Choosing when to start your maternity leave may seem like an easy task, but for many mothers, this can be very difficult. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so finding what is right for you may take some time. Below though are a few pieces of advice from a new mother for when you are choosing when to start your leave.
Planning your leave time is important, but be flexible. Some things do not go according to plan, especially when it comes to the human body and pregnancy. For example, you may need to take time off earlier than expected for a medical reason. If your doctor is suggesting you take two weeks off before your baby comes, listen to her. She wants what is best for you and your child. Also, listen to your own body. If you are experiencing intense pregnancy symptoms, it might be wise to start your leave earlier so that you can relax some before the baby arrives. Talk to your superiors about this as soon as you can, however, so that they can adapt their plans as well if you need to adjust your time off.
Think Office Time
When you are choosing when to start your leave time, consider both your time to your office and your time in the office. If you have a very difficult commute, for instance, you may want to start your leave time earlier. However, if you have a very demanding job,you may want to work until the moment your water breaks. Either decision is fine, and whatever is most comfortable for you is what you should do!
Talk with Benefits
Make sure that you talk with your benefits office before you take your leave, and while you are there, ask about your options for if plans change. Some offices require a certain number of days’ notice (e.g. two weeks or 28 days) if you want to change your leave time once it is already set, while other offices do not. Having the information ahead of time can help both you and your co-workers feel more prepared for when you want to start your maternity leave.
All in all, remember that this is your decision! There are many factors to consider whenever you choose to start maternity leave, and everyone’s situation is different. Whatever makes you the most comfortable is what you should choose to do, and if that plan changes, that is OK. There is no right or wrong choice, only your choice.