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Maternity leave - when to leave?

(27 Posts)
BurkeyBabyNo1 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:30:10

How do you know when to leave work? I've suggested at work it'll be 4 wks before EDD but is that a good idea? How have you all decided? I know some mums that worked up until EDD and some that that have taken 6 weeks off prior. Any tips on how to decide? Work are starting to want answers and I am only 25 weeks.

Trickytricky Tue 02-Jun-15 09:39:51

Hi Burkey - when did your work ask you for your decision? I'm 21 weeks and haven't had my Mat B1 form from midwife yet. I thought we had to give that to work at same time we decide on leave date. I'm planning on leaving 2-3 weeks before due date. My reason is because lots of my friends left 4 weeks before due date and then we're almost 2 weeks overdue so had 6 weeks of waiting!!

Skiptonlass Tue 02-Jun-15 09:40:47

How do you feel physically ? Ok? Knackered?

It's totally up to you - I'm aiming for six weeks prior because I'm knackered, my job is horribly stressful and frankly, I know I'll never be able to have a rest after the baby arrives smile

It's absolutely up to you. Some people are fine working until the day of delivery and some want to go before. Go with what you want, not what others have done smile

newtonupontheheath Tue 02-Jun-15 09:41:19

I'm finishing 2 weeks before (end of July) as it means I'll get full pay for July. Also, it means I'll have more time off once baby is born.

Nolim Tue 02-Jun-15 09:42:21

Totally up to you. Bear in mind that the baby may have ideas if his/her own about when to show up!

AnythingNotEverything Tue 02-Jun-15 09:44:55

How long do you want to take as maternity leave? How do you think you'll cope with work ie are you desk based? Under a lot of pressure? Do you have a long commute?

Lots of women use annual leave to shorten their working weeks as they get on - so drop to 4 days a week from say 32-36 weeks.

RhubarbAndMustard Tue 02-Jun-15 09:49:39

I worked until 1 week before due date to give me a few days to get last minute things ready. I wanted to leave as much as my mat leave as possible to spend time with my baby.

The choice is totally yours though. Do what feels best for you.

I did move to a local office in my last month to avoid the London commute, which made things more comfortable.

BurkeyBabyNo1 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:49:43

Thank you ladies. Tricky, you'll probably get your Mat B1 form on your 25 wk check up. That's what happened with me anyways. I don't think the midwives can give it to you before 20weeks anyway so tell your work, they can wait lol. Skiptonlass, I feel knackered and sore but I have a long history with back troubles. So I am thinking maybe 4 weeks is okay then. I just wasn't sure how us ladies come about this decision but it really is just a case of how one is feeling. Thanks again.

Amyyy27 Tue 02-Jun-15 09:53:58

I'm due 11th November and plan to leave on the last working day of October. But will also put a week and a half of holidays in so that I will technically be leaving exactly 3 weeks before due date, so that I will have a full months pay from October. If I had more holidays to use I would take them as well! I am in a very stressful job and just want some time to rest and relax before baby comes.

Its hard to say how you think you will feel in the final weeks, it annoys me how early you have to tell them when if you were resigning (at my place) you only need to give 4 weeks notice for them to prepare.

Number3cometome Tue 02-Jun-15 09:59:19

DC1 - left 4 weeks before, he was born on due date, I was bored for 4 weeks.

DC2 - left on the Monday, had her on the Friday (38 weeks) I was bored for those days in between.

DC3 - Due 19th July, C-section hopefully 14th July, last day of work 10th July.

I have an office job, so sit down all day. I have had bad SPD, but coping.
I commute 1.5 hours each way and nearly always get a seat.

That was the rationale behind my decision.

I am having 10 weeks maternity leave, so wanted to have as much as possible after baby was born, and not before.

Rudawakening Tue 02-Jun-15 10:20:09

I'm due in December but should have nearly 3 weeks annual leave to take so I'm leaving at about 36 weeks but mat leave will start at 39 weeks.

I'm in an office though so sit down all day and work 10mins from home. If I had a longer commute or a more strenuous job it would probably be different.

Stinkylinky Tue 02-Jun-15 10:22:23

I was going to work up until my due date but I really started to struggle so I've finished 6 weeks before my EDD now, 2 weeks holiday and 4 weeks annual leave.

Even though I have a desk job, I really would've struggled to carry on any longer

Stinkylinky Tue 02-Jun-15 10:22:50

*mat leave not annual leave!

Skeppers Tue 02-Jun-15 10:24:43

I'm office-based; currently 30wks, planning to work up to 38 but am already starting to feel knackered- in fact I have a meeting with my boss this pm to discuss working from home a couple of days per week! I literally wake up tired then I'm like a zombie all day.

