Thoughts on maternity leave? - Page 2 — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Thoughts on maternity leave?


Re: Thoughts on maternity leave?

  • My first maternity was a very negative experience. I worked for a small company that offered no health insurance or disability. I didn't have the financial ability to save up and take off longer than two weeks. It was devastating and difficult.
    I am blessed with my second pregnancy in that I work for a very large global company that offers short term disability. I will get 100/80/60 % of my pay at varying points during my 8 weeks of short term disability. Unfortunately any vacation I have saved up this year will automatically be taken after the 8 weeks, and I'll take the remainder of my 12 weeks fmla unpaid. We've been saving throughout my pregnancy to accommodate the 3 weeks I will not get a paycheck. What stinks is that fmla starts on the day of birth when short term begins... Really doesn't make sense. In my opinion fmla should be allowed to start until after short term ends. Mothers need time to heal, bond, rest and adjust.
    I was heartbroken to not be able to stay home and nurse my firstborn. I am very thankful for the ability to do so with my second, and that insurance will pay for a breast pump I can use when I return to work after 12 weeks.
  • It's very nice to know I'm not alone. I have been very stressed lately due to this issue which obviously isn't good for me. The worst part about it, I'm contracted by the government. I may not be employed specifically by them but I work for them and all their employees. I manage a cafe at a federal building and work 9 hours a day starting at 5 am. Now that's hard when your 7 months pregnant! When it comes to taking maternity leave im working up to the very last day that I can and then taking no longer then a month off.... Without any benefits at all! I won't be getting paid, no sick or vacation days. The only assurance I have is my job will be kept for me but that's only because legally they have to. Who knows what happens if I go over my allowed time. I've been saving like crazy just worried for the upcoming expenses. :/
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  • I hope everything works out for you ladies! I feel very blessed. I'm a disabled vet and I just go to school using gi benefits. I'm due in July and I just so happen to graduate in June. But I get disability from the VA and my husband is active. I only got 6 weeks of leave with my older two. I feel very fortunate to be able to stay home this time around.
  • I live and work in Michigan for a union shop. I will be working there 11 months when I give birth so I don't qualify for FMLA. I am the first woman to ever be pregnant at the company that works on the floor. I work in assembly with lots of lifting, pulling and pushing. I recently pulled all the muscles in my uterus and was put on a 10 lbs weight restriction. At first the company was fine with complying with my restriction. Then out of the blue a few weeks later my HR guy told me it was time for me to take my leave of absence. I refused since I am only 30 weeks along and have gone back to work. But through all of this mess I found out that if I take a leave of absence instead of FMLA I can get short term disability. I can also take off a whole year if I want instead of the 12 weeks provided by FMLA.
  • I'm in Canada, we get 12 months paid at 50% income.
  • I absolutely nothing for maternity leave! Big fat zero!!! Still trying to save enough to make it through!
  • My employer offers short term disability however they only pay 60% of my hourly wage and that starts 28 days after I leave with only 6 weeks allowed so technically you only get paid 2 weeks out of the six. The rest is on you to pretty much save up vacation time which you're only given 4 hours per pay period(by weekly)
  • gemmafiggemmafig member
    edited May 2015
    I'll be doing STD with 6 weeks paid 100%. If it's a c-section, I'll get 2 more weeks at 66 1/3% of my pay. But, the STD depends on my health. If the doctor says I can go back to work, then I go back to work...even if the 6 or 8 weeks isn't up.
    I have some vacation time banked up so that I can take another week or so off, but coincidentally the contract I work under is over right around the same time I would going back to the odds are good that I'll get laid off right after I return to work.

