Need a reccommendation for maternity leave...

  • Hi All...

    I'm 9 weeks pregnant and my boss has asked me what I would like for maternity leave.  They said they would "take care of me" compensation wise, but I don't want to milk the company while not working.  I just want to know what the best thing for the baby and me will be.  This is obviously my first baby just so you know.  My husband thinks I'll be able to work from home full time with in two weeks.  I'm a little weary of trusting a two week time off when I know most maternity leaves are 6-12 weeks.  I have several options on working from home or in the office so I'm pretty lucky, but I just want the company and my staff to be prepared if i'm not there.  Please any advise would be greatly appreciated! :)

  • I just think it's important that you communicate. We said it may be up to 12 weeks, but I anticipate it being shorter depending on how the delivery goes. We did that for my wife, and her boss appreciated our candor. Our philosophy was that it was better to say longer and come back quicker than the other way around. Congrats and hope this helps!

  • You will find it hard to work from home the first 4 weeks mim and you really don't the stress of trying to get up with emails!

    take 12 weeks, but offer to starting working at home a few hours a week starting at 6 weeks!

  • I agree...better to say 12 weeks and come back at 8 than have them counting on you at 8 weeks. Having your first baby is a wonderful experience, but it can be a really life change. The first two weeks your body will still be recovering from the labor and delivery and if you have a c-section it will be worse. In addition, your breasts will be sore, you will be tired and worn out. I do not think you will be physically (much less than emotionally) ready to go back to work. You will want time to bond with your baby and get her on a schedule. In addition, you and your husband will need some time to adjust to being at someone's beckon call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I would ask for 12 weeks off, but in reality you could go back at 8 weeks. I don't think you will want to go back sooner.

  • Wow, you are lucky if you will be able to take that much time off work!  I am also expecting my first baby.  My company has a pay continuance program instead of short term disability or actual maternity leave, so I get four weeks paid at 80%.  I'm plannning to take 6 weeks off, but financially it's going to hurt a bit. 

    On the other hand, that first 6 weeks is going to be quality bonding time and I won't be ready to come back to work.  If I could afford the whole 12 weeks off, I'd do it!

    A great book to read about going back to work - especially if you are planning to breastfeed, is Milk Memos.  It was written by women at IBM who struggled with the work environment, breast pumping, and their new priorities when they returned to work.

  • The company I work for offers a 12 week leave but you only get paid  for 4 weeks if it is a natural birth and 6 weeks for a c-section. So if you choose to take the full 12 weeks you will not get paid the full time. My hubby and I are expecting our second child and I want to take the full 12 weeks but it will be hard financially. It's just one of those wait and see kind of things. Told my boss I want the whole 12 but it will probably be shorter.

  • It is really so early in your pregnancy that only time will tell how much time you will really need.  Definitely say you'll need up to 12 weeks, but that you are hoping to be back sooner.  I opted for the standard 6 weeks, had a normal healthy pregnancy, regular vaginal delivery, then a day after my delivery I had a medical complication with my pelvic bone that kept me in the hospital a day longer, and sent me home in constant pain using a walker, wearing a brace, and unable to carry my infant or do many tasks unassisted.  I am coming up on my last week of maternity leave, and thank GOD can walk fairly normal with minimal pain, but it's still going to take some healing.  I'll have to modify some of my tasks at work, and that's on top of the emotional stress I'm feeling about leaving my baby in daycare.....I'll miss her soooo much!  So, you really can't be sure what you will need, but my leave sure didn't turn out as I planned.  There are so many variables, but I think employers are mostly worried you won't return at all.  My boss calls and checks on me to see how I'm feeling about once a week, and jokes about me not coming back, so I always reassure her I'll be there!  This was a problem that some doctors told me could take up to 6 months to heal, and I'm sure it will be at least that long before I'm 100% if it heals completely, all you can do is keep constant communication with your employer, as you find out more information as your pregnancy progresses.  Good luck!

  • Thank you all for your own stories and advice.  I think you are all right in saying that I should say more and return before the times up.  I told him it's really dependent on the doctor's advice.  I see my doctor this week for my ultra sound follow up, so I'll ask then. 

    Thanks again for taking the time to post your stories. Smile

  • Honestly it depends on your baby how much help you have,  If you are breast feeding or formula feeding and if they sleep at night. It also depends on your delivery and how you feel.

    I was expecting to be able to work from home, I had vaginal delivery,  and my daughter weighed 9 lbs, was born with a PDA and PFO (heart murmer), and an umbilical hernia, I breast fed and gave her formula, and she was awake at night and slept during the day; therefore, I was not able to work from home and I am a workaholic.

    If you have to give them an answer let them know you wish to be sincere with them and you would rather wait until you deliver to see how you feel. You will be able to give them an honest answer and they will appreciate it.

  • With my first child I took 12 weeks off and enjoyed every minuted of it. With this child I am only taking 6 weeks off and then going back very casual. I think for sure 6 weeks off is a must. And as for working from home youi will be busy and tired.

  • Everyone is different and it just depends on what you want. Most companies give you 12 weeks. I would just like for you to understand that pregnancies sometimes are not so simple and sometimes require you to take leave from work earlier than you would have. For example when I was pregnant with my daughter I had to take leave and I was only 5 months. When I was pregnant with my son I was able to work up until two weeks before he was born. Just keep that in mind. I wish you the best and a healthy pregnancy.

  • I think right now the most important thing is enjoying your pregnancy.  I have 2 children and currently expecting my third. My due date is May 28th 2010.   I just think that with your first you might consider staying home and not go back to work.  When I had my first child, my husband and I prayed about it, and decided that the best thing for me to do at that time was to quit my job and stay home and enjoy the baby.  It helps you to bond with your baby and enjoy every milestone as he/she grows.  You can see his/her first smile, her first teeth, and here him/her say her first words.  It is such a rewarding experience. 

    I have a 11 year old son and a 7 year old daughter.  I was working at their school part-time but as of May 7th, I turned in my resignation because I have decided to stay home with my third child.  I know my children were sad to see me not work at their school anymore, but they understand that I want to be able to enjoy this baby just as I enjoyed staying home with both of them. 

    Good luck on your decision about Maternity Leave.  Remember you can always go back to work after the baby gets to be a little older.




  • With my first I only had like 4 weeks I did not have any type of paid leave, of course I could have file FMLA papers but I had to pay the bills, with my most recent born in February I just went back to work I worked from home the whole time and it is very difficult. Working from home and taking care of a little one is very stressfull I was at the point of I need to get back to work for some normalcy, each person is different and my son has colic so maybe he just needed more of me than others babies but do what is right for you and makes you feel good.