Why is there so much fuss about going on maternity leave early?

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

My caseworker for my child care assistance needed written proof from my doctor when and why I was taking maternity leave early in order for me to keep my older son eligible for assistance. I took leave on Oct.8, my due date is Oct.22. It's unpaid, 12 weeks. I work in a plastic injection molding factory. I felt a little left out when reading other forums how other women can make it all the way when they work in clean office jobs and no one works in a plant like I do. I understand if some women chose not to plan a pregnancy while working in a high risk environment, most already had their children a lifetime ago and are done or don't want any til they change jobs. Well not all of us can easily do that with the way the economy is, at least on my side of the U.S. I wish we weren't put down because we think about the health of our unborn babies first if our bodies can't make the long haul, and not think about $$$. Yes I know we need the money especially we'll be left without an income for a couple months and our men can do so much on one income, but I chose not to risk my baby and myself. Also towards the last couple weeks I worked, I started getting sciatica pain on and off, and I'm glad I stopped work when I did because it got worse afterward. And in addition, who would want to go into active labor and have their water break in a factory and the hospital is 35 min. away?


Mommy - posted on 10/23/2012




My company tried to screw me over with my time and would only give me my 12 weeks of disability and now the family leave we are entitled to in NJ. Well I went to the labor board and they called my HR dept with me on the phone and told them that was illegal and their policy on maternity leave doesn't matter, it is the law they need to follow. So I was able to take 3 weeks before and 6 weeks after disability, and up to 12 more weeks of family leave. I still think it is too young for my child to go to day care, but that's the most they will give you where I live.


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User - posted on 11/02/2012




I have taken maternity leave twice at my current job and will be taking it again in the spring. I am a dialysis nurse and we work 10-11hr shifts on our feet. With my first I went on leave with a note from my doctor at 37w 2 days because my blood pressure was getting high. My water broke the next day and I had my son the day after. For my next I planned my leave for 37 1/2 weeks remembering how relived I was to stop working the last time. I had my second son at 38 1/2 weeks. I felt that was the perfect time. I had exactly 1 week off before having him which was enough to destress and prepare the house but not so long that I felt like I was wasting my 12 weeks. I get 60% pay for 6 weeks with my short term disability (which is an optional benefit I pay for out of every paycheck) and I use my PTO to cover the rest of my time off. My company was very cooporative with me taking my leave but it does push back my yearly review by however long I'm out. I think 37 weeks is an ideal time to work to. You are no sissy as you have made it that far. And technically after 37 weeks you are full term and your baby could come at any time.

No matter what your company thinks it is the right thing to do to put the health and well-being of your baby first. In my job there have been quite a few pregnancy tragedies I think partly due to the physical and mental stress of the job. Between the 4 staff member who are in our childbearing years we have had 3 early m/c (that I know of), 1 missed miscarriage at 10 weeks, 1 preterm labor at 23weeks (baby survived), 1 preterm labor at 26 weeks (baby died) and 4 term deliveries. That means there were issues in 60% of the pregnancies. We are all in our mid 20s. Just goes to show that you can't be too careful and it just wouldn't be worth it if something were to happen.

[deleted account]

Lucky for you Michelle, at least where you're from, employers care about their workers and can afford to pay them that long being on maternity leave including the benefit of having more time to be with your baby. I'd feel more comfortable returning to work when my baby is a year old and in day care than 6-10 weeks old.

Amy - posted on 10/13/2012




I'm not sure why they gave you such a hard time for 2 weeks. I worked up till 5 days before by due date with my first, it only ended up being 3 days with babies early arrival. I work retail so my job wasn't as physically demanding as yours but I was still climbing ladders, lifting 30 lb boxes, moving fixtures, and on my feet 9 hours a day, I also worked an hour from my house two hours from the hospital so I had the same fear as you. When I had my second I had the same job but was closer to the hospital I worked on my induction day, went to the hospital after I spent some time with my son. I also had problems with my sciatica I constantly felt like my leg was going to collapse from the pain shooting down my leg. I know for me personally I wanted to work as close as possible to my due date so I'd be able to spend more time at home after the baby.

Michelle - posted on 10/13/2012




The company I work for in Australia won't let us work less than 8 weeks before baby is due. We also get 6 months maternity leave paid for but can take up to 12 months off. The law here is I think a minimum of 4-6 weeks before the due date that women are allowed to work.

For my first 2 I left 8 weeks before my due date and with my 3rd I left 4 months before. I was able to stay at home longer with #3 though.

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