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When to take Mat Leave?

(25 Posts)
JamdaniSari Tue 12-Dec-17 20:05:17

Good evening all.

Hope you are well.

I'm almost 25 weeks pregnant, due 29th March, and need to decide when to take Maternity Leave.

This is my first pregnancy and so far things are going well.

My workplace is only 5-10 minutes away. I work at a desk, non-pressured with understanding colleagues. I benefit from flexi-time and there are occasions when I have worked from home...yesterday for example, because of the ice!

I also have 11 days annual leave to use before end of March...although this/some of this can be carried forward to use after Mat Leave (together with 5 days bank holiday which I will have incurred during Mat Leave.)

I am blessed that I am in a very lucky position. (I appreciate it even more so as I've worked with not so nice people in a much pressured role previously.)

Any advice is more than appreciated smile

DailyMaileatmyshit Tue 12-Dec-17 20:09:18

In your circumstances, I'd take the leave as late as possible then come back to work for a couple of days and go on mat leave at 38 weeks.

MrsL2016 Tue 12-Dec-17 20:36:56

I am in a very similar position op. Desk job (light duties) and some annual leave to take before. I am going at 37 weeks but mat leave won't start until 39 weeks.

P1nkSparkles Tue 12-Dec-17 20:41:03

I work for an NHS community team & had 15 days annual leave & BH - so went off at 36 weeks - and only used 4 days mat leave before baby arrived (very obliging due date baby). That was perfect for me.

Kraggle Tue 12-Dec-17 20:43:34

Personally I would have my mat leave start on your due date (or the week of your due date) but use your hols to finish a couple of weeks before.

I valued more time off after the baby was born than time off before just waiting.

Acorncat Tue 12-Dec-17 20:46:55

Yep I'd also use leave to start actual maternity leave on your due date. Though I'd carry as much leave as possible to add on to the end. I finished at 38 weeks both times, could have done later easily with a desk job and easy commute.

Girlwiththearabstrap Tue 12-Dec-17 20:50:45

I'm biased as I'm a teacher going at 39 weeks so I always think as late as possible. In your case I'd probably use my annual leave first and start mat leave on my due date.

Bellriver Tue 12-Dec-17 20:52:43

For what it’s worth I was more or less the same as you and worked up to my due date. I wanted as much time after when she arrived and was happy going into work for the company as much as anything else. Little one was 10 days over anyway but I worked as long as I could manage it. I had bad hips at the end and got very grumpy so in everyone’s interest stopped when it just got too much. Although you won’t know how you’ll feel closer to the due date if I were to do it again I would still work as close to the date as possible - health dependent of course. Best of luck smile

DaisyLand Tue 12-Dec-17 20:57:23

Gonna try week 38 as in a similar position to you. I’m due middle April and have 5 days from this year to use before 1st April so will use them a week before Easter and then use a few days til my ml kicks on due date week

Mummyh2016 Tue 12-Dec-17 21:33:00

I started mine officially on my due date but took 3 weeks annual leave before.

EekThreek Tue 12-Dec-17 22:17:11

Previous two times I worked up until 38 and 37 weeks. Similar working environment, but second time was with a 50 minute commute either side.

This time, because I'm due end of Jan, and because I've already got Christmas booked as holiday, I'm actually extending my annual leave right up until my due date, and starting maternity leave after that. Very lucky that the timings worked out with the beginning of the new holiday year.

It means that this time I'm finishing at 35 weeks, and will be on full pay for the first month, delaying the statutory pay for as long as possible.

8 working days to go - shit's about to get real!

JamdaniSari Tue 12-Dec-17 22:39:01

I also get my new lot of annual leave in April to use between Apr 18 - Mar 19....forgot to state that in initial post.

So I will add a lot of that as well as any unused a/l from this financial year (if I have any left) to the back end of my mat leave to ensure I spend as much time as possible with baby and so that I can do a phased return back into work as I intend to go back to working full time hrs.

Thanks for all your suggestions guys smile

I had always said that I wanted to leave it as close as possible to due date however people have been saying that's not too wise...baby may arrive early and it gets very tiring towards the end. In fact I've noticed that I've been getting really tired over the last few weeks as I have become bigger! I also want to make sure I have everything ready for baby's arrival (whenever that is) as I haven't really done much shopping and have been feeling unproductive...tiredness and these short (and v cold) days do not help whatsoever.

JamdaniSari Tue 12-Dec-17 22:45:24

Instead of using my outstanding a/l for this year prior to commencing maternity leave...I don't know if it would be best to use days so that I have shorter weeks leading up to mat leave instead. All depends on how third trimester goes...to which I have absolutely no idea!

Sorry guys I'm pants!

thingymaboob Tue 12-Dec-17 22:57:01

People advised me to take it earlier than I was intending (36 weeks). I'm 36 weeks now and my last day is tomorrow. I should have gone two weeks ago as I'm so unbelievably tired and being sick. I'm also size of a house. I'm office / classroom based. I'm so ready to leave. Not sure whether I can cope with the 4 hours I have to do tomorrow. I have an easy commute too.