I'm quite surprised because I've had such an 'easy' pregnancy thus far- no sickness or anything- (hence taking quite late mat leave), but the third trimester has hit me like a freight train...

The idea of using AL to cut down to 4 day weeks is a good one; I'm just so tired at the moment that hadn't even occurred to me! I didn't want to take too much leave (would rather get paid for it) but might not have a choice the way I'm feeling atm.

ommmward Tue 02-Jun-15 10:28:34

On the due date first time. Went into labour that morning; baby arrived following evening.

Booked the same next time around, but baby arrived a week early, so counted my maternity leave from the day they were born.

I'm the breadwinner so I could not afford any unpaid or minimally paid leave - I needed to save every day for actually being with the baby each time.

BurkeyBabyNo1 Tue 02-Jun-15 10:59:12

Wow ladies, you've all been so helpful. I've just checked and I have 25 days A/L still to take. So if I use all those up so that my mat leave starts effecting on the due date. 15th sept. So that means I will be off from the 11th August

Thanks so much ladies. Your posts have really helped.

beno57 Tue 02-Jun-15 11:12:54

I'm leaving at 37+3 next week. I have used annual leave to enable me to work 4 days from the start of May (the bank hols helped too!) which has been a real lifesaver. I'm having a relatively easy pregnancy but knowing I have a day off a week has made it a lot more manageable.

I have a 20min commute and based in an office so it hasn't been too bad but this week I'm starting to struggle. I'd suggest to make a plan you are happy with but try and have some flexibility if you need to finish earlier (hold back some annual leave).

Christelle2207 Tue 02-Jun-15 11:15:46

Obviously you don't know when baby is coming but I think as you get further on you may well want to finish sooner. Both my pregnancies I ended up using leave to finish 1-2 weeks earlier than I originally intended. First time I ended up with nearly 4 weeks off, second time 5 and a half (but I being pg with a toddler is knackering!). Both babies were a few days late- IMO 36-37 weeks is a good time to aim to finish but many mums may feel fine to work much later. But I know several babies who came 2-3 weeks early and their mums had no "break" at all!

BurkeyBabyNo1 Tue 02-Jun-15 11:38:48

Ahh this is so difficult. I have an hour and half commute into London which does include walking so not all train time. I have a desk job which has me running around mostdays. I have a long history with severe back pain. Prior to pregnancy I was on morphine so goodness knows how I am still standing. Thank go's for pregnancy hormones is all I can say. Maybe I should keep 1week annual leave free like what Beno said for "just in cases". Surely my work have to be flexible too. And if I need to leave early they can work something out??

BowiesJumper Tue 02-Jun-15 11:49:18

I'm planning on working up until my due date (depending on when the baby arrives!) but using annual leave if I feel I need to go sooner. I've got 23 days saved up so hoping maternity leave will just kick in when the baby arrives and then I can carry some of that holiday over to use at the other end.

Nolim Tue 02-Jun-15 11:52:49

* And if I need to leave early they can work something out??*

They have to. If you were hit by a car they have to work something out. Unlike being hit by a car this is a happy medical situation.

newtonupontheheath Tue 02-Jun-15 11:52:52

I'm trying to save all my annual leave for this year for that reason Bowies! I'm looking forward to almost a month off on full pay before I go back. Plus will (hopefully) use the extra money to buy much needed new work clothes before I go back!

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 02-Jun-15 12:40:02

Don't forget you can change your date later if you feel better / worse. Check on maternity action but I think it's 28 days notice - you don't have to stick with what you decide now.
I was going to leave on my due date but gave birth at 36. They coped! Wish I'd left earlier though as I'll never get that time to me again (maybe in 16 years?)

DimpleHands Tue 02-Jun-15 13:50:19

I worked up until two weeks before (for financial reasons). I'm a pretty robust person physically but I have to say I found it very hard at the end - but that may have been due to having to work very long hours in a very stressful job with a 40 minute commute on the Tube to and from the City.

This time, I will also take off two weeks but if I am really struggling at the end I will simply get signed off sick (in which case work has the discretion to start my maternity leave 4 weeks before my due date). I am in a much nicer job now though so I hope I will be alright.

If money were no object, I would go on maternity leave at 29 weeks (which is the earliest you can take it, I think). Would have been lovely to have had time to prepare myself, practically and emotionally.

Rudawakening Tue 02-Jun-15 14:43:13

As Dimplehands said if you are signed off sick and are still off sick by 36 weeks then your work have the ability to start your mat leave early. My work have done that to someone this year who had been off sick since 23 weeks.

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