Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Thoughts on maternity leave?

BumpJackieBumpJackie member
edited January 2016 in Babies: 0 - 3 Months
Only 12% of people in the U.S. work somewhere that offers paid maternity leave, which means that many men and women have to take a pay cut right when their costs of living are about to increase exponentially. We're looking to hear stories from you on your personal experiences with maternity leave. Did you have a positive (or negative) experience? How did you approach your maternity leave with your employer? How did it impact you financially? If you're willing to share your story, please reach out to [email protected] ASAP. Thanks!

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Re: Thoughts on maternity leave?

  • There isn't a set maternity leave where I work, but my boss came to me and told me he would give me as much time as I needed off without question! It wasn't a paid leave, but knowing that my workplace will work with me on time I need home is a huge relief. I also get to set my own schedule now so that it works with my SO's work schedule and one of us will always be home with DD!
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  • Maternity leave = FMLA at my workplace. You have to use up any sick and/or vacation time while you are out, which means when you return to work, you have zero personal time available to you. Definitely not ideal with a newborn!!

    Same here! It's pretty sad that this is the case in the US.
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  • I am taking 2 months off then heading back half time for a month then full time after that. My employer pays into private disability so after my 10 sick days I will get 70% of my salary for 6 weeks (due to c-section.) lt is better than nothing and I can spend a little more time with baby than worrying about being able to pay bills.
  • I am currently on leave after delivering my daughter via CSection on 8/22. My work offered 8 weeks paid disability ( six weeks at 100% & 2 weeks at 60%) ,3 weeks of paid maternity leave and then I can use any of my sick or vacation. All in all, I am taking a total of 4 months. I am thankful to live in a state that also has state Fmla - so in addition to the 12 weeks of job protection that federal Fmla provides, my state has a state Fmla of a additional 12 weeks so your job is protected a total of 24 weeks. I can't believe some of you have had to return so quickly- 2-4 weeks is NOT enough time for a new mama to bond, recover and prepare to return.
  • I had a combo of FMLA and disability and vacation time. I took a total of 14 weeks off. 2 Paid via vacation time, 6 paid via disability (combo work and NYState @ 100%) and 6 unpaid. When we found out we were expecting we wanted as much time home as possible for me so we took 6 weeks worth of my salary and divided it by 8 months and saved that much each month to make up for my missing income. I go back next Friday. I'm sad to leave little one but I love my job so (I keep telling myself) I'm excited to go back.
  • I got 8 weeks paid maternity plus six weeks paid short term disability, so 14 weeks total - I have an option to take more unpaid time. I work for a large accounting firm with great benefits but less than great salary. I do get to work from home which is a plus.
  • I find it incredible that mat leave = disability!!! And sad that so many women have to go back to work so quickly!
  • 8 weeks paid though employers Short Term Disability policy (C-section). First 5 days are vacation days. Also, concurrently took 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA. So 12 weeks total with 8 paid. 

    This article on maternity leave in the U.S. is great:

  • 8 weeks FMLA- using up all but a week and half of my leave (want to save some for dct. appts.)
  • A combination of vacation time and short term disability for 6 weeks.  Then because my dd is in the NICU my HR Dept was able to give people in my office the option of donating vacation time to me so I could continue to visit her, and maybe have time with her at home if she gets out soon enough.  I got an additional 4 weeks.  With the holidays coming up, that's actually 5 weeks. 
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  • I got 6 weeks of paid leave through disability insurance and then saved up evnough vacation time during my pregnancy to take off an additional 3.5 weeks. I could have taken up to the FMLA allowed 12 weeks but they would have been unpaid once I ran out of vacation time.
  • No paid leave for me. The people I work for are willing to work with me on this. I have 4 weeks left. Some of my coworkers annoyed me because they didn't want me to take any maternity leave (meant more work for them) lol They actually asked me if I would take maternity leave. I wanted to say, "No, I will have the baby and then come back here right after."
  • My state benefits are top notch in NJ. I got 60% of my salary 4 weeks before EDD and 6 weeks after delivery for medical. Once that is over they give you 6 weeks of bonding time at 60% of your salary. I have personal short term disability insurance that was supposed to pay out after 7 days, but it's still being processed.

