Hi i'm new and just over 14 weeks into my first pregnancy. I know it early to be thinking about this kind of thing but I was just wondering how many weeks before EDD on average do people tend to start their maternity leave? Many thanks!
I finished at 35 weeks and wished I had finished earlier as I had very swollen ankles and my bump was huge! Luckily I used all of my years holiday before dd was born - 11th June this year so I saved all the maternity leave for afterwards. I think you can finish as early as 29 weeks. The best thing to do is to see how your pregnancy goes, I was able to change my leave date a month before I left so see what your employer will offer.
I left at 29 weeks which is the earliest you can take leave. I had bad SPD and was feeling very low and couldn't have gone much longer to be honest, as I don't drive and just getting to work was too painful on my pelvis. It depends how you feel- I know my work was very flexible with the date you leave- if you wanted to leave earlier than you initially thought they were fine with it.
I'm planning to finish at 38 weeks! I did teh same with other two children after pleasant straightforward pgs - work have said I can finish earlier if I get knackered, but if i carry on as I am I will continue to 38 weeks agian.
It varies a lot - legally you can start 11 weeks before EDD but that obviously takes a big chunk of time you might prefer to keep until after the birth if possible.
Will you have annual leave to take before you start maternity leave? Last year my first baby was due on 24 April and my last day was 5 April (Good Friday next day) but I didn't start actual ML until 23 April - that was using annual leave and Easter holidays.
As ds didn't show up for a few days, it was just as well, really.
The downside of this though is that if you find you're too ill/tired to make it into work up to 4 weeks before your EDD the employer can say you start your ML then. If it's not what you planned it can mess things up.
You must be due very close to me as I'm 14+3 today with 2nd baby. I'd suggest not wasting any leave you'd get over Christmas on maternity leave - I have to use AL then but have worked out that I can probably go in for 2 days after New Year, when tube can still be a bit quieter than normal, and if they get someone in to cover my job do handover and use the desk of someone who's off to help out with stuff if mine is occupied. Then I will start ML on my due date or very close (so long as baby doesn't come early, then I'll waste annual leave, but I don't expect that for me).
I'm planning to leave at 39 weeks - but older women keep smiling pityingly at me.. In my office there's a legendary former employee who worked up until the birth, took a month off and then bought her baby into work until her contract finished some months later - I have a lot to live up to..
I finished at 29 weeks but was a plantswomen at a garden centre and did lots of heavy (HEAVY) lifting and stuff and didn't feel I could do the job properly by then. Also I hated the place by then and used to get up at 5 not home til gone 6 and felt enough was enough. Became sahm so didn't apply to ds2 nor this pregnancy.
I went till 36 weeks - only just - it was pretty difficult I have to say. Took two weeks A/L and had DD at 38 weeks. Last day of A/L was the Friday, had her Saturday, mat leave started Sunday .....the longer you work, the longer you get with your baby....if you go back anyway.
I finished at 37.5 weeks last time but then DD was 2 weeks overdue. Am also 14 weeks now and am planning on finishing around Christmas this time when I will be 35 weeks (but will probably have an elective section this time anyway so baby will be before 40 weeks).
I finished at 31 weeks but this was because of how it fell with christmas holidays and term times (I teach so these things had to be factored in)
If it had been an option I definately could have worked a bit longer, but not too much longer as I became very large and uncomfortable and in a job where I was on my feet all day I definately would have struggled in the last 3 weeks or so.
But then this could also have been that I had far too much time to stuff my face with chocolate and cakes etc in the time I had waiting for the baby to come and not having work to distract me
I finished at 37 1/2 weeks - am currently using up my holiday so I keep my ML until baby arrives. I think it depends on your circumstances - I have quite a stressful job and commute in on the tube every day so I found it really hard in this weather (I only finished on Monday). In hindsight I'd have left slightly earlier. Having said that, if I was due in winter I'd have pressed on for longer to save my ML! Hopefully your boss is understanding - can you suggest a date (36 weeks is the norm), but request flexibility nearer the time?
I was planning to continue to 37 weeks, partly because I know lots of people who worked to 37/8 weeks but also I'm on a temporary promotion allowance so it's a lot of extra cash, and then annual leave would cover any time until the actual birth.
However I'm stopping next week (35) having used my leave up to work 3 days a week for the last 6 weeks, and all of that 6 weeks has been working from home, as I have bad SPD and have been banned from commuting.
Even without the being unable to walk, I've just been totally exhausted for the last 6 weeks. At least working at home I've been able to have lie-ins - but had better get back to some of that work...