MrsMcW Wed 13-Dec-17 13:47:27

You're due a couple of days before me - I'm 2nd April! I've decided to take mat leave from 12th March, which will put me at 37 weeks exactly. I originally thought about waiting for 38 weeks, but speaking to friends who've done the same they were all knackered out by that point and longing to stop. I'm even thinking about using a week's holiday before starting mat leave and finishing at 36 weeks.

However, I'm possibly in a different scenario to you as my friends and I are all London based and cramming ourselves onto packed public transport twice a day... Baby On Board badges are resolutely ignored during rush hour so even now at 24+4 I'm finding the commute a struggle! I also have a very stressy job with a b*stard boss, so for me the sooner I can start mat leave the better...

Last thought - check whether you can exchange your unused holiday for a paycheck? I'm deliberately not using 20 of my 25 days of annual leave so that I can request a nice fat paycheck mid-year when existing on just DH's salary begins to hurt...

Loverunandwine Wed 13-Dec-17 13:49:39

This is your last opportunity to have a couple of weeks to yourself guilt free for a very long tine. Watch box sets, read magazines, have afternoon naps and drink hot tea!!!!!

Saz626 Wed 13-Dec-17 18:41:26

Everyone is different and it needs to come down to how you feel. I wanted to try and last until at least 39 weeks but I'm now 30 weeks and glad I've opted to start my annual leave at 36 weeks and then start my actual maternity leave at 38 weeks. I feel so tired all of the time and my brain feels like mush. If you aren't suffering too much and feel you can go the distance then try and last as long as you can but if not don't get to bogged down with staying as long as possible flowers

Saz626 Wed 13-Dec-17 18:42:21

I should add I'm also in an office job with lovely colleagues but although they're very understanding it doesn't stop me wanting to get under the desk to have a nap haha

Winenight Wed 13-Dec-17 19:09:16

I'm 36 + 5 and finished work last week, although I'm using annual leave to push back my mat leave starting 2nd Jan. I've had a relatively trouble-free pregnancy so far. I was doing a non-pressurised office job 3 days a week with a moderate commute but I'm glad to have finished now.

Firstly, from about 30 weeks I have, without fail, woken up between 2-4am every morning and struggled to get back to sleep. The pressure of knowing I had to get up and do a full day's work regardless made my restlessness worse. The insomnia has certainly been worse in the third trimester than the first or second.

Secondly, I found sitting down for 9 hours a day in one position really painful on my back. Thirdly, the commute has been stressful at times.

If I could work flexibly from home however with breaks to move around I think I could have probably have worked up to my due date for a few hours a day quite happily.

Crabbo Wed 13-Dec-17 19:17:42

I finished work at 36 weeks but had leave to use up so I hadn’t planned for my maternity to officially start until about 38 weeks. Dd had other ideas though and was born at 36+5 - was a bit miffed I’d missed my hanging around on the sofa time haha. I still think 36 was the right time though (easy office job like you but I did have an unpleasant tube commute) - too much before that and you might end up hanging around waiting for ages but too late and you might miss out on your last few relaxing weeks to yourself (I mean realistically it’s not that relaxing as you can’t even get up the stairs without taking a breather but you know what I mean).

Ishouldreallybeworkingg Wed 13-Dec-17 19:28:18

My last working day will be the day before I'm 37 weeks but I'm taking 2 weeks annual leave before my maternity leave officially starts at 39 weeks.

I would have taken more holiday and mat leave start on my due date but if baby is born early then mat leave automatically starts for me and I run the risk of then losing my annual leave.

Lollipop30 Wed 13-Dec-17 19:31:37

Try for as late as possible, you can always bring it forward if not.
Baby no1 I had to stop at 28weeks due to being hospitalised, baby no2 I went to 38weeks and with this one I’m now 38weeks and self employed so will until I drop

beckieperk Wed 13-Dec-17 20:39:30

I have a relatively active job, although I had been put on lighter duties for the last month. I am nearly 40. I had 1 week holiday to use up then started maternity leave thereafter. I went on leave at week 37. I'm going in this Friday to have ds2 and I'm ready. Been a little bored these last few days, but had plenty of time to sort Christmas and for baby. My advice would be to leave it as late as possible, dependant on how you are feeling. Good luck.

JamdaniSari Fri 29-Dec-17 21:12:22

Thanks for your suggestions guys. It's always lovely reading about other people's experiences smile Ive decided to go on mat leave 2 weeks before my DD. I still have a/l to dip into, should I need them (although I would prefer to tag them onto the end of mat leave!)
Just hoping and praying I don't get to exhausted before then and that baby comes on timeish!

Thanks again xx

Firstchild7 Fri 29-Dec-17 22:01:07

I took my maternity leave early as I am a porter and it was to hard for me to carry on, work where not helpful or accommodating I was getting too stressed and could hardly walk at the end of a shift as foot pain was so bad back pain was bad too. I wish I could of stayed on longer but I couldn't even doc said not worth it to stay

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