Sad, Is 12 Weeks Maternity Leave a Mythical Unicorn? — The Bump
November 2014 Moms

Sad, Is 12 Weeks Maternity Leave a Mythical Unicorn?

So, I just got bummed reading my daily email from parents.com, where they say you 'may decide to go back to work after only 6 weeks'... it also says the Pregnancy Discrimination law allows for 2 weeks before as well... but everyone I know has returned to work at 6 weeks, or 8 after a C, never gone a full 12 weeks.
My doctor's office doesn't even sign off for more than 8 weeks leave without complications, and never to start leave before the due date (excluding complications).
With my STD, I count myself lucky to get 5 weeks at 60% pay. I don't have a job where I can negotiate extra time off, I'm the primary breadwinner at home so working is a must, telecommuting or flextime isn't allowed, and I have to return to the office the Monday after Christmas as I'll be induced 11-12-14.
I'm just 24 weeks pregnant and already depressed about returning to work and leaving my baby every day...
Really sorry about the length of this, I guess I partially needed to whine, partially see how any of you are coping with the oh so short time with your LOs.
Hugs, and happy pregnancies!
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Re: Sad, Is 12 Weeks Maternity Leave a Mythical Unicorn?

  • Also, it doesn't help that i recently came here from the WTE boards, where half the ladies are international and get 1 year paid leave. Talk about making a girl jellus.
    shindylahoecreativesoul83
  • I am taking 12 weeks unpaid.
    Mom to Carter, Kendall, Kiersten and Baby O #4





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    laheath28[Deleted User]
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  • A full 12 weeks paid is quite rare. However, if you are covered by FMLA I believe you are entitled to up to 12 weeks unpaid leave. I know I will be getting 6-8 weeks paid, and then using vacation/personal/unpaid leave to take a full 12 weeks.

    Sorry you are feeling bummed about it already! Are there other working moms at your office you could talk to? Maybe they can offer support/advice?
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    creativesoul83
  • We are saving butts off to cover bills for the last 6 weeks. The first 6 is 60% paid. I will take the full 12 weeks I'm pretty firm on that.

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    silverwings72hidingangel82
  • I'm taking 12 weeks.  6 or 8 of which will be STD, the rest will be PTO and unpaid. 

    I think it's very rare for companies to offer 12 weeks fully paid.
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    MollMoll4kstirton
  • I am definately the exception to the rule, I get the full 12 weeks paid at 100%, even male at my company get a full 12 weeks paid at 100%. Believe me I don't take the fact that my benefits are amazing for granted. I am sorry that most of you are dealing with this. Just know I am still worried about leaving my little one when that time comes.
    ******************** BFP Warning *******************
     
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    silverwings72hidingangel82shindylahoedbgwife
  • Thank you girls for all the comments already, you are all so encouraging.
    My company is strict on the fact that they only have to cover *up to* 12 weeks under FMLA, whatever the doc signs off on. My OBs policy is distributed in writing, they sign for 6 weeks on vaginal or 8 weeks on a c, nothing longer unless there are complications. I've found myself wishing for a cesarean, just for the extra two weeks with him!
    Unfortunately, the only other "recent" mom IS our HR, and she came back 4 weeks after her c (by choice) and doesn't agree that women need a full 12 weeks, because she didn't want to stay home with two kids for a month.
    I'm thankful I'll even have any of my time partially paid, but would take another 6 weeks without if I could, it's just not an option that I can see :(
  • Hm. So if someone has to use fmla for another reason, how long are their jobs protected? I kind of thought 12 weeks was the law, doesn't really have to do with pregnancy, its gamily medical leave.

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    sweetbabyrahe
  • Their jobs are covered for however long a doctor states is necessary, up to 12 weeks. But my doctor will only sign off for 6 or 8 weeks.
    Is that terrible or what? Why have the full 12 weeks available to hold my job if that's not my decision to take all of it?
  • Yes that sucks :( maybe you can work out something with your doctor ...