    Oh, and my insurance is a high deductible consumer driven plan that makes me nauseous thinking about the bills.
  • fghymanfghyman member
    I took out STD after I first got married, and it's only a little bit less than what I make monthly. My school offers me 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave but they force us to use all of our sick days first. So, anything that I've accrued will be completely depleted after I come back and if I have to take off for any reason (outside of school business) my pay gets docked for that day. So, after I get back to work my DH will be taking the baby to the doctor instead of me. 
  • I have been at my job. A small business with 6 employees. I get nothing paid while I will be off, and have also been told that since my baby will be born durning our "busy" season that I may not have a job if I take more than a 2-3 week leave.
  • I'm a firefighter and I've been on leave this whole thing because of safety for baby. My hubby has worked his ass off. I hate maternity leave
  • I stayed home after my unpaid leave, because I couldn't afford daycare, but that is a other issue.
  • brita7869 said:
    Before I lost my teaching job, I would have been able to take 6 weeks plus unpaid maternity leave...Unfortunately I have been on unemployment until a month ago and now no job will hire me at 9 months pregnant. I did apply for short term disability with 3 different doctor notes. We shall see how that husband who is a teacher can use his 4 personal days but he can't take them all at once (and can't use his sick days). We can't afford for him to take un paid paternity leave (1 month) so as a FTM I will have my husband with me for 2 days only which honestly just makes me incredibly upset.

    You poor thing! I would be upset too! Do you have your mother available to help?
  • I have to work until basically my water breaks. This is crazy how so many companies won't do paid maternity leave. I get 3 months, although my BF and I can't afford for me to take all that time off. Which stinks because I want to be home with my little guy as much as I can before I return to my crazy job! I was looking at a story about the different places that do maternity leave. Some are up to 2 years!! As well for the men, about 60- 70% of your pay. We get screwed. I called Aflac they said it was a "preexisting condition", I didn't know being pregnant was a disease. Craziness.
  • I get no paid leave (I work for a huge company too), I only get paid out for whatever PTO time I have in the bank. And we could only carry over 1 week max from 2014. I have Aflac too - I had signed up for their short term disability plan a while back as I was anticipating having surgery - but they had told me at that time that it would also cover 3 months maternity leave. Fast forward to when I'm pregnant - and now they tell me STD only covers 6 weeks of maternity leave, not 3 months, and they refuse to provide me with any documentation of that. They say it's just standard procedure and the documentation of what the policy provides for maternity isn't available to the public (ie me). So I'll have a couple of weeks unpaid after all is said and done, even though I've been paying into the plan and have saved all PTO time possible. It's just not fair....
  • I think maternity leave in the US sucks.  My job will hold your position for one year but you only get paid for the amount of time you are considered unable to work (6 weeks postpartum for a vaginal birth, 8 weeks for C-section) AND you only get full pay if you have enough of your own sick days to cover that time. 

    I was out for 6 months with my first and I will be out for 9 months with this baby.  The only way DH and I are able to make this work is by having a large chunk of savings that we will be using while I'm out of work and by going under his health insurance.  I can't imagine some poor mothers who are basically forced to come back to work after only 6 weeks.

    Wow you are lucky- they hold your job for 1 year.... mine only holds it for the 4 months mandated by state, I only get paid for accrued leave (though that appears to be your case as well). So, I am going to have 8 weeks off. I don't have a choice- we can't afford for me to not work since the insurance is affordable at my job and we need the income (at least some of it). If insurance wasn't a factor I could work part time somewhere, but such is life I suppose.

    This is exactly what my husband and I are going through. I wouldn't come back to my full time job if his insurance was reasonable. My insurance is so much less money and the same amount of benefit. :(

  • I work at a restaurant as a manager. Because we are currently so low on staff I have to work up to my due date and only get 2 weeks off. I'm pretty nervous considering that at 26 weeks I'm having a hard time working 6 hour shifts, I get dizzy often and feel faint. I have no clue how I'll make it too 40-42 weeks. I'm also worried about how short of a leave I'll have. I won't have enough time to bond with my first child. Mothers in Canada sound so lucky ♡.
  • It's horrible
  • Its the worst. Its so stressful. I'm a firefighter and got no maternity leave pay. One month short of it. ):
  • So, I only get 6-8 weeks to adjust to being a mom and recover from labor, and it's unpaid... thanks America.  Oh yeah, and since I'm having complications, I have to choose between using up all of my paid vacation time until delivery, or squandering away some of the little time I'll have with my newborn once she's here. Men don't have it much better. My husband is lucky to be in a management position where he can make a phone call when I go into labor and be off for a week and be paid, but again there goes our vacation time! 
  • My job gives three months unpaid and if I want to get paid I need to use vacation and sick time. Unfortunately I have used most of mine for prenatal appointments or different things related to my six year old. This means that if my husband can't find a job that pays more or equal to my pay I will have to come right back to work. I am having a C-section so really should take at least 2 months off and was hoping to be able to stay home with this one the way I was able to do with my son. So much for that plan... I will probably be back to work very soon after so we are able to pay for rent and food! Times like this I wish I lived in a country where paid maternity leave existed.
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  • I'm not working, I'm a FT grad student, so I don't get any leave of any kind. 
  • I work for a small business that is not subject to FMLA. Company policy is 2 weeks off, unpaid. We are trying to save up so I can take longer, but after the 2 weeks is up there's no guarantee I'll have a job to go back to. America's message to new mothers: "walk it off, and get the [email protected]&$ back to work!"

