Updated at: 20-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

This is especially true if you’re dealing with uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms or have a physically taxing job, yet you want to spend as much time as possible with your newborn following the birth.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered some information and suggestions on how to make an informed decision about taking a leave of absence.

When should I go on maternity

When deciding when to take maternity leave, here are some things to keep in mind.

This is especially true if you’re dealing with uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms or have a physically taxing job, yet you want to spend as much time as possible with your newborn following the birth.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered some information and suggestions on how to make an informed decision about taking a leave of absence.

How Long Is Maternity Leave and Do You Get Paid?

When’s the earliest I can start my maternity leave?

Maternity leave may be begun as early as 11 weeks before the expected due date. While it is possible to work right up until your due date, if you get a pregnancy-related illness in the final month of your pregnancy, you will have to take time off to begin your leave. Maternity leave begins when you go into labor and ends when you return to work.

When’s the latest I can start my maternity leave?

As long as your employer doesn’t specify otherwise, you can work right up to your due date. To minimize the stress of going into labor at work and to guarantee a healthy and timely birth, most women opt to take maternity leave about a week or two before their due date.

What should I consider when making my decision?

Pregnancy symptoms and how they change over time. Pregnancy is a unique experience for each woman. Pregnant women may be forced to take maternity leave early if they are unable to continue working owing to symptoms such as lack of sleep, back discomfort, heartburn, the list goes on. When it comes to childbearing however, you may find it a breeze! If that’s the case, you’ll be able to stay working until your preferred time.

Your commute to work

The stress of commuting to work is compounded when you have a bump to contend with, making the experience much more difficult and tiresome. Consider taking an early leave of absence if your employment has a long commute that you can’t avoid.

Your job’s demands

If your job is physically or emotionally demanding, you may opt to take maternity leave early rather than wait until your due date. Alternatively, if you have access to a desk at home, you may be content to work until the very last minute.

Your plans before birth

It’s possible that you’d prefer to depart early to focus exclusively on organizing and preparing for your new birth, or perhaps you’d prefer to take a babymoon before your new arrival changes everything! It’s possible that working closer to your due date will allow you to avoid the boredom of maternity leave in the weeks leading up to your baby’s arrival.

Advice from other mums

It’s a good idea to seek the advice of coworkers and family members who have taken maternity leave in the past, especially if you’re in the same line of work. Even better, ask for ideas from coworkers who have already taken maternity leave.

Can I change the date of my maternity leave?

However, you must provide your employer at least 28 days’ notice before making any changes to the date of your maternity leave. Consider bringing your leave date forward if you’re feeling more exhausted than expected, or if you have more energy than you expected and would prefer to work closer to your due date.

What Every Mom Needs to Know About Maternity Leave

Are you thinking about taking some time off to care for your newborn? If you live in the United States, it may not be what you expect or hope it is.

As mothers recuperate physically and bond with their new babies, the first 12 weeks of a baby’s life are an important time. After the birth of a child, taking time off from work has numerous advantages for both parents and employers, including a greater likelihood that you will breastfeed for a longer period of time and that you will still be employed a year later.

The reality is that many women are unable to take that much time off from work because their companies do not provide enough (or any) paid maternity leave, and they simply cannot afford to miss out on a paycheck during that period.

While this is the case, an increasing number of private companies and even states are increasingly providing new parents with some paid family leave time. Continue reading to find out how to get the most out of your maternity leave.

What is maternity leave?

Mothers who are on maternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child are sometimes referred to as “new moms.” The term “paternity leave” refers to the time a father is absent from work.

For example, many firms now provide parental leave, which allows new parents to take time off for the birth or care of a new baby, as well as additional parental leave benefits.

How long is maternity leave?

If you’re entitled for it, maternity leave can last up to 12 weeks. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many women in the United States.

The federal government ensures 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a newborn through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Only some employees at specific companies are covered by the statute (more on that below).