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  • From my doctor's "Prenatal Care" booklet provided at my educational appointment:
    "In an effort to be consistent and fair to both employers and employees, we have adopted the following policies on pregnancy disability:
    -for uncomplicated pregnancies, we certify patients to be disabled from the time of delivery
    -disability shall continue until six weeks after delivery"

    :(
  • I'm thinking about taking one week paid vacation, the 6 weeks of FMLA, and if I can hold out another 3 days around the holidays, seeing if they will let me use some of the vacation that will come available on Jan 1...
  • My fmla is the same coverage that people use for any type of surgery or medical leave. It's the same as PP's mentioned too. 6 weeks for vaginal, 8 for c section. I get 6 paid, and the rule is up to 12 weeks can be taken if medically necessary....but anything after 6 is unpaid.
    It sucks, but what can ya do...

    Nov. '14 January Siggy : Work Sucks!

     

    Me 32-DH 38

    Married July 14, 2007  ----- TTC # 1 October 1, 2013
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    hidingangel82creativesoul83
  • Great, now I'm worrying about what my company does and if I need to worry about my doctor writing a note. I was just going to do the full 12 weeks fmla allowed, with 6 weeks paid through short term disability. 
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  • Ashris13 said:
    I am definately the exception to the rule, I get the full 12 weeks paid at 100%, even male at my company get a full 12 weeks paid at 100%. Believe me I don't take the fact that my benefits are amazing for granted. I am sorry that most of you are dealing with this. Just know I am still worried about leaving my little one when that time comes.
    My DH gets 12 weeks paid 100%, but is taking 2-3.  He WFH and is super busy at his job so I think this is a good plan. 
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    hidingangel82FishyMom
  • I'm a teacher and my days get used to cover my six weeks (8 for CS).  If I didn't have enough days then whatever I did would get used and the rest would be unpaid.  Thankfully, I have enough sick days to cover six weeks.  If I did have to get a CS they would start dipping in my personal days (which come with a price tag of 50 bucks a day taken out of my paycheck to pay for a sub) and annual leave days.  I'm not sure what the exact policy is, I've got to contact HR anyway once school takes back in with a form stating I am pregnant (no people, I just swallowed a watermelon whole, lol) so I can take that extended time. 

    That being said, I won't be going back to work until early-mid January.  As far as they've explained and I understand, holidays (like Thanksgiving and Christmas, which add up to 13 days) don't count as part of my time off.  So that is a plus.  But yes, totally jealous of anyone who has that 12 weeks paid!
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    hidingangel82
  • I work part time for a company with less than 50 people so I don't qualify for any of their PTO policies and they don't have to hold my job.  If I don't work, I just don't get paid.  But we are accounting for it with savings, and, they were great with my first and I took 11 weeks.  It just made sense for me to come back on the first of the month which was a Monday and the start of a pay period.  I intend to do a similar length leave this time too.  11-12 weeks depending on the time.  Frankly, I was going stir crazy and was kind of ready to get back into the swing of things around 9 weeks post partum.  He was a good sleeper though, so if 2.0 is not, all bets are off.

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    silverwings72
  • I've scrimped and saved all my time, skipping vacation and coming in when I've felt awful because I want to take the full 12 weeks but can't afford to take any unpaid. I'm lucky enough that I have vacation, sick time and comp time (my overtime gets put in a bank instead of getting paid for it).
     TTC #1 since June 2008
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  • At my company you don't get 12 weeks paid until you have been with the company for 5 years. I think that's pretty standard. Thankfully I'll be at 5 years Nov 1st, so I'll be taking my full 12.
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    [Deleted User]kbelle13
  • i teach at a private school so my situation may be a little different than public school teachers. i know i'll get 6 weeks paid leave. then i'm gonna try to get 6 weeks of paid family leave through SDI at 55%, which might just be a California thing. then i'm taking an unpaid leave for the rest of the school year, which i'm terrified about financially, but it seems to be the best option for my family. so we'll see how that goes!
    our family consists of myself, my wonderful husband and my 3 sweet step-kiddos.
    and this little girl!

