Monday, December 27, 2010

Maternity Leave??

 In the beginning of my pregnancy, my boss and I briefly spoke about my maternity leave.  The conversation originally came up because I was so sick in the beginning of my pregnancy - I was coming in late and missing days.  I felt so bad, I started thinking that I should start using my FMLA early.  I just didn't want to seem as if I was taking advantage. However, my boss assured me that he understood what was going on and just asked me to stay in communication with him.  Luckily, I was able to do some work from home so that's what I did on some days.

Now, my due date is about 10 weeks away, so I need to discuss with my boss my plans for my maternity leave.  Him and I are scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to discuss it.  Many people have asked me about my company's maternity leave policy. Hm..... we dont have one.  The only thing that we have is FML (family and medical leave), in which I am entitled to 12 weeks unpaid. The United States nor Florida mandates anything else as far as maternity leave is concerned.

Hmm... seems like I may be living in the wrong country! LOL :) However,hubby and I have been saving up so we are able to cover bills and such while I am out.  I would really like to stay home for about a year or so, but that is hardly realistic. 

And I would really like to keep my job so I wont want to make any outrageous requests tomorrow. LOL :/

I know for sure my boss is planning to hire a temp, so I just need to let him know how long I plan to be out.  To prepare, I have been making lists/plans for my temp to follow. Each day, I add things to the list so that when the temp comes in, training will be smooth and he/she will be ok once I leave.  In addition, I dont plan to be completely disconnected from work. I will be totally accessible to the temp so that he/she can contact me in case he/she has any questions. I will also be logging in to check work emails so that I am not completely out of the loop.

 I still don't know exactly how long I will be out. I plan to begin my leave on Feb 21st (due date is March 9th) and I am thinking that I will return to work probably in the 1st week of July. So thats a little over four months.

Hubby will also be taking leave.  Of course he wont schedule anything now, but his leave will begin as soon as I go into labor and he will probably take two weeks off in the beginning.

When did you begin your maternity leave? How long were you out? What did they offer at your company? What advice can you give me?


  1. My job offers 6 weeks paid maternity leave and then the option to take an additional 12 weeks through FMLA. I am a teacher whose last day of school occurred when I was 28 weeks. I ended up delivering 1-day before my due date and being off work a total of 6 months.

    Being off before delivery helped me to cope with the pains associated with late stage pregnancy. I began walking in a pool 3 times a week both for exercise and to alleviate round ligament pain and carpal tunnel in both wrists. In fact, the time in the pool is the only time I didn't feel the pressure. I even walked the day I went into labor. My job offers 6 weeks paid maternity leave and then the option to take an additional 12 weeks through FMLA.

    During the last trimester, I walked 2-3 times a week in a pool. Doing so was the only thing that fully relieved round ligament pain and carpal tunnel. In fact, I ended up walking the day I went into labor. I also took advantage of regular pre-natal massages.

    Take as much time off as you can. It took me 6-weeks to truly establish my milk supply and probably 2-3 months to establish a semblance of a routine with my daughter.

    Nap when the baby naps. I know that sounds hard, and they'll be a 1000 things you'll want to do when the baby is sleeping, but go to sleep.

    If you plan on breastfeeding and pumping, take advantage of the month before you go back to work to try and establish a supply of stored milk.

    And it's good to read your work emails to stay in the loop and be available to answer questions. But in the beginning, I went to the extreme checking my email 2-4 times a day but I mellowed and focused on my amazing daughter. That time was PRECIOUS and never to be repeated. Work was still there when I got back and honestly, it was like I never left.

    Sorry, as I re-read this it feels like an overly long comment but I can't figure out how to shorten any of it.

  2. I began my leave 2 weeks before i was due. Not because i was immobile or having unbearable contractions but simply because i wanted to take advantage of any lazy/sleep time i had left before the baby came. (I def reccommend you do the same)

    I took 3 months without pay. I was only working part-time so I wasnt entitled to any benefits. I think you should come back to work when the baby can sleep throughout the night and when you have childcare figured out. If not, you'll be tired and stressed at work. No Bueno

  3. girl you know my story.. i was out of work for 3 mos and only went back cause i didnt want gabe to carry all the weight. But our jobs are different and i had my dad and other fam to watch ri. i think 4 mos may be enough time off but only u will know.. aannddd i do believe you'll be comfy returning to work once u find a daycare ur comfy with :-) lol tmi

  4. My boss worked right up to when she went into labor. What helped her is that she was able to work from home beginning one week before her due date. I plan to set up the same arrangement, but am hoping for flexibility from my new boss in case I feel different than I expect at that stage. I'm one of the lucky ones who gets 6 weeks paid leave and can use sick and vacation time on top of that. I plan to take a total of 8 - 9 weeks.


I love reading your comments! Every bit of advice and input is helpful - trust me! :) I may not always have a chance to respond to every single comment, but I do read them all!