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Maternity leave - how many weeks before due date?

(33 Posts)
passionberry Mon 19-Oct-09 09:37:38

I keep forgetting to ask people for advice on this in real life!

My boss suggested I start maternity leave 2 weeks before my due date and add holiday on before that to make it 3 weeks.

The thing is, I have a 20 minute walk to work (each way) and I'm worried I will be maybe stuggling with the walk by then (?)

So, now I have put on my form that I will start maternity 3 weeks before due date plus 1 weeks holiday - making it 4 weeks.

Does this sound right? It's my first so I have no idea!

beautifulgirls Mon 19-Oct-09 09:40:56

It is whatever you feel comfortable with to be honest - sounds sensible given your situation. I stand a lot a work so for me I had to give up a month before EDD because I simply was not going to cope. The final few weeks before that were pretty hard even so. I would say though that you can get pretty bored and frustrated in that time so make sure you find yourself plenty of things to keep busy! Hard when lots of your friends are working, but don't not book up things because the baby "might" arrive. I keep a list of what I am up to together with contact phone numbers on the calendar, and that way DH can call for me if necessary to cancel.

sameheremetoo Mon 19-Oct-09 09:44:32

With first pg I finished at about 36 weeks I think. It was the most fantastic few weeks of relaxing and enjoying the time. I get confused which pg was which, but I do remember that there got to a point with work where I was desperate not to be there. Just felt too heavy, clumsy, tired, etc. Second pg I finished at about 32 weeks, but I did have quite a few probs with pelvic pain.

Also, I didn't get at all bored, I absolutely loved the time off! It depends on the person. Just bear in mind that you're going to have no time to yourself for months, so enjoy it while you can!! Good luck grin

Ohwhatacrapmasfear Mon 19-Oct-09 09:44:45

I am due on 14.01.10 and am taking mat leave from 14.12.09. I am struggling enough working full time at the moment let alone 2 weeks before due date. It's my first too so kind of went with how I imagine I will feel at 36 weeks pregnant and trying to concentrate at work. It's tough enough at the moment staying focused smile

MiniMilk0610 Mon 19-Oct-09 09:52:00

I'm starting my maternity leave in a few weeks at 34 weeks, can't wait grin Have a 15 minute partly uphill walk to work each way which I've been struggling with for a few weeks now to be honest (currently 30 weeks) & I'm just so tired!! This is my 2nd child though so wanted a bit of time to spend with DC1 before new baby arrived.

With first pregnancy, I was in a job that involved constant standing etc, think I started maternity leave about 36 weeks.

Like has been said though, the best time to start is when feels right for you, although I know that's difficult as you have to decide in advance so don't know exactly how you'll be feeling. 4 weeks before due date sounds about right to me though, sure you'll be ready for a break by then!!

moaningminniewhingesagain Mon 19-Oct-09 10:08:41

I stopped at 34.5 weeks with DS, has three weeks hols and ML started 9 days before he was born.

Stopped about 36 weeks with DD, again had about 3 weeks hols then ML but she was a bit overdue so I was a bit bored but super ready, clothes all washed etc, bag packed.

lynniep Mon 19-Oct-09 10:22:06

For my first I finished at 38 weeks and was fine. I commuted into London which meant bus ride followed by train followed by 20 minute walk to work. I had a fairly easy pregnancy followed and it was no problem. To be honest I got bored at home those last two weeks and whilst I should have been enjoying therest I wasnt really!
This time round I've just finished at 36.5 and I have no commute as I work from home, but I would have finished at 34 weeks if I could have cos I'm knackered!

I think that 4 weeks for a first pregancy if you feel 'normal' is plenty. Just make sure you work out your holiday entitelement - you may lose it if you can't carry it forward. I've taken maternity from my due date and the 3.5 weeks before that are holiday. If I then decide to extend my maternity leave I wont lose the remainder of my hols.

preggersplayspop Mon 19-Oct-09 10:29:10

I worked to 38 weeks first time around and same this time. I have been lucky enough to feel pretty good through both pregnancies - in fact probably more energetic at work as not focused on how big and heavy I am. I am looking forward to mat leave now, though last time I remember being bored stiff after a couple of weeks and desperate for the baby to arrive!

I have a commute into London then a shortish walk to work but the commute is generally fine as I always get a seat. If I was having to stand things may be different....

Agree you need to watch out for your holiday. The law changed a year or so ago which means you are required to take 4 weeks (I think it is) of leave per annum so you can't carry forward as much as you may have been able to do in the past. Make sure you check all this with your HR dept before you go.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 19-Oct-09 10:34:07

I've worked until 36 weeks with both of mine.

I work as a physio on busy wards, but work are very good at dumping giving me lots of extra paperwork to do in the last few weeks so I'm not constantly on my feet, in fact with ds2 I went in on crutches due to my spd. They were happy that I could be productive doing the jobs that no-one else is all that keen on!

If it's the walking that's worrying you, could you get a bus for some or part of your journey?

passionberry Mon 19-Oct-09 10:37:17

Thanks everyone - that's really helpful. I think I will stick with 4 weeks then - If it seems like too much time off, then I will know for next time!

FluffyCoo Mon 19-Oct-09 10:49:08

It's a difficult one this isn't it - not being able to predict how you're going to feel and all that!

