Maternity Leave — The Bump
April 2017 Moms

Maternity Leave

I apologize if there is already a thread for this topic, I wasn't able to find it. When is everyone thinking of taking maternity leave? I'm currently 28wks 5days high risk with twins and honestly don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Granted, I have a "desk job" but having to be up at 4:30 every morning, commuting an hour each way, then caring for my family when I get home I'm exhausted. Not to mention the body aches and lack of sleep. My HR department isnt the greatest when it comes to answering questions about FMLA and STD, so I'm debating when I should stop torturing myself. LOL. I want as much time afterward with my girls, but cant afford to go unpaid. What is everyone else's plan?
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Re: Maternity Leave

  • @Hirish1984 Since you are having twins and high risk have your doctors talked with about a possible delivery date, or are they still waiting to see how things progress? Since you can not afford to go unpaid and would like to have as much time afterwards with your girls, I would suggest trying to tough it out as long as possible. Have DH take over some of the family duties or chores. I'm not carrying twins or high risk, so I can't speak directly towards how you may be feeling, but I am not planning on going on leave until baby boy is here. My absolute last day of work (if he's on time or late) will be 4/28.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    Magheetaebloom3ashleym112shaunessa
  • I'm planning on taking 9 weeks (8 weeks paid mat leave and 1 week vacation). My boss is going to be away some of the days in the week leading up to my due date, so I'll WFH those days. If I'm late I'll probably WFH after my due date until I go into labor. 
    DD #1 April 2017
    expecting mid-late May 2020

    KirstinH88ashleym112
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  • I haven't made my plan official with my workplace, but I am planning on working as long as I can up until my due date unless a medical reason not to arises between now and then. Part of the reason is that I work at the university where DH attends grad school (and our buildings are close together) so if I think I'm going into labor during the workday, he is around to assist. 

    After delivery, as of right now, I'll take FMLA with about 6 weeks paid leave built up (between my sick and annual leave) and return to work after 8 weeks. I do not get short-term disability or any paid maternity leave.  DH will have graduated by then (unfortunately this means he will be no longer getting paid - boo) and can stay home with LO, and he's already said he can bring her up on my lunch break to breastfeed.  I wish I could take longer, but we will be moving closer to family in July anyway, so going back to work will be short-term.

    Best of luck to you!! The stresses of being high-risk carrying twins plus the long commute/early wake-up sound like a lot to handle. Be kind to yourself. :)
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    peachy0709KirstinH88
  • This is really a work-by-work policy, even with FMLA. For my job (I'm a teacher) we get six weeks "paid" if we have sick leave accrued. I will be using my 6 weeks (all will be "paid" out of my sick leave). I will also use 3 additional weeks (we can take up to 12 weeks, though the last 6 weeks will not be paid, even through sick leave). I am only taking the additional 3 because our school year ends after those 9 weeks. 

    I took 2 weeks before my daughter's birth because she was born at the beginning of our summer break and I wanted some time off! Typically, if your doctor writes a letter explaining your medical need to take time, the workplace has to honor it, though I do not believe it has to be paid (unless you are part of a sick bank (which our teacher's union does have)). 

    I've found the best way to maximize leave with your children is to take as much as possible after they are born. I would think, however, if your pregnancy is high risk you can get a note from your doctor explaining the condition and recommending leave begin on _____ (whatever date you agree on). You would need to speak with HR, though, on what they will pay and what they will not pay. FMLA, I believe, only guarantees 6 weeks of leave (and they don't have to be paid). <--I could be wrong, but this is my understanding.  

    BabyFruit Ticker
    DD: 6/20/11
    DS: 2/23/13
    EDD: 4/15/17 

    ashleym112
  • @ebloom3 It may vary by job, and I know not every workplace participates in FMLA, but my understanding was that the federal law is for up to 12 weeks unpaid.  I think part of it can be used prior to the baby's birth too (particularly in high-risk situations like OP's), it just shortens the amt of time that can be taken postpartum.  But I'd definitely insist on getting clear answers (in writing if possible) about your FMLA policy @Hirish1984.
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    ebloom3peachy0709KirstinH88ashleym112
  • I'm currently 29+5 with twins and have not gotten updated due dates or anything; everything is running on schedule.  But in all honesty, they can come in 8 weeks or less! (BANANAS!!!!!)  I don't have a planned date of leave unless my doctor puts me on bed rest.  I don't see that happening yet because again, everything's going swimmingly (knock on wood!)  For a vaginal birth, I get 6 weeks disability; 8 weeks for c-section.  I plan to take a total of 12 weeks off.  6-8 will be on disability, 2 weeks I will use vacation time and the remainder will go unpaid.  I've saved a lot to ensure I can take some unpaid time and be covered.  :)
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  • @schef070911 I wasn't sure if it was 6 or 12. I have a lot of friends who just take 6, but they may be because of the paid leave (it might only be 6 paid weeks). I find that school maternity leave differs some from other work places. I believe that in FMLA it does state that the leave can be broken up, if needed.