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    silverwings72
  • I had a c section and my own didn't release me back to work for 10 weeks. It was unpaid but 10 weeks was not long enough.
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  • I am taking the Family Medical Leave act again which protects my job for 12 weeks. My leave will be unpaid (with the exception of 6 weeks of STD). I did not have Short Term Disabilty with our dd in 2011, so the 12 weeks I took that year were completely unpaid. We are factoring my leave into our budget (started doing that when we found out I was pregnant). Is there anything you can do to bring in extra money to help extend your leave? I sell cookies, knit, crochet, etc in order to off set some of the costs. It is so frustrating the lack of great maternal care in our country :(
    crystaldh
  • edited July 2014
    So, dumb question.  If you have STD and your doctor doesn't release you back to work for more than the standard 6 or 8 weeks, does your STD plan have to pay you for the time the doctor states?  Say your doc says you can't return to work for 10 weeks, STD pays you your STD rate for all 10?

    Edit: words are hard.
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  • With DS I worked at an 8 person company so no FMLA but they wrote the employee handbook to follow FMLA guidelines so I took 12 weeks unpaid.

    I now work for a 15 person company so again we do not have FMLA protection. We also do not have any written policies on maternity leave it is on a case by case basis. My boss has told me I can take as much time as I want/need as long as it wasn't a year or something crazy like that. (His exact words). I am planning to take 14-16wks unpaid this time around.

    I am the primary breadwinner in our family but we planned ahead for both babies and saved our butts off so that we would have 100% of my take home pay in savings for my entire leave.

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    FishyMom[Deleted User]silverwings72
  • MrsG1019 said:
    So, dumb question.  If you have STD and your doctor doesn't release you back to work for more than the standard 6 or 8 weeks, does your STD plan have to pay you for the time the doctor states?  Say your doc says you can't return to work for 10 weeks, STD pays you your STD rate for all 10?

    Edit: words are hard.
    Yes ma'am! A friend wasn't cleared to go back till 14 weeks pp due to complications & was was paid under STD that entire time. I'm already on STD due to high risk pregnancy issues and my doctor taking me out on bed rest for good at 21 weeks. STD pays all the way to birth and then the additional 6-8 weeks after too. Whatever your doctor says STD does.
    Interesting!  VERY good to know!  Thanks!
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    hidingangel82silverwings72bumpmaker14
  • My work doesn't provide STD, but I will qualify for FMLA. We get to take 12 weeks which you get paid for if you have the PTO saved up, which fortunately I do.
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  • I'm taking 14 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 16 weeks if I have a c-section. It will be a combo of 8 weeks at 100% pay from my employer and short term at 60% pay.
  • With my job - the Short term disability is what your doctor signs up for. So it's 60% pay for either 6 weeks of 8 weeks depending on what type of delivery you have. Then the rest is unpaid BUT your job is PROTECTED under the FMLA act for up to 12 weeks, REGARDLESS of what your doctor signs off on. My understanding is that this is the majority for businesses b/c there are laws covering FMLA. Doesn't really have anything to do w/ the company - they have to keep your job. but they don't have to pay you past that 6-8 week mark.

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    hidingangel82[Deleted User]missnacholover
  • So, dumb question.  If you have STD and your doctor doesn't release you back to work for more than the standard 6 or 8 weeks, does your STD plan have to pay you for the time the doctor states?  Say your doc says you can't return to work for 10 weeks, STD pays you your STD rate for all 10?

    Edit: words are hard.

    I think 8 weeks is the maximum, that's the way it was explained to me but your HR department will know!

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    missnacholover
  • silverwings72silverwings72
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fifth Anniversary Photogenic
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    edited July 2014
    kstirton said:



    So, dumb question.  If you have STD and your doctor doesn't release you back to work for more than the standard 6 or 8 weeks, does your STD plan have to pay you for the time the doctor states?  Say your doc says you can't return to work for 10 weeks, STD pays you your STD rate for all 10?

    Edit: words are hard.



    I think 8 weeks is the maximum, that's the way it was explained to me but your HR department will know!

    --------------------------------------------------
    I thought STD was as long as your
    doc seems medically necessary??

    Edit- quote box drama
    missnacholover
  • My company has 5 people so we don't get FMLA and I don't have STD. My boss has offered me 6 weeks paid and up to and additional 6 weeks unpaid. Since I am due Nov 8 my plan is to return to work after Jan 1. My boss is easy going so I may do some half days when I return. I won't be making decisions until baby comes though.


