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When did you take mat leave?

(45 Posts)
Elephantslovetofly Mon 26-Oct-15 08:40:44

Hi all, I am currently 12 weeks pregnant (first baby), due date early May. I am due to start a new job (rotation) at the beginning of April, when I will be 35+5, and am not sure whether to start this job for 2-3 weeks and then go on mat leave, or just start mat leave when the previous job finishes

Financially it won't make any difference

I am wondering when you all started mat leave - do you think 35+5 is too early? I will be having 6 months off work in total, so not sure what to do. It would be nice to make a clean break, although I am aware I could be a home for 6 weeks before baby arrives! This would then shorten time off after baby arrives

Champagneformyrealfriends Mon 26-Oct-15 08:53:08

I'm going to stay as long as I can (hopefully to 37 weeks) so I can be with my baby for as long as possible before I go back! It's really upto you though. Are you freelance? Do you have paid holiday you can add onto your mat leave?

maybebabybee Mon 26-Oct-15 08:57:51

I'm intending on going at 34 weeks so no I don't think it's too early - how do you judge 'too early', it depends on your individual circumstances smile

I'm not intending on going back to work so it doesn't matter too much to me. But everyone is different.

Solongtoshort Mon 26-Oct-15 09:08:27

If your holiday entitlement runs April to April why not ask for two weeks then take three weeks mat leave as you will be gaining them anyway.

Jenijena Mon 26-Oct-15 09:10:54

I'm planning on working til 39 weeks this time. Will also probably only take 6 months off + 1 month annual leave so want to spend as much time with the baby. However my job is mostly desk bound, but f I had an 'on my feet' job I wouldn't work as late.

sophiaslullaby Mon 26-Oct-15 09:12:20

I left work at 38 weeks but am using 2 weeks holiday that takes me up to 40 weeks, so timed it so my maternity leave/pay starts on my due date (this Thurs so COME ON BABY!)

As said above it depends on individual circumstances and how you feel at the time, I didn't want to spend weeks waiting at home but by 38 weeks I was physically and mentally exhausted so work wasn't viable.
Maybe start the new job, treat it like a 'taster week' but warn your employees it's subject to change depending on how your pregnancy is. I take it the position is there for you when you go back so don't see how they could argue with that?

Reebok Mon 26-Oct-15 09:32:15

With dd I took maternity leave at 37 weeks. By then I was done...I teach and that year taught reception...exhausting 5 year olds which meant I was on my feet all the time and I travelled an hour and 15 minutes each way by train. DD was 10 days overdue but I took a year off so it was fine. This time I won't be going back to work...doesn't make sense financially to pay childcare for two...I will take maternity officially at 37 weeks again but unofficially by 35 weeks as it will be the Easter holidays. I think I will need a longer rest escpecially with a 2 year old to look after and the travel. I can't wait. I'm still only in the first tri (13 weeks) and dying from hyperemesis. It's a personal choice...go when you're ready!

Brummiegirl15 Mon 26-Oct-15 09:33:53

I'm finishing at 33+3 in December and taking annual leave until my mat leave starts at 38 wks

So no, I don't think it's too early but it's very individual.

I'm only finishing that early due to Christmas and the fact I've got holiday

Bumpingalong84 Mon 26-Oct-15 11:28:26

I've started 2 weeks annual leave this week I was 36wks on Saturday, I start mat leave at 38wks, so over all 4wks before baby arrives! I am a nurse on a busy ward so very much ready for the resting and nesting. I think it's good for the body to relax before the baby arrives, I'm looking forward to some me time x

KatharinaRosalie Mon 26-Oct-15 11:29:16

with first, I finished at 40 weeks and was already bored to tears at home, as he was a week late. With second, worked until birth - almost literally, was at my desk until it was time to go to the hospital. But that might not be for everybody. wink

tinyme135 Mon 26-Oct-15 12:00:29

I'm leaving at 35 weeks as I'm due after Christmas and I want to relax and enjoy it while I can so let the 5 week countdown begin

DimpleHands Mon 26-Oct-15 12:36:19

I have tried to work until 38 weeks both times but had to give up at 37 weeks both times. I am a lawyer so do not have a physically strenuous job (although do have a long-ish commute on the Tube, work long hours and the work is stressful).

In my ideal world, I would have given up at around 36 weeks - I think that is about right (having said that, if you did go overdue you'd probably find it too long!).