    BabyFruit Ticker
    DD: 6/20/11
    DS: 2/23/13
    EDD: 4/15/17 

    schef070911KirstinH88ashleym112
  • I'm working until I go into labor so I can have as much time afterwards as possible.  I do have the advantage of being able to work from home and with the last 2 I stopped working in the office at 37 weeks.  Hoping to do the same this time around.

    I can take up to 12 weeks.  I'll get 4 weeks of paid STD and I have to exhaust any sick time I have, then the rest will use PTO in order for me to get paid something.  I'm playing it by ear with how long I'll be out.  I'd love to stay out the whole 12 weeks, but I don't know if money will hold out that long with the surprise medical bills we ran into.
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    KirstinH88schef070911ashleym112
  • I will be taking 12 weeks, paid.  I will most likely have a scheduled c-section (although who knows, baby could decide to come early and who knows what would happen then), so I will likely work up until the day before.  My boss has offered me additional time by using my vacation, which was nice of her to do.  DH has paid paternity leave, but he is in a profession that would expect him to take 1-2 weeks and not the full leave (so why offer it, I'll never know). We're debating if he'll stagger it and be home with the baby for a week after I go back. Our situation was drastically different last time - DH had graduated from graduate school and wasn't starting work until September, so he actually was home with me for my entire leave and then watched DD until we were both working full time. 
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    KirstinH88schef070911ashleym112
  • edited January 2017
    For my work (another teacher), I get 6 weeks "paid" for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks "paid" for a c-section. "Paid" is only paid if you have sick leave accrued. If you want to take any additional leave, it has to be through FMLA. Our district also does not offer STD, so you have to go through a third party to get it (which was more expensive for us in the long run, so I skipped it).

    Since I am scheduled for a RCS, I am planning on taking 8 weeks + 1 week of FMLA. I have about 4 weeks of sick leave built up, and Spring break is in there, so I will have 5 weeks paid. I will need to come back the last week of school because those 3 weeks unpaid will really stretch our budget. Ideally, I wouldn't come back at all, but such is life...since I teach mostly seniors, and all of my students test during senior exam week (which will be the week before I come back), I shouldn't actually have any students that week, so I'll mostly just be packing up my room and closing out for the summer. The kink is that my daycare doesn't take babies under 12 weeks, so I am having to call in favors from my mom and MIL to help DH out at home (since he works from home) for that week. Again, not ideal, but it is what it is, and I'll still have my 6 weeks of summer break to bond with her (I technically have to work two days over the summer, but we're allowed to bring kids for those days, so I'll just wrap her up and make a day of it ;) ).

    Maternity leave in this country sucks.

    ETA that I will work up until the week of my RCS, or right up to delivery if she comes early (fingers crossed!). My RCS is on a Wednesday, so I will take the Monday and Tuesday off for last minute prepping.
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    schef070911KirstinH88ebloom3ashleym112
  • I'm in a somewhat different situation with my leave. Mine starts next week, two months before baby is due. I work part time hourly and my bosses agreed to give me 6 months off,  unpaid of course. A temp is taking over while I'm away.  DH gets 6-8 weeks unpaid and he is taking all of it, so our LO will be lucky to have both parents home for a while. I may not go back to work after my leave is up, after all my pay would be canceled by any day care we pay for. DH makes enough money to support the family without me working for a long while. I have not decided if I want to be a SAHM, kind of difficult to decide when baby is not here.
    schef070911ashleym112Magheeta
  • I'm kind of surprised at how many of you have to use your sick/vacation time.  :/ Maybe it's a CA thing, but if you work with your employer for a set amount of hours within the year (not hard for full time employees), you get 6 weeks "paid" disability and 6 weeks "paid" family bonding. The "paid" is not full pay, but about 60%. So I'll be taking 12 weeks at 60% pay. If I wanted to take more time, I could qualify for 4 more weeks (CA law), but it would either be unpaid or I would have to use sick/vacation time at that point.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    ashleym112Magheeta
  • schef070911schef070911 member
    edited January 2017
    @KirstinH88 I've lived in 2 very conservative states (TX and now LA) and they both do the absolute minimum set forth by FMLA. No mandated short-term disability, so state employees don't get it. :/ Agreed with @SnarkasaurusRex - maternity leave in this country is terrible.

