How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

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How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Expecting15 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:09 am

Hi all,
Just wondering, generally how many weeks was everybody gone when they started their maternity leave?
Im a primary school teacher and due in july so supposed to work up until the end of the school year-26th of june. Ill be 38 weeks.
I drive approx and hour to school each day and an hour back. The doctor is concerned about the affect the driving is having on me, well the sitting. Sore back and ribs, piles and varicose veins bursting.
He is eager enough to sign me off, he has me off for this whole week and keeps saying that when i think im not able to let him know and he'll sign me off.
Anyway to make a long story short, i just found out that my school wont have a job for me next year so come the 31st of aug ( cos thats when ill
Get paid until) ill be jobless. (Panicing about that aside!)
Everyones telling me that i dont owe the school anything and to do whats best for the baby. Im only 29 +4 at the moment so i wouldnt be thinking about going straight away but maybe at 34 weeks. What do ye think?
So sorry for tge extra long post, my head all over the place at the moment!
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Shoelover » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:21 am

Hi expecting. I am due to go 2 weeks before my due date but to be honest I cannot see myself being able for that!! I am oh my feet quite a bit even though I have a chair I work in retail so it's quite demanding. I have myself down for a weeks holidays before the mat leave starts so I'm hoping to make it that far. I've been feeling fine so far but u have to do what's best for u and baby esp if u have a long commute. X
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Expecting15 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:23 am

Thanks! Its just so hard to know what to do!
I dont wantto be at home bored for too long either!
Three weeks before seems like a nice amount of time. Ill have to think about it!
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Shoelover » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 am

Do u have any hols that u can take beforehand ?
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Expecting15 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:29 am

No im a primary school teacher so we will be starting hols on the 26th june anyway. I just dont know if i should take sick leave a few weeks before that or not!
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby AnnaLucia1 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:37 am

I finished last Friday week the 17th, due on Saturday, so I finished two weeks beforehand. I was relatively lucky in that I had a fairly healthy pregnancy, I've a short commute and I'm sitting during the day. I think the fact you have such a commute would suggest you should finish a little earlier, I found it hard to turn around when I was driving to check the side or look backwards.

I'm finding the time long waiting for baby, I don't do well relaxing when I am not 100% myself, I find sitting down on the couch uncomfy now but you may be fine chilling.

Do what is right for baby and yourself, at the end of the day, a job is a job but not the most important priority right now. A lot of people were shocked I got to 38 weeks before I finished work so I'd say it's common enough to go earlier. Don't stress and best wishes for the next few weeks..
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby KellyRose » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:39 am

Expecting15 3hr commute every day without a days work. If your doctor doesn't think your fit to do it. Your not. Don't be a marter, think of you & your baby
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby shellybelly » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:29 pm

I had a very tough pregnancy and a lot of hospital visits etc and ended up off work on certs from when I was 6 months pregnant till my maternity benefit kicked in at 39 weeks. It was tough financially but we managed, and at the end of the day the most important thing is that you and baba are well. My job weren't the most enthusiastic about all the time I had to take but that's just the way it had to be and at the end of the day if you aren't going back there you don't really owe them much in terms of loyalty of being in a job for years. Baby and mummy first, job second when you are pregnant, that's my advice :)
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby lorraine78 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:59 pm

My doctor signed me off from 33 weeks,I worked a 40 hour week,on my feet,very physical. Its only 188 per week and is hard to manage on,but you have to look after yourself and baby.
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby tippmam » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:27 pm

I think if your doc says you'll be under pressure then go out early is it your first baby? Cause I understand concerns of being bored waiting for baby to come! But use the time to get ready shopping nursery etc meet with friends quality time with oh you'll be glad after baby is born !
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby LydiaHopeful » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:39 pm

I think its dependant on a mixture of how you feel yourself and if you can afford the wage drop.

I'm 29 weeks and don't imagine myself going till 38, mostly because I need the money. But also I feel very well at the moment. If this changes ill have to reconsider as health is more important, I'll manage on the money if needs be. I wouldn't go early just because doctor said so my doctor also said let him know if I think I need to be signed off and there is nothing wrong with me.
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby MrsT2013 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:53 pm

Expecting15,

There are a few things you need to consider (although your health and baby are obviously number one).
I know you have no teaching job lined up for next year, but I'm sure you will be applying for jobs after a certain number of months with baby.
Our sick leave entitlements have hugely changed.
You are allowed 12 weeks on full pay in 4 years.
So if you took 6 weeks now, you will leave yourself 6 weeks of sick leave for the next rolling 4 years.
You will go on half-pay if you use more than this.
That is not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things.
I know we can't see into the future but sick leave is now so precious!
Just something to keep in mind.
I know you have no job lined up for next year, but you will likely be back teaching in the near future.
I would not go out sick early if I really didn't have to or just because my doctor was offering it.

I am also a believer that, if you are sick, you're sick and that your health is number one.
If you are finding it really difficult and if it's affecting your health, by all means , sign off.

It's also worth noting that of your doctor does sign you off, get it recorded as "pregnancy related sick leave".
I know it has been amalgamated with regular sick leave but the unions are fighting to reinstate it on grounds of discrimination.
You will be able to retrospectively claim the weeks back if we do, hopefully get PR sick leave back.

To answer your question, I will be finishing work 34 weeks.
Luckily, I'm in second-level and we finish on May 29th. :)
That said, I am anxious that those weeks will drag a bit when I'm sitting at home waiting.
I am grateful to be finishing though.

Best of luck with your decision and your pregnancy.
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby Expecting15 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:11 pm

Thanks for all of that Mrst, very informative. Lots to think about! The most id be looking at taking as sick leave really would be 2/3 weeks.
Something just dawned in me though. Hopefully you might be able to answer this for me?
Im due on the 13th of july, so my matetnity leave is due to start on the 3rd of july. We finish up on the 26th of june.
If i were to go sick the last two weeks of june. What would happen for the week between the 26th of june and the 3rd of july when my mat leave kicks in? Would i have to go back before school ends?
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby MrsT2013 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:31 pm

You definitely don't have to be back.
Your sick leave will end on the day that your cert ends. The next week will just be a normal week and your maternity leave will kick in as normal on the 3rd.
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Re: How many weeks were you when you started your mat leave?

Postby ronnie88 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:14 pm

I was due to take my mat leave at 38 weeks. I had a commute of 2.5hrs a day. Didn't feel great at 3wks and gp said due to my commute he wasn't willing to take any risks and insisted on writing me off work at 35 wks. My waters started leaking at 36 weeks and I was kept in hospital until I was induced at 37wks. Looking back I'd definitely say do whatever the doctor recommends. I thought I would be fine to keep going but it's a good thing I was off work early. Good luck
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