When are you taking maternity leave? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-16-2014, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When are you taking maternity leave?

Hi everyone,

This being my first baby, I have no idea what to expect, and that goes for scheduling maternity leave. I hear that the first baby is usually late, but I had four friends this year who gave birth to their first child- and they all were all 1-3 weeks early!

I'm trying to decide if I should take leave 2 or 3 weeks before my EDD. What are you planning to do? For those who already have other kids, do you have any pros/cons about taking maternity leave earlier versus close to due date?

Deep roots are not reached by the frost - J.R.R. Tolkien
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#2 of 10 Old 06-16-2014, 11:05 PM
 
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I scheduled mine to start at the end if the week before my due date with both my kiddos. That said, first was born at 40+4 (but went into labor the day after my Due date) and second was born at 39 weeks (but was put off work 3 weeks early by my OB). Point is, employers have to be a little flexible; you could always schedule it for later & then if you go into labor before your leave starts, oh well, right? I will say with my first I was exhausted and happy to be able to have a couple of days off before labor got started. It would have been a bummer (but doable) had I worked a full shift (or several in a row) and then gone into labor (which hers was a tough, long labor).
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#3 of 10 Old 06-17-2014, 12:01 AM
 
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I go on leave from active jobs three weeks prior to my due date, but I have a physically demanding job and very inflexible clients (wedding photographer) and my first was a week early - I just can't risk going into labor early and ruining someone's wedding, or risk hurting the baby or myself by trying to do a 12 hour day at 8 months pregnant in 90 degree weather.

With my first I worked right up until he came (totally different career path a decade ago). It would have been nice to take the time to get myself organized and be a little indulgent that way, but overall it worked out okay.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-17-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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This is my first baby too. I plan on working right up until I give birth if possible. My maternity leave doesn't start until I give birth, unless my doctor puts me on bed rest or limited activity. If I could use some of the mat leave before my due date, I don't know if I would. For me, I would rather have that extra time with my baby when he gets here.

I work at a desk though, so as long as I get up every hour or so, my job is pretty low impact on my body. Also, there is A/C in the office, which we do not have at home. I am not in any hurry to leave the A/C during the hottest part of the day
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#5 of 10 Old 06-18-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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I'm going to start working from home at 38 weeks, and do that until I deliver. If I was going to have to be in the office, I probably would have gone out at 38 weeks anyway, since I tend to deliver at 39 weeks and really want a few days to rest and get my head in the baby game. I went out at 37.3 with my last baby, and my water broke at 38.3, so that worked out well.

M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2000. DS #1 -- March 2001. DS #2 -- November 2002. (Ten year break!) DD -- October 2011. M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2013. Expecting #4 late July.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-19-2014, 05:45 AM
 
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I'll leave at 34 weeks (so 6 weeks before my due date). My plan is finishing the nursery, to visit some museums, do prep like prenatal Yoga and swimming several times a week and birthing class and reading as many books as possible. Lots of rest, so I've got plenty of energy for birthing the little guy.
Over here we get those 6 weeks prior and 8 weeks after birth at full pay and then another 12 months at 65% that can be split between the parents.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-19-2014, 06:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by friederike View Post
I'll leave at 34 weeks (so 6 weeks before my due date). My plan is finishing the nursery, to visit some museums, do prep like prenatal Yoga and swimming several times a week and birthing class and reading as many books as possible. Lots of rest, so I've got plenty of energy for birthing the little guy.
Over here we get those 6 weeks prior and 8 weeks after birth at full pay and then another 12 months at 65% that can be split between the parents.
Sounds wonderful! Here I get zero pay before the birth, one unpaid week after the birth, then five weeks of short term disability (insurance that I pay for), which equals about 40% of my regular pay. It's pretty lousy, particularly since I'm the family's only income source, but we're still better off than a lot of moms who don't get any paid leave at all. Enjoy your time off with your new one!

M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2000. DS #1 -- March 2001. DS #2 -- November 2002. (Ten year break!) DD -- October 2011. M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2013. Expecting #4 late July.
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#8 of 10 Old 06-19-2014, 06:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PrimalJoy View Post
Sounds wonderful! Here I get zero pay before the birth, one unpaid week after the birth, then five weeks of short term disability (insurance that I pay for), which equals about 40% of my regular pay. It's pretty lousy, particularly since I'm the family's only income source, but we're still better off than a lot of moms who don't get any paid leave at all. Enjoy your time off with your new one!
Yeah, it is lousy and such a disservice to young mommas and their babies to not allow them some more bonding time. I guess that's the result of the different tax and social security rates we have, in the US you pay about 24%, I pay about 38%. I see all this time off for me and my wife as a proper refund for all the money we have paid to the government so far in our careers.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-19-2014, 07:49 AM
 
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we don't have maternity leave, so I'll be taking 3 weeks vacation once the baby is here. thankfully I'm able to work from home and plan to mostly do so from now (almost 33 weeks) until birth and for as long as I can afterwards. with our first one I worked up to the last day and the last weeks were tough - both physically and mentally. but I couldn't stand the thought of giving up any time with the babe to take some time off beforehand, especially not knowing when she would be coming.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-20-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by friederike View Post
Yeah, it is lousy and such a disservice to young mommas and their babies to not allow them some more bonding time. I guess that's the result of the different tax and social security rates we have, in the US you pay about 24%, I pay about 38%. I see all this time off for me and my wife as a proper refund for all the money we have paid to the government so far in our careers.
@friederike - I agree! If you've been paying into that system, you're definitely entitled to get that benefit. I really do wish we had some standard benefit here in the US, even if it wasn't for that long. Just getting full pay for six weeks would make a huge difference for so many families!
@eezoom -- The work at home option is wonderful. I didn't have it when my last baby was born, and it made the end of the pregnancy really stressful. I had to reduce my hours for about a month at the end, which was a financial challenge for us.

M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2000. DS #1 -- March 2001. DS #2 -- November 2002. (Ten year break!) DD -- October 2011. M/C at 8 weeks -- May 2013. Expecting #4 late July.
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