Bumpie Tip of the Week: Should You Take an Early Maternity Leave?

Photo: Veer / The Bump
Photo: Veer / The Bump

Moms in our community were weighing the pro’s and con’s of starting their maternity leave early — so moms-to-be, take note! Their helpful hints could help you decide whether or not you should try to make it until your last day, or head for the couch a few days earlier.

Here’s what moms said:

” I figured why hang around work when I could be resting and all that. I have been working because I did not want to use my paid sick leave too much before baby but I definitely think my cankles and back would have appreciated the time off.” — Sarah B*

“I started mine a week ago at 39 weeks. I have been very bored! If my job hadn’t been physically hard I would have stayed. In fact I had a break down yesterday when my husband got home and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m here alone and bored.” — Heather W.

“I thought I picked a good time to start mine..OH! How wrong I was. Here I am, bored and waiting for this little one to arrive, I feel like I could have been at work all this week!” – Meghan H.

“That’s my concern too! I’m due on the 27th, so I know in all actuality he could come any time between now and then, but he could always wait unitl AFTER and then I just wasted two+ weeks bored at home.” — lilypie56

“Granted I’m sure my back and legs would love not being confined to my desk all day long, but we also have no family out here so the idea of taking time off before baby is even here and then having to come back earlier because of it seems selfish of me, I’d have to be back and work and finding someone to watch him when I would wait and max out everything at the end.” — MaggieRoe11

“I’m starting mine about a week early, but only because I know I am having a c-section on March 22 if baby doesn’t come before that.  I probably would’ve otherwise continued working until I delivered but knowing an actual date prompted me to say Saturday was my last day. So, I have about 5 days to clean my house, rest, collect myself.  I have a friend who is due in two weeks and her last day is also this Saturday, but its because she is so uncomfortable. If you feel like you have everything ready, I would just wait, unless you are so uncomfortable that perhaps the time to yourself would be so beneficial it outweights potential boredom.” — sweetpea144

“I contemplated taking leave early, but thought that the distraction of work would be good. Even if I’m uncomfortable.” – QTmama33

“For me, there was a huge difference in an 8 week old baby than a 12 week old baby. I think I would have passed out from exhaustion sleep deprivation if I had gone back at 8 weeks instead of 12! I’m trying my hardest to stick it out until I go into labor so that I have the full 12 off after delivery.” — LanieB

“I think I would be going crazy sitting around the house waiting for the baby to arrive.” – Desireeebbe

“I was exhausted dragging this watermelon around all day with me.  I work at a gym so lots of walking and showing people around, lots of stress being the boss too.  I honestly didn’t feel good about staying through the week and getting paid if I wasn’t working at my best.  Not fair to my company. Just my opinion.  If you feel like you can’t perform your job the way you always do, it’s time to go out.” – Jessicaeet5

“Even though I have a desk job, it’s getting rough getting up and coming in every day. I hate getting dressed! I actually wore black yoga pants the other day and I’ll probably rock them on Monday as well!” – LeslieKh6

*Some names have been changed.

Moms, weigh in: when should you take your maternity leave?

Plus, more from The Bump:

The 10 Hardest Things About Maternity Leave (and How to Deal)

Planning My Maternity Leave — What to Know

How Much Maternity Leave Should I Take?