    ETA: @ebloom3 Yes, FMLA can be broken up and I probably will do that for the sole reason that they have to cover your health insurance premiums while you are on leave. So 8 weeks of FMLA, work until we move, then take the remaining 4 weeks to save us one month of COBRA in case there are coverage gaps.  (In some workplaces you have to reimburse premiums if you leave your job following FMLA, but I have written confirmation that this is not the case for me).


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    KirstinH88Magheeta
  • @KirstinH88 in MA they can not legally force us to use all of our PTO, but other branches of my company do have that rule (based out of TX).  I am forced to exhaust my sick time the first 2 weeks, then I get 4 weeks of pay at 60% through STD.  The other 6 weeks would unpaid, unless I used PTO to cover it.

    I'm banking on the new PTO rules that a manager can use their discretion and allow you to take more time than you were allotted.  So let's say I get 3 weeks of PTO, use 2 of it to get paid, I could still in theory take another 2 weeks off if my manager would approve it.
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    ashleym112KirstinH88Magheeta
  • I am planning on working up to two weeks before my due date (so end of March) but thats because there is still so much to do and sort out at work, and I only have 8.5 weeks in the office!  Then I will take 3 months paid and 3 months unpaid maternity leave, plus another c. 2 months accrued holidays (really lucky because I have 26 days + 5 extra from accrued bank holidays).  Meaning I will return to work end November.  Baby will be 7-8 months then... not sure if this is long or short.. in mainland Europe, most women stay for 2 years!  Here in the uk, most stay for 1 yr. I know that you american ladies stay for less.. 
    Me:  35 year old FTM, a busy city banker living in London, and a constant worrier. 
    My DH:  French guy, car fanatic, best husband ever.  
    Our baby boy:  Due on 17 April, currently 37 weeks.  I can't believe it - I made it to full term!!!! 
    Last measurement:  3150 gs at 37+1!  This is going to be a big baby :)
    HGRichashleym112KirstinH88Magheeta
  • I would add, I am pretty lucky because I can ride out my leave through summer. I won't return to work until late August. This seems unreal to me considering I took 12 wks with DS and only about 9 with DD. American maternity leave sucks, and, unfortunately, probably won't be improving anytime soon...

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    DS: 2/23/13
    EDD: 4/15/17 

    SnarkasaurusRexschef070911KirstinH88Magheeta
  • I'm working until my due date, or at least the Friday before (edd is Easter Sunday). I did the same with DS. I'll be taking 12 weeks FMLA, STD will pay 7 or 9 weeks at 60% pay depending on the delivery. My company recently started maternity/paternity leave with 2w at full pay (and have 6mo after birth to use it). I'll be using that the first 2w until the STD kicks in. It took about 4w for us to get a check from them which sucked. This doesn't cover my insurance though, since it's separate so I have to use 5hrs of PTO each week to make sure that my health insurance is paid for until I come back. Thankfully we have until June of each year to use what we earn, so I've been hoarding since July. I should have just enough to cover my insurance so I don't have to worry about it. 



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  • Welp, since I work part time hours for a small business, I plan on working as close as possible to my due date again. No work means no money, so I will be back to picking up shifts fairly quickly. I think I only really took off 3 weeks post baby last time :/ I stopped working at 39 weeks last time, so we shall see how I feel this time around. I also have new responsibilities with my job since I had DS, so at least that will have to be taken care of while I'm out. (Inventory, wine orders, wine dinners, etc) Right now there really isn't a good option for a person to take that on, so who knows how we will work it out. 

    It totally sucks that I will have to be back at work so soon, I'm invisioning myself working in the wine Cuvée with a baby strapped to me, lol. But such is the life I have chosen. 
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  • I have 3 weeks left. But I only work part time and will not be getting paid for any time I take off.  But we are in slow season and I'm not making a lot of money right now anyway so we decided I should take off extra time to spend with DD before the baby comes. I was a sahm until my daughter went to pre school so know we're OK with one income.  I'm deciding if I want to even go back, I have talked to my boss and the job will be available for me if I want it. I will probably go back a day or two a week from June til September when the money is good (Serving job) then leave again for winter.
    Abbygirl 5/2012
    Baby Boy due 04/07/17
    KirstinH88schef070911shaunessabelocin
  • Another teacher here. School gets out 4.5 weeks after baby is due so I won't be going back until August. I can take up to 12 weeks FMLA and split it however I prefer over 12 months. I've considered using the balance at the beginning of the school year but financially we won't be able to swing it (andplusalso, those first few weeks in the classroom are essential re: behavior & expectations). I will be paid sick for two weeks and technically be unpaid for the remaining 2.5 of the school year but will have disability paid at 60% for six weeks. DH gets three weeks of leave that can be used in the first year of baby's life. It has to be taken in week long increments so we are trying to decide when it would be most advantageous to use them. 
    DD March 2015
    Baby #2 due April 2017

