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Which week is best to start maternity leave?

(72 Posts)
FlourishingMrs Tue 18-Oct-16 00:07:57

Hi ladies, just wondered when you started or will start your leave?

DPotter Tue 18-Oct-16 00:11:35

as soon as I could - 29 weeks. I really enjoyed the time to chill out after a hectic couple of years at work, get everything ready and avoid a horrible 1.5 hrs commute both ways!

NeverAShadowOfDoubt Tue 18-Oct-16 03:14:02

Another one starting leave at 29 weeks here but im having twins and now 23+4 and struggling already. Can't come soon enough!

anyname123 Tue 18-Oct-16 03:28:06

39 weeks, wanted to keep as much time as possible for after babies birth

RasperryInAMelon Tue 18-Oct-16 03:32:59

I'm wanting to wait as long as possible so I can enjoy the time post birth too

smellsofelderberries Tue 18-Oct-16 04:36:46

I went at 29 weeks, but I'm a nanny looking after 18 month old twins plus a 6 year old, 50+ hours a week. If I had an office job I imagine I would have stayed until 36/37 weeks. I'm 36+3 now and still feeling pretty good!

vegmum83 Tue 18-Oct-16 04:47:54

I left at 33 weeks mainly due to a 1.5+ hour commute and long days but also because I wasn't really liking where I was working so the sooner the better. If I'd have worked closer to home I probably would've done until 36/37 weeks. I did love the time off before though, gave me chance to prepare and rest fully. I know I couple of people who left at 38/39 weeks and went into labour 1 or 2 days after so didn't get much time before.

BastardBernie Tue 18-Oct-16 05:36:55

I think 37 weeks as enough time to relax and prepare but not too long if you go overdue etc

FlipperSkipper Tue 18-Oct-16 06:49:39

I'm taking annual leave from 35 weeks and mat leave from 38 weeks. I'm going to be induced at 38 weeks, so hoping to have 3 weeks to rest a little before. I'm also having time off over Christmas, so will only go back after Christmas for 3 weeks before going on leave. I want to try and maximise time with the baby afterwards.

ConvincingLiar Tue 18-Oct-16 06:50:46

I worked until 38 weeks and it was too long. I'll do less this time. I was ill though. It's worth keeping your plan under review.

soundsystem Tue 18-Oct-16 06:53:15

I'm going at 38 weeks. I have a lot of flexibility in my job as to where I work and how I do my job (e.g I'm not sat at a desk for 8 hours, or on my feet for 8 hours) so should be ok. Keen to maximise time with the baby afterwards. Slightly different for me as I've just started a new job and want to get a solid three months in before if I so I can actually achieve some stuff!

scrivette Tue 18-Oct-16 06:56:50

38 weeks both times but it was too long. I started using annual leave to do 4 days a week towards the end and it was still a struggle.

It meant I only had a couple of days before the baby arrived with DS1.

pinkhorse Tue 18-Oct-16 07:14:22

I had my ds on a Thursday and my maternity leave started a few days before that on the Monday. I felt like I was wasting it having time off before he was born.

Slave2thecat Tue 18-Oct-16 07:17:43

Starting at 38 weeks here too - I have a desk based job and a 40 mins commute so this feels about right for me.

Oysterbabe Tue 18-Oct-16 07:21:38

I went into labour at 35+5, before my leave started. I'll start it earlier next time!

Redkite10a Tue 18-Oct-16 07:22:14

I worked until just before 38 weeks both times (turned 38 weeks at the weekend). With ds I took 1 day holiday a week for a few weeks before then, and could have kept going for another week or possibly even two. Ds was born at 40+13 and I found 4 weeks of being off work waiting a bit miserable.

This time, I have a 21 month old toddler and have found it much harder going. It wasn't so much the job itself that was hard, it was combining that with everything else. I finished work a week ago now and am feeling much better for it. I get 2 days a week to myself when ds is in nursery. If I hadn't stopped work I don't know how I'd have found the time to get stuff ready for the new baby! I'm also appreciating the time off much more this time, as I know how much of a luxury time to yourself is with kids.

I didn't have any late pregnancy complications though, I was prepared to go off earlier if needed.

user1463652193 Tue 18-Oct-16 07:43:11

My mat leave technically starts the day the baby is due but I am taking 2 and a half weeks annual leave before that so will finish at 37+2. I've also used other annual leave to cut my working week to 4 days from 33 weeks. However my mat leave cover started over 2 months ago and I've handed over a lot of my work and (with my bosses aweness) I am doing very little work in my desk job which is 20 minutes from home. So I'm very lucky! I planned it so I would have as much time with baby afterward as I only get stat mat pay so will need to go back after the 36 weeks. I should also say that despite being in a very good position work wise I am still counting down the seconds till mat leave as I am getting increasingly tired and uncomfortable now (35 weeks) so I think if I did any other job or had a different boss I would want to finish now!!

NameChange30 Tue 18-Oct-16 07:50:21

Good thread! I need to decide soon.
I have an office job, a short commute, and only work 4 days a week, so I'm going to try and finish work as late as possible. I might start my official maternity leave at 38 weeks and book some annual leave nearer the time if I'm struggling. My only worry is if the baby's early and I have no time off at all! But I think that would be better than starting mat leave at 36 weeks and not giving birth until 42 - I'd probably go mad!

FlourishingMrs Tue 18-Oct-16 07:59:06

I am currently 35 weeks and run my own business, I am struggling a bit but don't work to take my position for granted so reel I should work until the end.

I am having growth scan every 3 weeks due to a single ambilical artery. Apparently there is a risk of preterm labour but baby is growing well so far.

Aliveinwanderland Tue 18-Oct-16 08:02:39

I teach so couldn't take annual leave so worked up to 38 weeks. The last week was one too many and I really struggling being on my feet and mobile all day.

Dazedandconfusedtoomuchpeppa Tue 18-Oct-16 08:04:12

I had baby unexpectedly at 35 weeks so would start Mat. at 34 next time. I was really disappointed not to have any time to rest up and relax before baby came. Went straight from work to hospital.

Diddlydokey Tue 18-Oct-16 08:05:45

37 weeks a/l then 39 +3 as mat leave. Baby at 39 + 5

Surf25 Tue 18-Oct-16 08:07:26

I am starting at 30 weeks but expecting twins who will be born at 36 weeks at the latest, using annual leave until 35 weeks as have accumulated alot. This time am not returning straight to work but considering a career break so don't have the incentive to work later in order to extend the time I have with the babies. Previous three pregnancies I worked until around 34 - 36 weeks and used annual leave before starting maternity leave. I have never felt like I have left too early!!!!

Tumilnaughts Tue 18-Oct-16 08:08:09

I was scheduled to take leave from 38 weeks but ended up moving it forward to 36 weeks due to debilitating SPD and a long bus commute each way. Still waiting on the baby to show its squishy face though and becoming a bit impatient as now I'm 40+2. Good Luck!

SpecialStains Tue 18-Oct-16 08:14:13

I started mat leave at 37 weeks, but used annual leave from 33 weeks. I needed to as I was unwell, but definitely couldn't have continued my job heavily pregnant.

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