Elephantslovetofly Mon 26-Oct-15 13:03:55

Thanks for your thoughts and experiences. It's difficult to know how I will feel nearer the time as this is my first baby - I guess I can leave it a bit longer before I tell work anyway, perhaps will talk to the people at the new job and see what they think. The job will be there for me when I return from mat leave, whether I start it before I go or not. If the due date was 1-2 weeks earlier the decision would be easy!

CoffeeAndOranges Mon 26-Oct-15 13:35:56

I have just finished last week and am 36 weeks. I would have been so ready to finish 2 weeks earlier as my office was so hot I was always swelling up (ankles, fingers etc), after sitting still for any length of time it was painful to get up, thanks to my spd (which also made even just walking to the bus stop hard work). I was just exhausted!

It's so hard to plan ahead how you'll feel as you never know what symptoms could plague you. But I would think that starting a new job might be the last thing you want to do! Each to their own though, you might feel fine. Hopefully your employer can be a bit flexible if you're starting to feel like you might not make it that long.

babybat Mon 26-Oct-15 13:46:49

I'm finishing just after Christmas, when I'll be 36 weeks. I'd like to finish at Christmas, rather than come back for two weeks then go again, but frankly we need the extra two weeks wages, so I'm planning to scale back as much as possible and work from home at least two days a week. The other consideration is if the baby is late, I could be off work for a long time before it arrives, and I'd rather have that time with the baby when it's here than before.

HalloweenDuck Mon 26-Oct-15 14:18:35

LOl, ok i am an exception to the rule here as I am not stopping work till I am 9 days overdue! I am a musical theatre teacher and own my own company. We were asked to provide the chorus/ dancers for a local panto and that runs the week after I am due! This is my 4th child and all my others have come at 42 weeks so does not seem as crazy as it sounds. I have also stopped my weekly classes at 39 weeks though just in case.
The only problem is I finish pantoon the 19th December, so I have told this bump it needs to come out on the 20th or 21st. That way I am home and recovered by xmas eve!

Cantstopsmiling37 Mon 26-Oct-15 15:15:02

First time I finished officially at 38 weeks but had half term hols just before so actually stopped work at 37 weeks. (I am a teacher)
Second time finished officially at 39 weeks but again actually 37 weeks as had Easter hols just before.
This time I will stop at Easter again when I'll only be 36 weeks. Children will be at home for two Easter weeks then back to nursery - am already looking forward to aa couple of weeks peace before baby comes! Watch baby come early this time!!!

acquiescence Mon 26-Oct-15 22:05:03

I finished at 35+4, it was just right. Not too early, I have so much to do, and trying to get some rest in. I think it would be weird starting a new job for a couple of weeks only.

overthemill Mon 26-Oct-15 22:08:06

I was on sick leave from 23 weeks (complications) and had to go on mat leave at earliest date. But dd was 4 weeks prem so I would advise seeing how it goes

Onthepigsback Mon 26-Oct-15 23:57:23

I called in the day labour started both times and said I wouldn't be in for the next few weeks. This time the same. It depends on the work you do. Mine is not physical.

poocatcherchampion Tue 27-Oct-15 10:09:38

I had my baby at 35+5....

It is the perfect time to stop IMO. I had planned to work to 36 but hadnt felt well enough so stopped sooner.

ThreeBeanRap Tue 27-Oct-15 10:18:40

I am working to 38w then taking 2w holiday, so my mat leave officially begins on my due date. I am sure I'm going to go late so didn't want to be at home with nothing to do for ages but I am finding these last few weeks hard work (36w now).

Usedtobeaslimshady Wed 28-Oct-15 07:36:45

Elephantslovetofly, from your post, I assume you are a trainee (doctor trainee). I am in a similar position and finish my rotation end of Febuary and I will be 34+6.

Have been debating whether to start my next rotation or not because plan to start Mat leave at 38weeks...I am currently struggling with horrible hyperemeisis and have already started developing SPD...

I guess it depends on how you are feeling at the end of your current rotation and if being home for weeks before baby's arrival will drive you potty.

All the best.

WiIdfire Wed 28-Oct-15 07:49:56

Ditto assuming you are a junior doc. I was a couple of months behind you, due in July. When I spoke to the consultants, it worked out that I stayed with my previous boss for those extra few weeks rather than moving on to the next team and learning a whole new system. You could at least ask.
I also went on annual leave at 33 weeks and mat leave at 36 weeks which worked out fine anyway as I could no longer make it through a whole theatre list standing. :-)

WiIdfire Wed 28-Oct-15 07:51:10

...however he was then late and didnt arrive til 40+14 so I did have a lot of time at home.

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