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When did you or will you begin your maternity leave?

Poll Results: When did you/or will you begin your leave?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 38% (15)
    I worked right up until my due date
  • 7% (3)
    I began leave a week prior to my due date
  • 15% (6)
    I began leave 2-3 weeks prior to my due date
  • 23% (9)
    I began leave one month prior to my due date
  • 15% (6)
    I began leave 6 or more weeks before my due date
  • 0% (0)
    I had to go on leave earlier than I wanted due to unexpected problems
39 Total Votes  
post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Curious as to how far ahead of your due date you began your leave. My comapany will allow me up to 30 days ahead of the date with a medical excuse.

Some people seemed shocked I was planning to work up until my due date. Many people I know continued working right up until their due date. I ,however, am becoming rather uncomfortable with the 12 hour days on my feet etc.. Everything aches, my back hurts, my feet hurt, my ankles are swollen and tender, plus worst of all I seemed to have pulled a muscle in my upper abdomen about a month ago or so and it keeps getting irritated just when I think its healing up. Also, notice my stress tolerence is decreasing and by about 3 or 4pm or so I can become pretty cranky if provoked.

I keep thinking maybe I'm being a wuss. My old partner worked the day she went into labor, left work at 9pm, began having regular contractions at 10pm, went to the hospital at midnight and delivered around 6am. She also worked in a much busier store than me.

Cutting my hours is a no-no because it would reduce my leave pay Its either full time or nothing.

So what did you do? How did you make your decision?
post #2 of 21
Good topic!
I haven't actually taken leave yet, but I expect to leave about 6 wks before my due date. My midwife & I have already discussed it & since I have a pretty stressful job & work 10 hr days, she thinks it would be great to get me out of there & she feels confident that there will be something we can use to get me off by then.
How we made our decision: 1) health & comfort of me & baby
2) what's financially possible.
Luckily I have STD which will pay 100% of my salary for the 1st 4 wks & then 60% after that. I do have to take 1 week unpd before the STD kicks in, but we have been planning & saving for this for a long time. It would have been nice to have gone down to part time like 20 hrs a wk & I feel I would be able to stay much longer, but to use the STD it is full time or none unless you are returning from a disability. Weird.

I do not feel wimpy at all about wanting to leave work as soon as possible. I feel like I am doing what is best for us. Being pregnant & growing a baby inside me makes what I do at work seem even more pointless & trivial. For lucky people who actually feel an affinity for their jobs, it might be different.
After I use my STD benefits I have already earned, I will not be returning to work. I will be a SAHM & then a WAHM when I figure out something I really want to do.
I must say I have been getting some grief from my DH family about this plan. I'm not quite sure what their deal is, but DH is completely supportive & defends me, as he says "She's going to be working, she's just not going to get paid." So true!
blessings to all, Maria
post #3 of 21
I worked right up until my due date with my first 2 kids, my due dates were both on a monday, and i was still at work on friday. i felt great, and had decent labor and deliveries with both of them.

my third child required me to be on strict bedrest from 28 wks till 37 wks. My job is not pointless and trivial, i was, at the time an Intensive Care nurse, and the week prior to my bedrest, i had multiple cardiac arrests, requiring me to do CPR, putting me into pre term labor. Even with a job that meant a great deal to me both intellectually and emotionally, along with many financial obligations, i had no problem stopping work. the health of my unborn child was obviously more important than paying my visa bill.

all mothers are working mothers.
post #4 of 21
I am due Feb. 21, 2003, and plan on working through January. I feel like a lot of people are surprised to hear that I don't plan to work right up until the end. However, I really really want to feel rested and relaxed in the weeks before having the baby. I anticipate this being a drastic change in my life, and I feel that I owe myself a small break beforehand. I would like to have that time to also make the mental change from working every day at a job to being home, to being a mom.

Many of my friends have taken the summer off before business school or medical school. I see both as an opportunity to be jumped at if financially possible.

The only kink in my plan so far is that my work doesn't seem to be too concerned about hiring my replacement. This is putting added strain on me right now - worrying over this transition for them and for me. Uhg.
post #5 of 21
I am planning to quit working about 2 weeks before my due date. My mother says that when the body and mind are relaxed, baby is less reluctant to stay in there!

