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Maternity leave - what's the earliest you've taken yours and why?

(16 Posts)
ftmtb Sun 11-Feb-18 18:36:01

Asking as I've had to start my maternity leave 2 weeks earlier than planned due to being signed off sick, just wondering if anyone else has had to do the same as I feel a bit shitty about it sad

scaredofthecity Sun 11-Feb-18 18:41:47

They legally can't make you take it before 36 weeks. I'm signed off now at 28 weeks but I won't be starting mat leave till 36 weeks. Although I do have a generous sick leave allowance.

wowbutter Sun 11-Feb-18 18:45:28

Same as above'
Signed off sick, so into maternity leave at 36 weeks.

NerNerNerNerBATMAN Sun 11-Feb-18 20:07:15

Yeah I can see this happening to me tbh. Ideally I'd go to 40 weeks (ive annual leave from week 38) but I'm 26 weeks now and think I need to get signed off sick again tomorrow (hyperemesis).

BertieBotts Sun 11-Feb-18 20:09:06

I'm in Germany and I'll have to go off six weeks before the due date because the employer's health insurance won't cover you after that! Seems bonkersly early and I'm sure I'll go mad (especially as it will be July!) but it doesn't come off the other end thankfully so hopefully it will be alright.

KadabrasSpoon Sun 11-Feb-18 20:10:05

30 weeks because my first was premature so I want to rest and not repeat the not finishing work / having baby stressful situation. Then of course DC2 was full term! But still glad I did it.

Merryoldgoat Sun 11-Feb-18 21:26:08

Stopped work at 35 weeks both pregnancies, however I had saved annual leave so actual mat leave started at 38 weeks with DC1 and will start at 39 with my current baby who is waiting to arrive.

I stopped at 35 because of severe SPD and hypertension. If I’d been sensible I’d have stopped sooner this time as I’m really not great this time.

Look after yourself- you’ll need your strength after baby is here.

blinkineckmum Sun 11-Feb-18 21:49:36

I was about 34 weeks but that's because I'm a teacher and that's where the holidays fell. The next time I was 36 weeks and baby came at 37 weeks.

twinone Sun 11-Feb-18 21:53:49

29 weeks because baby was measuring small, I figured being stress free may help with her growth.
Obviously, I'll never know if it helped but she weighed in at 6lb at 40+10, so came in pretty petite.

Peanutty86 Sun 11-Feb-18 23:43:37

@BertieBotts so jealous. I'm a German in the UK and I would change maternity leave / child care etc. in a heartbeat if I could.

Sassy306 Mon 12-Feb-18 00:18:18

I'm 35 weeks and I finish this coming Friday. I had planned to have 3 weeks off before the week baby is meant to come (planned section in the 39th week) but the hospital is fully booked and I'm now booked in for the 19th march 40+2 so unless I go in to natural labour or a date frees up I will have 4 weeks off before baby which will be nice in a way as last one was an emergency at 32 weeks and all plans went to pot but I might regret that at the other end when I have to go bk lol.. I could continue working as feel completley fine but don't want to mess employers about by changing it.

Sassy306 Mon 12-Feb-18 00:19:52

How many weeks are You? Your employer can't make you take mat leave unless you are sick with a pregnancy related illness in the 4 weeks leading up to your due date

BertieBotts Mon 12-Feb-18 00:20:08

It is incredibly good here, I won't lie, I am very grateful for it.

Anxiousally Mon 12-Feb-18 00:59:50

I went 4 weeks earlier than planned due to high pod pressure but with holiday hours to take it worked out fine and was best for me and baby!

Anxiousally Mon 12-Feb-18 01:00:12

Blood pressure even!

MaverickSnoopy Mon 12-Feb-18 06:37:59

In my first pregnancy I worked up to 38 weeks and then took 2 weeks annual leave before starting mat leave.

In my second I worked up to about 28 weeks when I was signed off sick by the doctor for the remainder of my pregnancy due to spd and sciatica. I went on annual leave at 35 weeks pregnant and mat leave started at 40 weeks.

Both times I was very conscious and worried about loosing time from the other end.

This time I'll be working up until 28 weeks because I'm term time only and it doesn't make sense to go back to work after the summer hols, so I'll tag on some annual leave before staring mat leave.

I have always had spd and sciatica in my pregnancies to the point I've been on crutches and mostly incapacitated so I'm factoring that in. I've realised that I struggled so much in my first pregnancy and pushed myself too much and actually what I needed was the time off beforehand. Having children to look after when pregnant is a game changer; I can't push my luck, I need to look after myself. But I'm lucky in that I didn't loose time off at the end of my last mat leave due to not starting it officially until 40 weeks and this time my employment contract means that it falls at a time that won't effect the end of my leave either.

Figuring this stuff out when you're unwell is basically a risk assessment. It's working out the advantages and disadvantages of any decision you make. While you don't want to loose time from the other end, would you be able to manage otherwise now? Don't forget you accrue annual leave on mat leave and can tag that on at the end.

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