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When's best to start maternity leave?

(39 Posts)
bippitybopityboo Tue 05-Apr-16 06:47:09

I know everyone is different but just wanted to know when most take their maternity I didn't want to go too soon or leave it too late. I'm 25+6 and taking my leave form to work today, I have asked for 2 weeks leave prior to my mat leave, I was thinking of going off for my 2 weeks leave on 17th June And taking my leave from 1st July or going off on 24th a week later. My due date is 13th july
I want as much time wih baby as possible however have just been diagnosed with PGP and dint want to struggle. Any advice welcome ☺

mellybythesea Tue 05-Apr-16 06:57:43

I went at 35 weeks but my job is quite physical (on your feet all day, lots of lifting and moving heavy things). I was bored but it was nice to be relaxed and get things ready, potter and have a lie in. DD was 11 days over but i don't think I'd leave any later if I'd known she would have been overdue.

bippitybopityboo Tue 05-Apr-16 07:02:14

Yes my job is quite physically demanding, 12 hour shifts and on your feet alot. I just don't want to struggle before going off smile

squeezed Tue 05-Apr-16 07:02:43

With leave etc I was planning on stopping work 5 weeks before due date. I was really happy with this because it would have given me enough time to get things ready. However, because of a bleed, suspected early labour, continuing sickness and spd/pgp, I was signed off with 9 weeks to go. I'm bored out of my mind. I would suggest doing whatever you can to keep yourself well because the last few weeks are very hard if you can't get around.

sugartees Tue 05-Apr-16 07:12:18

First time around I finished at 37 weeks, baby was 2 weeks overdue. I had reduced my hours prior to finishing because I had awful Spd.

Second time my official mat leave started on my actual due date but I took annual leave beforehand to finish work at 37 weeks again. On my feet a lot and I was so tired.

londonrach Tue 05-Apr-16 07:30:45

Im struggling now due to train travel, 2 hour journary and very physical job. Ive been fainting and having severe pain in my tummy and been in and out of hospital. Im only 23 weeks. Was planning to work till almost week before but the last week or two means im now thinking 29 weeks which is the earliest i can take it. Im taking it day by day but ideally as long as possible but watching people responses here. Didnt realise pregnancy would physically effect your body so much!

MrsSparkles Tue 05-Apr-16 07:33:22

I planned to work until 38 weeks but had easy desk job and easy commute - had baby at 36 weeks in the end so started then.

Now 31 weeks and have cut down to 3 or 4 days a week, and probably finish up at 35 weeks this time. Would be nice to have some quiet time before baby arrives!

cowbag1 Tue 05-Apr-16 07:34:58

I finished at 38 weeks with ds and even though he was born at 41+3 I felt it was too late. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and not in the right frame of mind to do my job (mainly desk based but lots of walking around and quite stressful). I should have finished at 37w.

Duckdeamon Tue 05-Apr-16 07:39:03

Check whether annual leave accrues while you're on maternity leave - mine did but times might've changed!

I had a desk job but had a stressful time during pregnancy at work and home so finished at 36 weeks, DC1 was born at 41 weeks so had a lovely few weeks relaxing which 8 years later I still remember fondly! With DC2 I planned to finish at 38 weeks but waters went at 36 weeks, so it didn't work out that way!

WhingyNinja Tue 05-Apr-16 07:42:47

I have a non physical desk job but a god awful 3 trains at rush hour London commute and that is why I went at 36 weeks, baby arrived on her due date so had a good few weeks to sit with my feet up and waddle around meeting DP for lunch before it all kicked off.

I was happy with my choice but then again I was climbing hills a week before I delivered trying to get her out and didn't feel too physically hindered by my pregnancy so that was the right choice for me.

You won't regret having some time to relax before the baby gets here, any "me time" you can grab now, do it! Because babies like to make sure you don't get any more of that grin

Florin Tue 05-Apr-16 07:49:49

I had a desk job with non stressful drive to work, I stopped officially on my due date however I used annual leave to finish at 38 weeks which was perfect. One week I cleaned and enjoyed being at home and the last week I hybenated, sleeping a lot and feeling a bit sorry for myself. Before the 38 weeks I used 4 days of annual leave to cut down to 4 day weeks. This was suck a great decision and helped me cope at work for those last weeks.

LBOCS2 Tue 05-Apr-16 07:51:36

Your leave does accrue while on mat leave.

I started mine at 36 weeks last time around and that was about right for a first baby I think - I had a stressful job and I was just done by that point. As it was I had DD at 38+4 so I didn't have to wait around too long!