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    shaunessaHGRichKirstinH88
  • I'm going to be a SAHM when baby is here. But there was awhile when I wanted to see if I could stay so I looked up the leave info for my workplace. It's six weeks unpaid, at the maximum. I would have probably thrown in one of my two weeks of vacation in there for a little extra time. I would have tried to work right up to my due date which is what I am planning to do, unless they hire my replacement soon and can't let me stay. DH has one week of paternity leave but I'm asking him to use a vacation week for a total of two. Of course he's sick this week so there go several vacation days. But he's been at his company long enough I think he gets four weeks a year. I used to work at a school on the admin side and there were two teachers who were pregnant at the time and they just kept coming to work, right up to due date, even if they were sick, to accrue those sick days. I always felt bad for them and thought it totally sucked. 
    Pregnancy TickerMarried 7/28/12
    Angel 6/7/16
    Rainbow (DD) 4/9/17
    KirstinH88belocincafediscoMagheeta
  • I am a teacher and plan to work until I deliver (even if it's past my due date) unless my doctor tells me that I can't. I worked 2 days past my due date with DS. I can take 6 weeks of accumulated sick days, which I have been hoarding, unless my doctor won't clear me to return to work. That means me with about two weeks of school before summer break so I plan on using FMLA and taking those two weeks as unpaid leave.
    KirstinH88cafedisco
  • @HGRich is your employer too small to be required to provide FMLA?
    DD #1 April 2017
    expecting mid-late May 2020

    KirstinH88
  • @catem07 either that or because I'm part time. Frankly I was impressed part time employees got six! But maybe that is standard. I've never done a lot of research on it. 
    Pregnancy TickerMarried 7/28/12
    Angel 6/7/16
    Rainbow (DD) 4/9/17
    KirstinH88
  • @HGRich
    How come your husband uses vacation days for sickness?  Doesn't he have sick days to take?
    Me:  35 year old FTM, a busy city banker living in London, and a constant worrier. 
    My DH:  French guy, car fanatic, best husband ever.  
    Our baby boy:  Due on 17 April, currently 37 weeks.  I can't believe it - I made it to full term!!!! 
    Last measurement:  3150 gs at 37+1!  This is going to be a big baby :)
  • @neseattlite wow. You do have it good!
    DD #1 April 2017
    expecting mid-late May 2020

    KirstinH88cafediscoNESeattliteMagheeta
  • @NESeattlite that's awesome! I thought my company was pretty good. I'll get 15 weeks total ( 2 before and 13 after birth) paid but only at 70%. I am trying to negotiate a flexible schedule upon returning (work from home is not an option
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    KirstinH88cafediscoNESeattlite
  • So things are totally different in Canada where I live . I am on sick leave now from my doctor because my work environment was to stressful and not healthy for baby and me. I get sick leave for up to 15 weeks and it's paid by employment insurance . After my 15 weeks is up baby girl should be here and then I get 52 weeks off for maternity leave that I can split with my SO or take all myself. It is also covered under employment insurance. So we get a lot longer then you guys and it's paid by our government . As far as I know employers do not ever cover paid leave for Matt leave it's always the government. 
    schef070911cafediscoHGRichbelocin
  • @smallanimal Not sure about @HGRich's situation, but depending on the company (a lot of construction companies work this way) where you are given your yearly leave amount at one time and then you use it however you please, sick or vacation. Some companies don't have it broken out specifically. Wasn't until recently (like last year) CA started requiring companies to give full time employees 3 sick days a year. I get more than that currently (1 sick day per month and it rolls over if I don't use it), but DH's old company didn't offer sick time until required by this law.
    Me: 29 DH: 33
    Married: 5/30/2013
    DSS #1: 5/25/2007
    DSS #2: 1/22/2011
    DS #3: 7/8/2012
    BFP: 3/14/2016 ~ MC: 3/19/2016
    DS #4: 4/21/17
    HGRich
  • Am I the only teacher taking some of the time at the beginning of next year? We go back to school the first week of August. Depending on when baby arrives, I should still have 6 weeks left, to get to 12 total. 
    Me: 31
    DH: 36
    Married 5 years
    DD born 8/30/13
    #2 expected 4/25/17
    KirstinH88
  • @smallanimal yes--exactly what @KirstinH88 said. DH gets four weeks paid time off total, which he can use for sick or vacation days or whatever he wants to use them for. That's after four years with his company. It goes up the longer he's there. 
    Pregnancy TickerMarried 7/28/12
    Angel 6/7/16
    Rainbow (DD) 4/9/17
    smallanimalKirstinH88
  • @KirstinH88 and @HGRich. Wow that seems super mean to me- its not your fault if you get sick, it should not take away your holidays, being sick =\= being on holiday and relaxing.. Not a great system!  We get up to 4 weeks sick days / year (obviously you never use up so many unless there is a major sickness) m... Meaning that if you get a cold , you dont need to worry about staying home for a few days.  Hope your system changes soon because it is draconian! 
    Me:  35 year old FTM, a busy city banker living in London, and a constant worrier. 
    My DH:  French guy, car fanatic, best husband ever.  
    Our baby boy:  Due on 17 April, currently 37 weeks.  I can't believe it - I made it to full term!!!! 
    Last measurement:  3150 gs at 37+1!  This is going to be a big baby :)
    KirstinH88Knottie34471835Magheeta
  • DH is also in the boat of his leave not being specified. So, he gets 4 weeks a year and he cause use it for vacation or illness. We're lucky in that his team lead is very family-oriented and basically told him to go into "ghost mode" once the baby is here (so answering emails only, not actively working on projects) for 2 weeks.