I am a contractor, so I only get paid when I work. DH is also a contractor, and he is going to quit working around then, as well. He is planning to take about two or three months off. I may "go back" sooner than that, though. I work from home, and my job is not very demanding (I am a communications consultant). Plus, they will allow me to work as few hours as I want to!

DH figures that I can be in charge of feeding baby and he can do everything else!

We are not relying on this plan, though. If I don't want to work at all, I'm not gonna!

I Fly, please try not to worry about your work not being worried about a replacement yet -- that is going to get taken care of. They just probably do not view your birth as imminently as you do.

It will be okay!

post #6 of 21
Wow, None of those votes fit me.

I am due April 11th and plan (because of family history) not to leave till April 20th.

I am in full swing to work till I call to say I had the baby over night!

I work for a small (two of us as staff) non-profit. So I have to hire some one to replace me, and then leave them to do my job well .

It would have never acured to me to try and take leave earlier. I am sure I can, but I am the one bringing home the money and because we are so small, I can only use my vacation and sick time as paid leave. So i will be back to work three weeks after baby is here, but I get to bring it with to work. My boss, will set up a play area for the baby. And until baby starts to crawl can it be in the office full-time with me

the only joke around here is that with my first ds, he came out in 1 hour and 40 minutes, so I keep telling my boss if my water breaks here she better be ready to catch!
post #7 of 21
My maternity leave arrangement isn't very generous; I get two months from whenever I go out. (I'm only eligible for the state's maternity leave law, not the federal one, because of how long I've been working here.)

I did set a date for my leave to begin with the HR department for my due date (1/30) but with the understanding that I will be here at work until I go into labor. Right now I'm hoping that I will be early, because I'm so dragged out and spacey. My idea is that I don't want to have to waste any maternity leave on the pregnancy if I can help it. I want to save it up for the baby! I mean, if I got sick and had to stay in bed I would, but so far I'm okay. I don't have much focus, all I want to do is research pregnancy and childbirth from my computer!

My biggest responsibility in the next couple of weeks is preparing for the two freelancers who will be coming on to do my job. I have been very productive the last few weeks, almost like I knew it was going to get difficult to focus and accomplish things at the end. I didn't know that in advance, but I guess I've figured it out!
post #8 of 21
With my first I worked up until my due date and it worked out fine. We were also remodeling our house and finished up on my due date with housecleaners and windowwashers to clean up the construction mess. It was a close call but worked out. I was in a position at work that was crucial and since I didn't already have a child it was nice to keep busy and make that last month go faster.

This time I am going to take off 2 weeks prior to get things ready and prepare my DD for the new baby by doing some special things with her. She will be about 3.5 by then.

post #9 of 21
I needed to leave work early - I was relly stressed out - took off four weeks before due date - DS was 2 weeks early!
post #10 of 21
My edd is 2-14 and I start maternity leave on Jan 31. I could have kept working (although my body is nagging me to stop ASAP!) but didn't want to start the new semester at school and then leave within a week.

I have it worked out so that I am getting as much as I can through June (3/4 of my salary) and then 1/2 of my salary in July and Aug (when working pt won't be difficult). It's a fair deal, though I wish that I was being compensated financially for maternity leave--even 30% of my salary would be sooo nice.

post #11 of 21
I plan on leaving between 2-4 weeks before my edd. With dd, I was dialating at 36 weeks (3cm 80%) so I'm planning on four weeks. I really need the money because I'm not going back after the babe is born.

If I was going back I would have 60 days unpaid leave total and every day that I took before I had the baby would be that many less I would have after the baby was born. If I was full-time I'd get 12 weeks unpaid.

So, if I was going back after baby was born I wouldn't leave until I delivered just because that time after baby is born is so precious. Going back to work p/t 8 weeks after dd was born (and leaving her with my mom, no less) was really hard and I just can't do it again. We'll just have to live extremely frugally!
post #12 of 21
Last time I had a baby (3 years ago) I was told I would get four weeks before the birth and 6 weeks after - if I worked too long and didn't take the full four weeks - I lost them, and they could not be added on to the 6 weeks after the birth.

Anyone else also heard that?

post #13 of 21
Gosh - reading all of these replies makes me so glad I'm having my children in the UK. Maternity leave provisions have improved here recently, and I'll get 6 months paid (with my company, it's all paid at 90% of your salary), with eligibility for a further 6 months unpaid (and they guarantee your job when you return).