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  • I live in the UK so it's a bit different but I'm really worried about my maternity pay. I have a zero hour contract and was working full time hours before I told my employer I was pregnant. They cut my hours in half pretty much immediately , which means I'm entitled to hardly any money while I'm off. If I'd had a proper contract they wouldn't have been allowed to do that, which sucks as I have worked for them for years and expected better of them (it's a small business, I've gone above and beyond at work many times, plus looked after my bosses dog for them multiple times and they came to my wedding). Reading some of the comments above though I think I have it a lot better than some of you in America. In fact I don't feel I should be complaining, some of your stories are awful!
  • cmlsucmlsu member
    As an attorney at a small firm, I'm lucky to have supportive environment in which I can be very flexible with my maternity leave. I'm taking 8 weeks off from court, but will be able to work at whatever pace I need to make sure I take care of my baby and my clients. It will be at reduced pay, but my pay is tied to my performance, so it was expected.
    To all the other American mommas out there, when asking what can we do, the answer is actually quite simple... demand more from our government regarding this issue and vote our interests. Reading through this post is really sad... we must demand our representatives to fix this situation. We're the only developed country that treats our parents this way, and our children suffer from it. Just my opinion, but writing your representatives worth all of these stories instead of simply venting on a blog may actually accomplish something.
  • I'm leaving my job permanently & my husband will take full financial responsibility, which, luckily, he can do. I plan to apply for scholarships & grants and go to college. Then I'll eventually work at a better job later in life.
  • What did you do about insurance??? I'm trying to figure out my options
  • MrsFirePuppyMrsFirePuppy member
    edited August 2015

    In the Air Force we get 6 weeks of leave, and fathers get 10 days if leadership approves it. I hope one day we match the Marines and Navy who get 18 weeks. We can take our leave we have saved up if we want but I am saving mine until my husband comes back from deployment and we can go back to the states. We earn 30 days a year of leave. For us maternity leave starts the day we are discharged from the hospital so no time off before the baby comes. Unless you take your own leave of course. All the women here I know said they all worked until their water broke at work and they went to deliver. We do get reduced from 12+ hour days to 8 hour days after the 28th week mark though if you have really nice bosses.

  • I'm leaving my job to be a stay at home mom. I would had been eligible for FMLA after being employed for 1 year. Which JUST SO happens To Be THE Day I'm LEAVING exactly. Otherwise, j would be provided the standard 6 weeks unpaid, but if I was on FMLA through my difficult pregnancy, I would have been able to save my sick time and PTO for my leave. Instead I had exhausted it with morning sickness and sciatica injury.

    Sorry for the random all caps, my phone must be pretty emotional over this.
  • My maternity leave package sucks too. I'm 33 weeks pregnant and my biggest worry is leaving my baby after 12 weeks. I broke down when I read the employee manual. Not to mention only getting paid for 6 weeks out of the 12. So I feel yah!
  • My cousin lives in Canada she got a year off with her twins and 80% of her salary. She just went back to work in June.
  • edited August 2015
    Wow... this is really depressing. I can't believe the situation some of you are/were in. 

    I started with 6 weeks unpaid but as I have progressed in my pregnancy, they offered 8 if I need a c-section. Then changed it to 8 if I just want it in general. I had a conversation with one of the upper members of management about the stress of unpaid leave and not qualifying for Short Term Disability (AFLAC won't cover any pregnancies within 10 mos of purchasing the policy). Now I get 3 weeks paid + my vacation/sick time. I really like the company I work for, but I sure do wish it was a bit more flexible. My SO is even worse off. He gets only 1 week unpaid. 