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  • Well... I am a teacher and I knew all along that the state doens't pay for maternity leave. You have to use your sick and personal days first and then use your short term disability. Well I was miserable at my job last year so I started looking and found a new teaching job which I was thrilled about (and love this year by the way.) But after I was hired I found out that this new school uses a different disability company and my days from my last job were put into retirement and not transfered. On top of that I was no longer protected by the FMLA. I assumed when going from one teaching job to the next that none of this would be a problem since they are all state jobs. However, that was not the case. So I couldn't take but 6 weeks because I wasn't protected under FMLA. I wasn't covered under the disability because it was "pre existing" and all of my days I had built up were put into my retirement. So I used my 2 weeks of personal and sick time and then the rest was just a loss of pay. However, somehow it all worked out and being a christian I believe it was because the good lord was looking out for us. And it was well worth the craziness to get out of the job I was in and into the one I currently have. But for any pregnant women I sure learned a lesson so if you are job hunting these are things to consider :) Goodluck to all of you!
  • Wow, Australians have it good! I'll get 14 weeks paid maternity leave (or I have the option of 28 weeks at half pay) plus the 5 weeks annual leave i have owing to me. On top of this i will get the remainder of the year as unpaid leave and can request an additional year at the end of that. I didn't realise how lucky I was until I read this post!
    *feeling blessed*
  • I live in RI and get 6 weeks temporary disability at 70% for a vaginal birth (8 if c-section) and can then apply for an additional 4 weeks of TCI or temporary caregiver insurance for bonding which is only offered in a few states. Also took 2 weeks vacation for a total of 12 which is the max my employer would allow. I would love to take more time and can't imagine going back at 4 or 6 weeks. What do you do with your LO's going back so early - daycare, leave them with family?
  • I'm a teacher so I get to take 6 weeks ands it's paid since I have to use sick time... I'll go back at 6 weeks to finish the School year (7.5 weeks). I have to remind myself that she's in daycare for 7.5 weeks then I get her to myself for the entire summer!!
  • I am using FMLA, which uses up sick time/vacation time. I did have sick time built up, but I injured my knee in week 20 of my pregnancy and used it up from being out for weeks with that injury & the surgery I had for it. The leave I've built up since then doesn't even cover a week. Fortunately we can make it s few weeks on one income so I plan on taking 8 weeks to focus on the baby and finish this semester at school.
    My husband also got 10 days of leave, which was really nice.
  • I hate it because I didn't get paid. I got a new job when I was around 18 weeks pregnant and because of that I had no leave time. We will have to wait and see how things go down when we decide to have another child (my baby is only 4 months).
  • Nervous to go back after 12 weeks off (5 paid at 60% the rest unpaid and using all sick and vacation time up). What is the best situation for a 3 month old baby when going back to work?
  • LeaALeaA member
    I went back at 8 weeks and used up all my vacation and sick time. The U.S. sucks when it comes to maternity leave. Makes me wish I was Canadian.
  • Wow, I thought I had it bad but I feel for all of the women who are forced to go back to work right away.  2-4 weeks is not an acceptable amount of time to take care of a newborn and be ready to return the work.  I am taking a total of 14 weeks maternity leave.  The first 6 weeks are paid out by short term disability at 70%, and then 6 more weeks are covered at 60% as "bonding" time with baby.  The remaining days will be covered by my vacation/sick days that I plan on taking.
  • mahhhhmahhhh member
    I'm taking fmla for 12 weeks and then family bonding for 12 weeks buy out of the 24 weeks I'm only getting paid 18 weeks from the state, I'm happy my work offer family bonding an fmla, I want to use all the benefits they offer so I can spend as much time with my LO
  • While it's not perfect, my company's leave isn't bad.
    You get FMLA for up to 12 weeks to hold your job.
    My company pays you for 1 week leave.
    Your Short Term Disability pays you for 5 weeks at 85% (if you have sick time, vacation time, or personal time, you can use that to get the other 15% paid if you choose.
    Then if you have enough sick time, vacation time, or personal time, you can use that to get paid for the the other 6 weeks to get paid, if you choose.
    My company also offers moms an additional 4 weeks of job security (without pay) if you don't feel like you are ready to come back to work after 12 weeks of FMLA.

