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When to take maternity leave.

(16 Posts)
JustDanni Fri 14-Mar-14 17:54:21

18 weeks with my first and I am baffled about when would be best to start my leave.
im thinking about 32 weeks but is this too soon. I dont want to be over cautious.
When did you start struggling at work and decide that it was best to take your maternity leave?

Sweetpea86 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:02:05

I would see how you feel I left work at 29 weeks I'm suffering with HG and SPD and was dying on my feet! I have to say I thought it would drag before baby is here but I've got 4 weeks left to go and my time off has been fab catching up with family and friends. Sorting house and things out for baby. And best of all some peace and quite and resting time.

My SPD is pretty bad now and I know if I'd of kept on working it would be even worse. My job involved me on my feet 40 hours a week over 6 days running around.

Lots of women work right up untill 38. Up to you.

I'm taking a full year off then using annual leave after so will be off for nearly 14 months in total

qazxc Fri 14-Mar-14 18:04:06

Depends on what kind of work you do. does it involve mainly standing or is quite physical? Mine is semi office / semi cleaning, so i am planning on going on leave 2 weeks before due date as I want to spend as much time with LO once she is here.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 14-Mar-14 18:07:12

Depends what you do and how long you're having off. Just remember the earlier you go, the earlier you have to go back!

MissSlackPants84 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:07:13

Im the same as qazxc. Im planning on working until 38 weeks so I can spend as much time with baby as possible. Work are really understanding so if I do struggle more towards the end I'll use some of my leave or go on mat leave a touch earlier.

SinkyMalinks Fri 14-Mar-14 18:07:56

My work is quite physical with a lot of time on my feet. I planned on leaving at 38 weeks and managed, only really feeling it in the last week. I'm now 40 weeks, and 2 weeks of mat leave have driven me to distraction! I'm so glad I didn't have longer to wait. As it is, I have no idea what I'll do if I end up going 2 weeks over.

There's no right answer and I think I comes down to how flexible your work is and your attitude. Remember, you can go off early if there are problems, but you can't push it back if you feel fine - and that'll be time off at the end.

JustDanni Fri 14-Mar-14 18:08:26

I work in retail and my boss has agreed to put me on 5 hour shifts and pay the other half in as holidays up until I go on leave. Im happy with that arrangement but a little worried about suffering hyperemesis throughout my pregnancy so far. The more run down I get the worse my sickness becomes and of course being heavily pregnant can put a lot of strain on.
Also taking into consideration the risk of early labour or other complications that may occur in the last few weeks.
I want to make sure the house is ship-shape and I have time to relax before baby comes along.
Buuut I don't want to feel like im dodging work.
It's one tricky decision to make.

Sweetpea86 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:15:31

I felt like this when I left like a bit defeated leaving so ealry but sickness still it's just unbearable. I have a streeful job it was effecting my work and getting home I was just dreading the next day as I was so shattered all the time. But couldn't sleep I think I was just over worked.

I guess I could of went on the sick but I didn't want to be akward at work so I decieded to leave early.

So ill of had 3 months off before baby is here it seems like a life time but belive me it's flew I've been so busy but in a good way.

Also another positve this is my first and it's the only time I will ever get to my self before baby is here. Even now I still feel like I have to justify why I left early. And I shouldn't really baby is number one and I'd of had a break down if I'd of still been at work lol

Iwillorderthefood Fri 14-Mar-14 18:16:50

I am a contractor, and the contract will end when baby comes, I am going for three weeks before, but that is because I have two other children and job in loved occasional commute to London and I know I can't deal with that any later on.

MyNameIsKenAdams Fri 14-Mar-14 18:18:37

I only had two weeks off and seriously could have had more!

Now im due my second and mat leave with a 2.6year old will be nowhere near as relaxing as it was the first time round, so from my perspective id say take as long as you fancy, as if you go on to have more you will never have the luxury of this time again.

Iwillorderthefood Fri 14-Mar-14 18:21:20


Frizz1986 Fri 14-Mar-14 20:59:14

I worked in an office. My last day was 36+5 but wish id gone a week earlier. Labour also started at 37 weeks exactly so i only got 1 day before it all kicked off so i will never get to experience the relaxation of mat leave.

ginmakesitallok Fri 14-Mar-14 21:09:17

With dd1 I had 2 weeks annual leave then started ml 2 weeks before I was due. She arrived the day my ml started. Same arrangement with dd2, and she arrived a week before I went on ml. I'd plan to work as long as you can, you can always go earlier if you need to.

MissCalamity Fri 14-Mar-14 21:24:31

Another office worker here! 35+2 with Dc1 working full time, although I took 3 weeks annual leave before mat leave kicked in. I was exhausted & glad I left when I did.

This time (in 2 weeks hooray!) I'll be 35+6 but I am only working 4 days a week now & taking 2 weeks annual leave before that. Definitely feel ready for it now.

There's no right or wrong time to start your own maternity leave but as a few posters have said you'll never get this quality time on your own again! grin

Bumblebzz Fri 14-Mar-14 22:53:27

OP be aware that sickness usually eases (not always but usually) during the second trimester so you might feel much MUCH better soon. At 16weeks or so I wanted to die I felt so sick 24x7, fast forward a few weeks and I felt much better and my energy levels soared. Luckily you don't usually need to decide on mat leave date till further on from where you are.

JustDanni Sat 15-Mar-14 04:14:15

Thanks for your input folks.
I don't feel so bad about taking some time a little earlier now.
Still vomiting several times a day on anti sickness meds so I dont to HG letting up any time soon.
Probably worth taking what time I can to relax before baby gets here. smile

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