I'm planning on working up to 39 weeks and saving all of my holiday to slap on the end of my ML (won't have accrued much by the time DD comes sround in Feb anyway), but reading your posts makes me think that I might be a tad over-optimistic/mental! That said, i'm quite lucky with my job as it's fully portable - I can work from my sofa if I need to. I suppose my way of looking at it, is that if LO arrives late I don't want to be spending weeks kicking about at home when I could have that time with my baby later in the year...

stressheaderic Mon 19-Oct-09 18:57:04

Wondering about this myself...I'm a teacher so can't add any of my own holidays on(we get enough!). I plan to work until Feb half term, finish 12 Feb, baby is due March 1.
First -timer, no problems so far, and thinking I'll go later so don't want to be bored waiting.
Best laid plans though hey....

raggie Mon 19-Oct-09 19:03:15

I'm a teacher too and finish at the end of this week which is Oct half term. My mat leave therefore starts on first Monday back - so stressheaderic you can get paid as usual for that week of holiday you (and everyone else!) are off grin

I will be 35 weeks when I finish, 36 weeks when mat leave officially starts and I am SO glad to be finishing. I haven't even had a class this term - lots of covering and doing small projects like writing tutorials instead. It has been bloody knackering.

Just my thoughts - as is obvious from this thread, everyone's different. I'm sure I will get a bit bored if I have a looooong time to wait for little one to arrive but I really feel I can't go on much longer at work.

FluffyCoo Tue 20-Oct-09 17:03:30

Ooh you lucky, lucky teachers, with all your holidays! Although admittedly I'm not sure I could cope with your jobs, especially not while pg!!! <salutes raggie and stresshead>

I can physically cope with my job (just sit on my expanding arse staring at a computer mostly anyway) but I am finding it increasingly hard to...erm...care...! Sadly I don't think "couldn't give a monkeys about anything but the impending birth of my first child" is a good enough reason to call it quits just yet. Oh crap, I have to train my replacement first anyway... hmm

Gizboss Tue 20-Oct-09 17:14:16

I finished at 36 weeks and am also a teacher - I wanted to try and make it to half term but I would have been almost 38 weeks by then and was struggling to cope up to 36 weeks. I've had a really good pregnancy but I just felt so tired, big and heavy that for me it was enough. Am loving being on maternity leave now though and actually hope I have my few weeks of respite before baby arrives!

trellism Tue 20-Oct-09 17:18:35

I went on leave at 36 weeks and did a similar thing by having holiday bolted on to the start of my leave - I have a relatively easy commute but it's only since I've left that I realised how hard it had been. My feet are now almost human sized all day long.

Neeko Tue 20-Oct-09 20:13:48

I am also a teacher and worked to 37 weeks with my DD (But had only been back at work for 3 weeks after the summer holiday so was pretty rested.) I'm due March 23rd and planning on stopping on February 26th which will make me 36 and a bit weeks - but only if I can still fit behind the steering wheel by then. Bad planning this time as summer holiday will fall in stat maternity pay part of leave. Should have crossed legs planned it better! grin

Mamamoppel Wed 21-Oct-09 21:32:33

Definitely take the four weeks before your due date. I worked until 38 weeks with dd1 and then she arrived two weeks early grin, giving me exactly 2 days leave before I was a totally frazzled first time mum. With hindsight I could have done with a bit more time to relax abd get myself out of work mode...

BexieID Wed 21-Oct-09 22:11:11

With Tom I left work (full time photolab tech) at 35 weeks. This time (part time checkouts), i'm leaving at 32 weeks and taking a weeks holiday, so will be 33 weeks. I could work longer but frankly i'm fed up with it and can't wait till my last shift next saturday!

heliotrope Thu 22-Oct-09 11:48:13

With my first I worked until 36 weeks. But as I had a lot of holiday I used it to go down to 3 day weeks for a few weeks before that- that way I got time time to adjust to being at home and prepare for the baby. Being at home for 4-5 weeks was a bit boring for me, I felt the time was wasted and I'd rather have the time with the baby after. But I didn't really want to be at work either!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 22-Oct-09 11:55:37

hello, I worked til 36 weeks (1st baby, week late)and walked about the same distance to and from work, plus lots of walking from school to school (dragging trolley bag with me). It did get exhausting, but I was anaemic. It's good to walk and keep a bit active tho. I did a marathon 1 hr 45 min walk the day I went into labour, I'm convinced that's what finally got dd moving (tho it was not an easy walk!)

The last month was one of the nicest in my whole life, indulged myself completely and relaxed, slept, read, watched TV, met friends, the time literally flew by. 4 weeks sounds about right to me. (Baby might put in an early appearance, you never know) Enjoy!

tasmaniandevilchaser Thu 22-Oct-09 11:58:03

forgot to say, for me it was important to get my head round labour and not get too stressed about it, and the time off gave me head space to chill out and read Ina May Gaskin's book which really helped

hw7342 Mon 26-Oct-09 17:59:05

I have been signed off sick for last two weeks and am bringing my mat leave forward to start @ 33 weeks instead of 35.5 weeks. I don't know how others cope staying at work for so much longer! Plus, giving yourself 4 weeks is a good idea in case baby is early.

cece Mon 26-Oct-09 18:07:00

Sounds Ok to me.
With my third DC (born this year) I went officially at 38 weeks but from 36-38 weeks it was the Easter holidays.

lal123 Mon 26-Oct-09 18:15:37

I came off on Annual leave at 36 weeks - had 3 weeks al and one weel maty leave planned before due date. DD2 came 2 weeks early - so my Maty leave started a week after she arrived. I'd say 36 weeks is reasonable. NEarer the time you can always change it if you need to.

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