    @cafedisco Honestly, I hated being on maternity leave at the beginning of the school year. I did that with DS and I came back I think 7 weeks into the school year? My sub was terrible and it took me weeks to get behavior issues taken care of and get my kids back on track. It was so stressful that we purposely planned this kiddo for the spring time. If you have a good sub, you should be fine...it really depends on how your school/district handles maternity leave. We don't go back until the last week of August, so LO will be 20 weeks, so it's a non-issue this time.

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    cafediscoKirstinH88
  • @smallanimal I tend to agree. On the plus side, it evens out where he could get more vacation than he normally would under another system where he got sick days that wouldn't roll over to the next year and only say, three weeks' vacation IF he didn't get sick. But on the very negative side, it does push people to go in to work while sick, thereby spreading it around. DH doesn't do that, but the truth is, he's still working some. When I woke up today. the man had a 102 fever and was on his work laptop helping someone out with a question. Sigh. 
    Pregnancy TickerMarried 7/28/12
    Angel 6/7/16
    Rainbow (DD) 4/9/17
    KirstinH88smallanimal
  • I'll stay until the baby comes.  My other two kids are fairly close in age so I haven't had time to build up my sick days.  I'm a teacher and we can take 40 sick days.  I'll work as long as I can and then take off the rest of the year.  I'll my 21 sick days, then FMLA and Disability.  I'll work summer school for 18 days in July.  Then I'll go back full time in September.
    KirstinH88
  • @cafedisco I am of the same thinking as @SnarkasaurusRex. We don't go back until the end of August (they just changed our schedule because the governor of MD issued an executive order that mandates schools go back (for students) after Labor Day). I should get about 18 weeks off total (depending upon the baby's arrival). I feel the same way about taking off time at the beginning of the school year. Technically, I could take 3 more weeks (based on my due date), but the thought of having a sub start the year with 9th graders makes me shudder. I am sure my AP would be ok, but 9th graders need consistency at the beginning or things devolve quickly...

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    DD: 6/20/11
    DS: 2/23/13
    EDD: 4/15/17 

    HGRichcafediscoKirstinH88
  • I was really hoping to avoid it, to be honest. The goal was to take the full 12 weeks at the end of this year and then go straight into summer break but TTC took a bit more than I thought.

    I've thought about giving up those 6 weeks, which my principal clearly wants me to do, but I'm already so tentative about dropping an infant off at daycare. I stayed at home for a year with DD so we never did it. I just think in the grand scheme of things, I'd regret missing any moments with this one, our last, even if it means a crappy start to the year. I'm also thinking I can get pretty close to avoiding pumping at work altogether this way, which would be a huge stress relief for me. 

    But yeah, there's still a lot of stress with it. 
    Me: 31
    DH: 36
    Married 5 years
    DD born 8/30/13
    #2 expected 4/25/17
    KirstinH88SnarkasaurusRexHGRichebloom3
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