This time I've used a year's worth of a/l to go at 30 weeks - 5.5 weeks hols, 7 days b/hols, which means my maternity leave 'officially' started at 37 weeks. This was mainly because I wanted to spend some time with DD before the baby arrives and I really really hated my job. I was also starting to struggle a bit with SPD and doing lots of walking, so it worked well for me.

Runningupthathill82 Tue 05-Apr-16 08:25:17

I went at 39 weeks with DC1 and 38 weeks with DC2. Was knackered by 37ish weeks both times, but not so knackered I couldn't work (40mins commute, desk job)

Mouthfulofquiz Tue 05-Apr-16 08:33:52

35 weeks all three times - allows for a couple of weeks to do stuff before you start to get knackered!
However, my second was two weeks late so I was pretty impatient by then!

KayTee87 Tue 05-Apr-16 08:37:34

My last day is 24th June, using 4 weeks annual leave and starting mat leave on my due date / week.

popperdoodles Tue 05-Apr-16 08:40:58

36 weeks with dc1 but found the last 2 weeks hard, tired, tearful and basically couldn't do much. Consequently went off at 34 weeks with dc 2&3.
For me it was important to have time to relax and prepare. As it was they were all 2 weeks early.

applecatchers36 Tue 05-Apr-16 08:43:44

Used a weeks A/L and then mat leave started officially at 38 weeks. Wanted to have maximum time with baby, first DC was 2 weeks late.

SerenityReynolds Tue 05-Apr-16 08:51:01

I finished at 36 weeks both times and started mat leave at 38 weeks with DC1 and on my due date with DC2, using annual leave to cover the difference. Like you, my job is quite physical (though not doing 12 hour shifts!) With DC1 I also took one day of leave a week from 32 weeks so did 4 day weeks (I did schedule a few ante natal appointments on these days though, so I wasn't taking the mickey at work). By DC2 I was part time anyway.

BasinHaircut Tue 05-Apr-16 09:07:52

Officially 38 weeks but I had 5 weeks annual leave to take so finished at 33 weeks. DS came at 37+5 so if I hadn't had annual leave I would have stopped work on the Friday and he would have been born on the Saturday!

I honestly don't regret taking so much time up front and I'd do it again. It was so nice to take the time to nest and just get excited and relax and prepare. I cooked and froze loads of meals, I assembled all of the baby's furniture, I watched loads of box sets, I read books in the sunshine, I visited friends and family, it was great.

I think if it's your first too, remember you will never get this opportunity again as young children won't allow you to have a few weeks of totally selfish time for yourself!

Sparklycat Tue 05-Apr-16 09:07:58

6 weeks before both times as I teach and couldn't do it properly anymore, both times my feet ankles and legs swelled up in the week before so took it as a sign I needed to rest!

namaste30 Tue 05-Apr-16 09:17:27

I'm still going and finish on Thursday when I will be 39 weeks. I am pretty well, it is my third, I do 2 days and 2 half days so I have had some time to get sorted. I went slightly over with the other two so am banking on thathmm I have made a point to get a massage, hair cut etc it helps that it is Easter holidays so the kids are off with dh so I don't have to do the school run and dog walk before work. Just hope my waters don't go at work that is all :-)

CottonSock Tue 05-Apr-16 09:19:46

I'm finishing at 36 weeks again. Went two weeks over with dd, which meant a long hot summer swimming, lunching, and lying in garden. Did not regret that one bit once she arrived smile

beckslovestimmy Tue 05-Apr-16 09:20:54

I'm working until 37 weeks, then starting Mat leave then will add all accrued AL on the end. I'm part time this time so 23 hours over 2 shifts. I'm a nurse on a busy ward so pretty much always on my feet. Last time when I was full time I planned on going at 34 weeks but was signed off early with PGP. HR's policy was that as it was pregnant related sick leave I got the 3 weeks AL I was planning on pre mat leave back and started mat leave at 36 weeks.

MoonriseKingdom Tue 05-Apr-16 09:25:30

In my first pregnancy I planned to finish at 35 weeks. I am a doctor and the job I was in was all 12 hour shifts (day or night) and high pressure. Once I hit the 3rd trimester I started getting dizzy towards the end of every shift. It got worse and worse and I ended up being signed off work at 32 weeks after pretty much collapsing at work. This time I am leaving really early (around 31weeks) mainly as I am due to change from community to hospital. I have already had a fairly awful time with sickness and my joints are starting to ache (am only 15 weeks) which will only get worse. Essentially I am rubbish at pregnancy and have a difficult job.

Most women seem to cope better and last longer than me!

londonrach Tue 05-Apr-16 09:38:04

Come to conclusion im a light weight if i give up 29 weeks. I would still work my private work till almost giving birth but the nhs work with the 2 hour journey both ways is too much during pregnancy im finding.

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