    So I could have 16 weeks off total if I choose.
  • I got 3 months paid maternity leave and for 3-4 months I was on leave and after that I started working from home. My baby is 11 months now, thinking to go back to work again. I am fortunate to get such flexibility to work.
  • My employer offers a fairly good package if you've been employed there for at least a year. I am entitled to 100% pay for 12 weeks and do not need to use vacation/ sick pay at all. Then I can choose to take an additional 8 weeks unpaid or paid with vacation pay. I will return after 12 weeks since my husband stays home with our children. I also took 4 weeks of short term disability before the birth due to complications and that didn't affect my leave after. I feel really lucky after reading other comments. So sorry you all can't take the time you need / want but remember- you're all amazing women and you can do it!! Your child will be looking up to you and learn a lot from you whether you're a working outside the home mom or stay at home mom!
  • At my place of employment we can get up to 12 weeks but due to my husband and I working at the same place, we were forced to share. I ended up taking 10 weeks and he took 2 that way I had some support while recovering those first 2 weeks. I wish we both had our own time.
  • I feel like mom's should be entitled to more than two or three months and there should be paternal leave as well. A year would be ideal!
  • I do not get any paid time off so my entire maternity leave is unpaid. My work said before I left that I could take the entire summer if I wanted (baby was born June 11) and I said I would come back between 6 and 8 weeks probably. My boss told me to not rush back and take as much time as I wanted. But I am sort of being forced into returning to work after 4 weeks because they suck at planning and my substitutes summer vacation overlaps with another persons. It's very unfair.
  • My job adheres to the FMLA 12 week policy and allows 12 additional weeks off for short term disability\leave of absence. So my maternity leave is 24 weeks. My leave is paid by my accumulated sick, vacation and personal time. Luckily, I have been employed there for 10 years and we receive 18 sick days a year. So I have accumulated more than enough time to receive full time pay for the entire 24 weeks.

    In addition, even I return my department is flexible on returning back to work. So I can return part time for a few weeks to adjust.
  • I feel for you guys in America!
    I am in UK and get above average mat pay as employer enhances - I having 52 weeks mat leave , get full pay for 8 weeks, then half pay plus statutory maternity pay for 18 weeks then just statutory for 13 weeks , last 13 weeks no pay but I have saved to be off. Then I will take the 6 weeks annual leave I accrued in year was off for maternity leave! I fortunate it works like this I been on mat leave since 8 June as not having best pregnancy and been great to just try and relax!
  • I'm a full-time missionary in a residential Christian school for children in need. We are technically employed by our school, but most of all it's a ministry and we make almost nothing. Anyway, my employer offers four weeks of maternity leave and I was allowed to take two weeks of PTO to come to a total of six weeks off. However, being off really didn't matter. The first three weeks after my LO was born, I did get to rest some, that was also prepping my classroom and making plans for the school year. After that, our students returned and I'm doing everything I was doing when I was technically working except be in the classroom during class time. I'm still planning, grading, and supervising the middle school boys who live on my hall when it's my time to watch the hall. My sweet husband has been super helpful and supportive, so it works, but he's gone on a soccer tournament (he's the coach) this weekend, so I'm left to fend for myself and it's exhausting.
  • You can also incorporate short term disability if you opted to pay into it when choosing you benefits with insurance. I luckily did even though I was sure I hadn't. It at least gives you some time paid at a percentage of your wages after your paid time off and sick time are gone.
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