Anyway...I worked right up until my due date with #1 (that's the latest you can legally work).

With #2, I quit about a month early, but only because we were moving, so I just couldnt' work any longer. I found that hard, actually, especially since I was 12 days overdue with dd2 - I definitely felt like I was going stir crazy waiting at home with a toddler for this baby to finally make an appearance. We went on lots of long walks, but it didn't seem to hurry things along!

With this one, I'd like to work right up until my due date. I could start maternity leave as early as 29 weeks, but every week you use before the birth is a week you don't get after the birth. I have pretty easy pregnancies (or have in the past), so I'd rather have my time off after baby arrives, you know?
post #14 of 21
When I had my first ds I was finishing my last yr of hs and working part-time, so no maternity leave was available. I literally almost worked till he was born! I had 3 wks till my edd and I was in labor w/o knowing it. I went to the hospital at the request of co-workers to find out I was dilated 9 cm!

With my last ds I didn't have the option of maternity leave, they didn't offer it, but even if they did I would of worked till I had the baby. As it was, about 1 wk. before me edd I went to my drs appt. and found out I was dilated to 3 cm. So, giving my past history, they scheduled me to go to the hospital in the morning to break my water to induce me.

This time around I'll be working till the end again, but that's what all SAHM pg moms do!
post #15 of 21
I'm due Jan. 30th and I'm planning to work until it's time to go to the hospital. I have four weeks paid (that's my sick time and vacation for the whole year) and up to six unpaid before we have to work something out for short-term disability. I don't want to use any of my maternity leave before baby arrives. I've found my weekends are getting longer and longer as my anticipation rises and patience wears out. Going to work and having to be somewhere all day helps pass the time.

Of course, staying home with my older two during the day would pass time, but with as cranky as I've been, they're GLAD to see me go to work. *L*
post #16 of 21
I was planning on working right up until my baby was born, particularly since this is my first and I was figuring I'd go late, but now that I'm 36 weeks, the heaviness of my belly, the pains when I walk, and the difficulty sleeping are getting to me. I live in California, and I think that the state allows you to go on state disability up to a month before your due date, although I'm not sure what that "up to" means -- do you have to be in a lot of pain to get it?

Anyway, as soon as I clear that up, I'm going to tell my boss that I need to start my leave, because I can't sit in my chair without being in pain, and I can't sleep through the night, and when I stand up to walk, my pelvis has shooting pains in it. So that's what I'm going to do. If the doctor doesn't want to sign the form, then I guess I'll go back to waiting until the baby arrives. We'll see!
post #17 of 21
Originally posted by Pookietooth
I live in California, and I think that the state allows you to go on state disability up to a month before your due date, although I'm not sure what that "up to" means -- do you have to be in a lot of pain to get it?

No, you just need your Doctor to fill out some paperwork for you - and then you'll only get 4 weeks before the birth - what they mean by "up-to" - nothing more than 4 weeks, so if your baby is late and is born after 5 weeks - you only get the four weeks before, and then 6 weeks afterwards. If you don't however use up all 4 weeks, you can't use them afterwards - you lose them. So you can't add the 6 and 4 and take 10 weeks after baby is born. ONLY 6 after, 4 before.
Does that make sense?

post #18 of 21
Originally posted by Chelly2003

what they mean by "up-to" - nothing more than 4 weeks, so if your baby is late and is born after 5 weeks - you only get the four weeks before, and then 6 weeks afterwards.
So, if I'm late, and the baby is born after 5 weeks, what happens to that fifth week?
post #19 of 21
I'm a college student, and "due" Sept 28, so while I may take some summer classes, and continue tutoring (my only pd job, I get paid for going to school w/ GI Bill), we'll be moving this summer and I'll be staying home until fall 04, when I'll start back to school again. So I won't be "working" after four months, but we're moving from TX to AZ in the middle of summer, so I'm sure I'll do plenty of work anyway!
post #20 of 21
Originally posted by Pookietooth

So, if I'm late, and the baby is born after 5 weeks, what happens to that fifth week?
You'll only get disability for 4 weeks no more......

If you're early - say you deliver the baby three weeks after you quit working - you lose that weeks money.

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