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when to go on mat leave?

(21 Posts)
jbee1979 Tue 06-Jan-15 12:21:37

I'm 23 weeks - at the moment, I would go tomorrow!! work is stressful and busy.

phoned GP for MATB1 Form and I'll be able to collect it from them tomorrow.

I'm due 4th May, I was thinking about working right up, now I reckon 21st April (2 wks before) would help me get sorted out and rested - but if baby isn't ready and they let me go 10 days over, I'll be so bored at home without DH!

I have a low placenta at the moment and they'll check it at 32 wks to see if it's moved - if they plan a section me I'll have a better idea of dates MUCH further down the line - but it's hard to figure out right now.

when do you think is reasonable to finish work? This is my first baby. If I had a crystal ball I'd be fine!!

my job includes driving, and evening and weekend work - I think I could get a line from Dr after 36wks if I was struggling though, and finish earlier...

what will I write on the form in the time being? and advice would be gratefully received smile

KentExpecting Tue 06-Jan-15 12:30:24

Hey jbee

I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant and have told my work that I'll carry on until 37 + 2 (end of Feb). I thought this was quite reasonable, but when I mentioned this at my NCT class last weekend, I got lots of negative feedback from the instructor. Apparently, working that late would only be reasonable if I didn't have any kind of commute and if I could make sure I'm close to a loo at all times as I'll need to go every few minutes... or something like that.

I was a bit puzzled... Ok, my commute is long (almost 90 mins door to door), but there are toilets on the train. And I can work from home some of the time, so won't have to drag myself into the office every single day.

What I'm trying to say is, take your commute to work and stuff like that into account when you make your decision.

Also, I think if you are signed off work by your GP after 36 weeks, that means that automatically starts your maternity leave.

Hope this helps a bit!

Number3cometome Tue 06-Jan-15 12:35:28

Hi there, with DC1 I left work 4 weeks before my due date.

I was absolutely bored stiff at home and the last 4 weeks absolutely dragged!

I was lucky enough to have DC1 on his due date.

DC2 I knew I didn't want to leave too early, I planed for working as long as possible but ended up having to have a C-section at 38 weeks, so I left on the Monday, had her on the Friday.

This time I intend to work up until the day before - I will have a planned C-section this time again (medical reasons).

I do have a commute of about 70 minutes to work, but I feel that I will be absolutely fine, as I was before.

I am sorry that you have experienced some negativity, I think you know in yourself what you can and cannot do.

I would also like to add that I did have medical problems later on with pre-eclampsia and was still able to work - (my job is not stressful and I sit down all day). I do feel that I am very lucky in that respect.

If you feel you need to go sooner, then defo do what is right for you, but if you feel you can stay on longer, than again do that.

OutDamnSpot Tue 06-Jan-15 12:38:05

I had dd1 on my first day of mat leave (she was born at 39 weeks) - although I had used holiday to work two half weeks before that.
It was fine but my hours were fixed and I knew it was a low stress time at work. Hardest part was the 30minute walk to work but sounds like your job might be a bit more demanding.
In your shoes I'd set a later start date as you can move it forward / get signed off if needed but would be hard to move it back if you feel up to working longer.

babyblabber Tue 06-Jan-15 13:04:57

I finised a week before DS was due, went the full 14 days over and was soooo bored.

Finished with DD on Friday and had a section scheduled for the following Tuesday.

I'm older now, more tired and have hands full with the two I have so am doing part time for next few weeks but right up to scheduled section.

Dogsmom Tue 06-Jan-15 13:17:35

I finished 4 weeks before with dd1 and was ready, initially I planned to see how I felt and maybe work longer but was glad to finish, I'm a dog groomer and on my feet all day plus with the bending/lifting and the bath and workbench at bump level it was hard work.

I thought I'd be bored as I like to be busy but wasn't, I watched a lot of telly and slept a lot.

This time due to finances I'm working up to 38 weeks and now at 32+ 2 am regretting it but have got customers booked in.

I think it depends on your job and how you feel in yourself, I'm very much a "pregnancy isn't an illness" person but it did surprise me how knackered I was at the end.

On the form I've put my finishing date as 38 weeks and have saved a bit of cash in case I need to finish any earlier.

aneesa28 Tue 06-Jan-15 13:22:23

Hi jbee1979, I'm also 23 weeks and after much deliberation I have decided to start my leave 4 weeks before due date, although I am taking the first three weeks as annual leave. I only just finalised the dates yesterday and have yet to submit my MATB1.

My first two children were three weeks and one week early respectively, so I'm hoping the wait won't be too long! Although I know I will keep myself busy with plenty of prep and last minute shopping.

MaltedMilkBiscuits Tue 06-Jan-15 14:47:24

I'm currently 34 weeks (tomorrow) and would happily go now!

I originally planned to work until 37 weeks, but recently changed this so I finish in 2 weeks at 36 weeks. Mainly because its at least an hour in the car to get to work and sometimes up to 2 on the way home. Also, I am very tired now and struggling to make it through a full day at work.

It would all depend on the job, the commute and how you feel in yourself.

