping to go til 36 but pgp kicked in and rendered me useless.

Teaching doesn't really compare with a lot of other jobs so it isn't always useful to think about when others took their leave. Saying that, at my school recently a teacher worked up until 40 weeks but also in the borough a year or two a teacher gave birth in the classroom and the TA delivered the baby! There's a lot of bravado about this and I don't think that really helps !!

I am happy with 34 weeks and have really appreciated the nesting and prep time. Modwives often recommend a calm period before the birth because a stressed mum really does make a stressed baby. School can make accomodations but they can't change the fact that the day is always loud and unpredictable with pushing and shoving in the corridors and you are responsible for groups of young people!

You have done really well to get to the end of this term,so shattering for all teachers pg or not. Get as much rest as you can over the hols and then see how you feel. Remember you can be signed off up to 36 weeks when ML kicks in automatically.

tgamble13 Wed 18-Dec-13 16:24:54

mines starts xmas eve ill be 36 weeks. ive a long commute will be ever so glad to get finished. this is my first and as some wise woman posted itll be ur last chance of doing exactly what u want when u want! some women nearly think theyre martyrs for not takin ml till the nearly end! midwives where am from are now encouraging expectant mums to take ml sooner rather than later for preparation both physically and mentally. (I know some women havent got the luxury of this but if u do go for it!)

good luck in whatever u decide smile

SweetPea86 Wed 18-Dec-13 16:23:36

I'm 24 weeks and dying on my feet. Crippling back ache and still have a bit of sickness I'm going to be leaving early at 30 weeks. I work 6 days a week and I'm on my feet the whole time don't get much time to sit.

Didn't expect pregnancy to be so emotionally exhausting sad

MissCalamity Wed 18-Dec-13 16:03:00

I finished work at 35+2 with DS, and took 3 weeks holiday before SMP kicked in. I have a desk job which is only a 10 minute drive away but I was completely exhausted!

Luckily this was at the start of November so I had plenty of time to do my Christmas shopping in, and only started getting bored on my actual "due" week.

This time I am finishing at 35+6; and taking 2 weeks holiday before SMP. I am now only working 4 days; and at 21 weeks I currently feel fine, but do remember how shattered I was first time round, so I'm not going to be a it ties in nicely with a weekend away. smile

It's entirely up to you, as other posters have said they've been fine up to 38 weeks or so, but I definitely knew it was not for me!

InTheBEEwitchedWinter Tue 17-Dec-13 21:07:41

I like pottering around at home - we've just moved house so there will be some decorating to do and my best friend is coming over from Germany to visit for a few weeks, so I am looking forward to just vegging out and chatting with her and maybe doing up the nursery together.

Back home you automatically start mat leave 6 weeks before EDD so it just seems normal to me to do it that way and work is stressful so I'm looking forward to getting out of there as soon as possible.

colafrosties Tue 17-Dec-13 20:41:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VoodooChimp Tue 17-Dec-13 20:38:36

34 weeks both times.

mamapants Tue 17-Dec-13 20:37:20

I worked till 39+2. And quite happy with that. I took a year off and wouldn't have wanted to leave DS before that. Still had all my AL pretty much, then accrued a years worth so have been receiving full pay but only working 3 days a week. Perfect for me.
Am now 20 weeks pregnant and thinking of working till about 39 weeks again. Just don't see what people do at home for 6 weeks especially if they don't have a child already. 6 weeks is a long time especially when you're heavily pregnant and can't do much anyway.and I really would want as much of the year ml to be with by baby- would hate to leave them earlier than that.

MrsVDB Tue 17-Dec-13 20:34:47

I'm leaving on Friday (35+2) but using some holiday up. A couple of weeks ago I definitely had the I can't do it I want to leave now feeling but the tiredness has gone slightly. If you have the option to see how you'll feel nearer the time is do that smile

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 17-Dec-13 20:27:30

I worked my last day at exactly 38 weeks. Contrary to what others have said, I'd say go on as long as you can. I never got to the, 'I'm BORED! Get it OUT!' stage because I was gainfully occupied in a very active job right up until the end. Two pleasant weeks of batch cooking and napping when I felt like it and DS started arriving bang on 40 weeks. Fully intend doing the same thing with number 2 if I can.

DirtyThree Tue 17-Dec-13 20:27:10

I worked until 37+5 then took annual leave until my dude date (dd arrived 39+6) but I worked from home so it was easy to stay working that long. I went back to work the day after DDs first birthday.

Am now pg with dc2 and planning on stopping at about 37 weeks, haven't yet decided to use mat leave or annual leave initially....

Chunderella Tue 17-Dec-13 20:25:08

Of course it isn't decadent! There's a reason that maternity leave can be taken from 29 weeks onwards- it's because some women need it then. You may or may not be one of them. If you're getting a rest over Christmas, hopefully that will help you, then you can make an informed decision in the new year.

sunflowered Tue 17-Dec-13 20:19:22

I'm finishing at 35+3 - 30+3 today and feeling the same 30week slump someone else has mentioned. If I didn't have some time off at Christmas it would be looking like a very long 5 weeks ahead!

Grumblelion Tue 17-Dec-13 20:15:12

Depends on your job I guess. Mine is pretty full on, non-stop and physical so I stopped at 35 weeks - had annual leave to use & it was Christmas/new year so I didn't actually start my mat leave until 38 weeks. I also used leave to work 4 day weeks for my last month (though I did try to arrange hospital appointments on my off days out of choice so I wasn't off too much).

I hindsight I could have managed another week at work I think but the way the dates fell I just fancied all of Christmas off for once!

EmmaFreudsGivingMeJip Tue 17-Dec-13 20:05:23

I am starting annual leave at 33 + 4 (which is New Year's Eve whoop whoop) then starting ML at 36 + 3. I can't wait, I've had hyperemesis and I'm exhausted now even though I'm doing reduced hours.
I'm looking forward to time at home on my own to relax before our little boy arrives as it's the last chance I'll have!

Frizz1986 Tue 17-Dec-13 19:28:25

I start my mat leave after my final day at work tomorrow smile
I will be 36 + 5
I did plan on staying until friday (37 weeks) but realised that tiredness was setting in. In hindsight i would have finished last friday at 36 weeks as i just couldn't be bothered this week.
Thankfully i do have 7 days of annual leave to take before the end of the year so with xmas it gives me until jan 1st for mat leave to start.
Its difficult to tell early on how you'll feel but i def expected too much of myself as i am exhausted when i get home.

InTheBEEwitchedWinter Tue 17-Dec-13 18:46:51

I'm planning to start maternity leave at 34 weeks and take two weeks leave before that.

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