    Me 32 and DH 40

    Fur-baby named Bella

    1 MC Nov. 2013

    DD born Nov. 2, 2014

    Little 2 EDD Oct. 1 





    silverwings72[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • Like another poster here, I get 18 weeks of paid leave and will take another 6 weeks unpaid for a total of 24 weeks. It is one of my company's "women's retention" policies, and it almost makes up for the nights and weekends I end up working.
    silverwings72
  • kikimeemeekikimeemee
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Photogenic
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    edited July 2014
    I'm with you, OP. It blows my mind when other moms ask how long I'll take off for this first baby of mine. 12 weeks, of course! What surprises me is how many women don't take the entire 12 weeks. If the US had a law protecting leaves for 20 weeks, 52 weeks, etc., I'd take the max as long as I could afford no pay. But that's a silly point bc our law is only 12. I agree that it seems so strange that many people don't take the full 12 weeks if eligible for FMLA. But many more women are the breadwinners these days, or just cannot swing a lot of time off without pay.

    My husband's entire family lives in England and tells me as often as they can how awful it is that we work until delivery and only get 12 weeks. It drives me crazy but I'd rather not have England's tax rate if 40% either (this tax rate must aid in their lengthy paid time off). I guess we can't have it all.
    silverwings72hidingangel82
  • kstirton said:



    So, dumb question.  If you have STD and your doctor doesn't release you back to work for more than the standard 6 or 8 weeks, does your STD plan have to pay you for the time the doctor states?  Say your doc says you can't return to work for 10 weeks, STD pays you your STD rate for all 10?

    Edit: words are hard.



    I think 8 weeks is the maximum, that's the way it was explained to me but your HR department will know!

    --------------------------------------------------
    I thought STD was as long as your
    doc seems medically necessary??

    Edit- quote box drama


    I think HR explains it that you get up to 8 weeks STD for a birth because that's usually the maximum for a birth without complications. They just assume you won't have any and don't go into the potential what if scenarios.

    STD is for whatever length the doctor says is necessary.

    The conversation I had with HR as a mom to be of multiples was a little different than my coworker, who was pregnant with a singleton, had.

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    silverwings72
  • Funny you mention that website--I used to work at the company that publishes said website and magazine (as well as many other family-oriented magazines--I'm purposely not naming names), and those employees don't get any maternity leave AT ALL. They have to take save up their vacation time and sick days (you get 30)! 
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    silverwings72[Deleted User]hidingangel82
  • I'm taking 4 weeks unpaid.  DH will have about a month of paid time and then he'll either have to go back to work or stay home unpaid.  It kind of sucks.  We're sitting here now, trying to figure out if we can swing this awesome townhouse or if we need to stay in our crappy, but reasonably priced, apartment.

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  • I get 8 weeks off, 2 weeks unpaid, 6 weeks paid 60%. My work considers it short term disability. But I'm opting to take an additional 2 weeks off unpaid as a leave of absense because my company is particularly slow in January.
  • I get 12 weeks full pay and I'm not even giving birth. I am so lucky in this area!
    TTC #1 since 12/2010 DH: MFI, cancer survivor Me: Resected septate uterus, lap treated mild endo, tubes open, ovulate on own, autoimmune disease 3 Failed IUI's (2/2012, 4/2012, 6/2012) 
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    KMW08[Deleted User]jaminjeff
  • In California we're pretty lucky, state disability covers four weeks before birth, six or eight after, plus another six for bonding at 55% of your pay. Plus, my company (too small for FMLA) has a policy of guaranteeing our job for six months, so I will probably work until a couple weeks before my due date, take 14 weeks on state disability (two before and 12 after) and then use my vacation and sick at half-time to fill me in for six months of leave. I've been saving up vacation and sick to make that happen.

    I bring home a little more than my husband but I wouldn't call myself the breadwinner. Fortunately, we primarily live on one salary and use the other one for paying off student loans and saving up to buy him a new car. 

    I can't imagine what it would be like if we lived somewhere else.
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