Zahrah5 Tue 06-Jan-15 15:09:30


I am due just a couple of days before you. I am planning to work as long as I can, but it is unpredictable. I have told my HR my last day at work is planned to be Friday and my due date is Monday after that.

I will leave it like this for now and see how it goes. They require 28 days notice to change the start day.

I migh have to ask for adjustments to work hours so I can come earlier and leave before rush hour to make the commuting more bearable.

I can ask to work from home couple of day a week or maybe even full time before due date- my team is very flexible and I can not imagine I would be super loaded with work at that time anyway.

I have 3 weeks vacation time left which I can be taking here and there.

I am thinking in worst case I will start taking sick days, there is a clause that if you take certain numbers of sick days in a row then it automatically starts you maternity leave. So there is still option to start it earlier then the date I told HR.

Thinking that I would be just too bored at home, and if the baby is late I would waste the precious maternity leave weeks. I want to save up as much time as I can for the baby.

NotMrsTumble Tue 06-Jan-15 15:17:07

I second the suggestion to use annual leave to reduce to 3 or 4 day week for the last few weeks, it made a huge difference to my last month at work pre dc1.

Lazymummy2014 Tue 06-Jan-15 15:56:16

I had a pretty long commute - roughly an hour each way by car, so no toilet stops! I worked up to exactly two weeks before my due date and it was ok, but that last week was bloody knackering. DD was born on her due date. I'm planning on going three weeks before for the next one!

BotBotticelli Tue 06-Jan-15 16:42:02

I stopped work at 37 weeks with ds1. Never again!! I was enormous and exhausted and uncomfortable and commuting into central London was awful.

Ds1 was a big baby 9lb4 at birth, at 41 weeks exactly, so I reckon at 37 weeks I was probably carting a good 7 and a half pound baby up to London with me every day. Urgh.

I am 10 weeks pregnant with dc2 now and I am planning to finish at 35 weeks this time. Leave ds1 in nursery and just watch telly/ sleep /eat cake until the big day arrives x

Number3cometome Tue 06-Jan-15 16:43:38

BotBotticelli sounds amazing!

I wish my maternity leave would allow for that, unfortuantely 6 weeks is the max I can take and as I am due a c-section I need more time off after.

D0nnaO Tue 06-Jan-15 17:45:07

I'm due the day before & my mat leave starts 20th April. However I have 4 weeks worth of annual leave before it starts grin

tiggy2610 Tue 06-Jan-15 17:45:39

35 weeks tomorrow and work is now starting to really get tough. I planned to work up to 38+3 but upon returning yesterday I've put in some annual leave so will finish at 37 weeks.

I'm very lucky that DH works very close by, so although we have around a 60-90minute commute each way he drives me in. If I was still doing it on public transport I think I might be tempted to leave even earlier. Having said that I think it entirely depends on how you are feeling at that stage. I have mild SPD which makes running around at work almost impossible these days and my brain seems to have turned to mush.

I am, however, the only woman from my NCT group who is still at work and I have one of the first due dates so maybe I'm the odd one!

Carrierpenguin Tue 06-Jan-15 18:27:31

Hi op, the Nct instructor is a bit odd...with my first I worked to 38 weeks, then used two weeks holiday so mat leave started on due date. Dd was a week early so only had one week off before she was born. I'd recommend saving some holiday allowance and then going on mat leave on due date, it maximises your time off with baby after they're born :-)

ILoveYouBaby Tue 06-Jan-15 18:31:34

I was going to work until 38 weeks, but struggled so much that I ended up getting signed off from 33/4 weeks. I felt so much better for not commuting 4 hours a day, doing a stressful job and work travel on top of the commute. Dd arrived at 39 weeks.

This time I'll leave at 36 weeks latest.

Halfpastthelegofmyshirt Tue 06-Jan-15 18:33:14

Remember that the time before your first baby comes will be the last extended period of time you get to yourself for a very long time!

You also don't know how you'll find the third trimester. Some people breeze through but for others (myself included) it's pretty awful. You have to think of what would be worse for you, finish too late (e.g. 38 weeks), baby comes early or finish early and baby is late?

I finished in the 36th week last time and am going to do the same with this pregnancy.

Oliversmum123 Tue 06-Jan-15 21:55:36

I thinking working up to a couple of weeks before your due date is reasonable, provided your pregnancy has been/is fairly straight forward. Although if you have a long commute and work long hours etc you may need to leave earlier as this must be very tiring for you! Remember everyones pregnancy is different and it all depends on how you feel at the time.

Some people try and continue to work right up to their due date so they have more maternity leave left for after baby is born. But again, this depends on whether you actually plan on going back to work or not. Xx

Mrscog Tue 06-Jan-15 22:01:18

I finished at 34 weeks with dc1 and had a blissful 6 weeks of sorting stuff, eating cake, reading, watching films, eating cake etc. 25 weeks with dc2 now and I'm finishing at 33 weeks this time :D I do have crippling sod though so it's harder than last time already.

Mrscog Tue 06-Jan-15 22:03:14

Just added it up - actually working until 34 weeks again. Keeping DS in nursery though. It's going to be my last decent spell of 'me' time for a very very long time!

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