    I wish the USA would get it together and realize the impact of maternity/paternity leave that is fully supported financially and with an appropriate amount of time off. 
    Louisiana girl stuck in Virginia. 
    EDD 8/22/15
    Baby boy! <3 
  • I was surprised and blessed to find out that my employer, Starbucks, here in California will offer me 16 weeks off. 4 weeks nesting before my due date, 6 weeks for a natural birth (8 weeks for c-section) and another 6 weeks for bonding time. I also get to file for disability and will receive 60% of my paycheck.

  • Yeah after learning about other countries the 12 unpaid weeks America lets u have if u work for a big enough company is pathetic! Luckily I have saved enough PTO to cover half my hours for 12 weeks and can make do with that. I'm working through 39 weeks as a night shift RN which is not easy but I don't want to lose time with the baby. I'm 38 weeks + 4 days now and the 12 weeks seems so short now. Luckily I have a capable husband who I can leave an infant with and my mother lives 10 minutes away and is willing to watch the baby when my husband and I both work.
  • No maternity leave available at my work. I wish I had a leave option to complain of.
  • Honestly... having a baby in America terrified me. The absolute unfairness of the system made me sick, I had to watch so many of my friends struggle through mere weeks with their new born, being herded back into the work force as soon as they physically healed. It's a big part of why we made the hard decision to leave my family behind and move. I now get a year of maternity leave, with time to bond and figure everything out. I might not even use it all but it's very mentally calming just to know I have that option.
  • Maternity leave is terrible here in yhe US. I work for a large bank and recieve 3 months of paid leave with an optional 3 months of unpaid leave. I'm taking the full 6 months but honestly I might not go back- I'm just going to use the additional 3 months to scope out if it's even worth it to return.
  • I work for the federal government and we have to use our annual/sick leave. I don't believe we have a short term disability insurance offered, but I could be wrong on that. I'm not 100% sure if I even know how that works since I have never had a job that offered it. Idk anyone in my office that has it. I am hoping Obama passes a maternity leave law soon so I don't have to use all my leave. Although I have been saving up so I would def supplement with my own leave if a law is passed. I know we get more leave than most people but it sucks that there isn't an official maternity leave program.

    Now my plolotical rant: I do not understand how Obama expects private employers to change their policies if he doesn't set a precedent and do it for his own employees. Also, this is why I hope trump doesn't win, I don't feel he cares or would do anything for women's issues.
  • I have not been at my job for a year yet so I do not qualify for materiality leave, also i applied for FMLA but I guess b/c of the 1 year thing it was denied. I went to HR in a panic and they said that i can still have the time off, it's just a little complicated.
    I have this papper work I have to fill out and the day I go into labor, fax it into FMLA and then call my HR department to let them know. Then there is paper work for my doctor to fill out and fax into them. i don't know  how long I am even going to get. I guess it could be anywhere between  6-12 weeks maybe? But it sounds like its closer to 6-8 weeks for most and more on the 6 than 8 side.
    How mine works is I will get 60% of my base pay(I get paid hourly + commission (which isn't even that much anyway)

    Luckily I automatically build up paid time off while working, so I will be able to use that for part of my leave.

    (im really jellos b/c on of my co-workers if from an other country and I heard her talking about her benefits the other day. if I remember right, she got a year off, paid, and got to come back to the same shift and everything.)

  • I know it goes against popular thought but I never expected to get paid while on leave. Yeah. It would be nice, of COURSE. It would be FANTASTIC to receive large portions of my wages for a full year like many other countries. But I can't in good conscious EXPECT to be paid by a company when I'm not working for that company. I guess it's just the way I was raised to think and I'm used to working for everything and not accepting assistance. Maybe it's not the "correct" thinking, but I don't see why a company should have to pay me thousands of dollars to not work for them. That being said, I think men, so long as they have custody, should receive the same FMLA standards. The way it is now all the responsibility rests primarily on the mother and then she is criticized when she does something "wrong." Equal FMLA rights will reduce that burden on the mother in that extremely pivotal time. 

    I have a a little less than a week of vacation time that will be used. I also pay into short term disability and will receive 60% of my average wages for 6 weeks. After that it is unpaid. I'm planning on taking 10 consecutive weeks off so I will have a full month of no pay check. Yes it is very hard to take the pay cut, my husband and I have supported ourselves for years and from a young age with no financial support so believe you me , I do understand the levity, but we've been trying to prepare over the 9 months leading up to my time of leave. 
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