Paid parental leave is available in some states and in some workplaces, but not in all. FMLA doesn’t force firms to pay their employees while they’re on leave.

Here’s a look at who might be able to help:

Individual employers

A growing number of businesses, both large and small, have decided to implement paid leave policies. Some policies extend the grace period for months or even years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 17 percent of American workers have access to paid family leave through private businesses. Ask your present or potential employer’s human resources department about family leave policies.

States with paid leave

Only six states and the District of Columbia provide paid family leave, which is primarily supported by employee-paid payroll taxes and handled through disability insurance programs. These states are California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Government employers

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, which entered into effect in October 2020, provides federal employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Unpaid leave with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

You may be familiar with the FMLA, a federal statute in the United States that ensures time off for many new parents. It works like this:

What is the FMLA?

The FMLA mandates that many, but not all, U.S. firms provide their employees (male and female) with 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period following the birth or adoption of a child.

As a result of the FMLA’s passage in 1993, employers must allow you to return to your position (or a role identical to it) with the same remuneration package after you have taken a 12-week vacation. That’s a good thing for both parents and children, but there are certain exceptions.

Qualifying for the FMLA

Only around 60% of American workers are eligible for FMLA benefits, according to current estimates. If you’re in the following situation:

  • There are at least 50 workers working for your business within a 75-mile radius of where you work.
  • If you’ve worked for your current employer for at least a year, you’re eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • It has been at least a year since you worked for your company for at least 1,250 hours in order to be eligible for an FMLA leave. There are at least seven of the last 12 months in which you worked at least 40 hours a week, or 24 hours each week for at least 12 months.

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Further stipulations

You should also be aware of a few additional FMLA caveats:

  • The FMLA only covers one person in a couple per company. If you and your partner work at the same company, you’re entitled to a total of 12 weeks combined — not 12 weeks each.
  • In a married couple, the FMLA only covers one of them. A total of 12 weeks is yours and your partner’s, if you both work for the same company.
  • Notice is required. At least 30 days’ notice should be given to your employer if you want to take FMLA-guaranteed time off.
  • In some cases, your employer may challenge your request for leave of absence. Unpaid leave may be available to you if you’re in the top tenth of your company’s pay earners and your employer can show that your absence will result in considerable financial harm, but you may lose your job when you return.
  • Employees are responsible for their own health insurance. On leave, you must be enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan. Unless your employer is very generous, you must continue to contribute to your company’s retirement plan on a weekly basis or your employer may cover your portion and not seek for payback. Your workplace may provide you COBRA (a temporary extension of health insurance coverage) benefits instead, which allows you to continue to be covered under the same plan, but you’ll be responsible for the entire premium cost. Insuring a new family member can be expensive, so check with your company’s HR department to see what options are available.
  • A leave of absence could have an effect on future promotions and the amount of time available for vacation. While on leave, your employer is not required to allow you to accrue vacation time or use that time as part of your overall service history. Your future annual vacation days, raises for seniority, participation in the vesting of your company’s 401(k) plan, and vesting of stock options, among other perks, may be affected by this.
  • Other advantages are not affected. As long as you’re on unpaid leave, you can’t make contributions to your 401(k), pension, or other types of flexible spending accounts.

The U.S. Department of Labor has more information on the FMLA’s obligations and your rights. There’s room for improvement in the future. One option being considered is a nationwide paid leave scheme like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

State laws for maternity leave

Despite the fact that the federal government and all but six states (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington) haven’t yet implemented paid leave, some plan to implement paid leave in the future. Connecticut, for example, will require paid leave starting in January 2022, Oregon in January 2023 and Colorado in 2024.

There are still certain states (California, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington) that have yet to introduce paid leave. For example, in January 2022, Connecticut will mandate paid leave, Oregon in January 2023 and Colorado in January 2024.

Short-term disability for maternity leave

STD insurance can extend your maternity leave, even though parenting is not considered to be a disability.

What is STD insurance?

STD insurance, which many employers and unions pay for and offer as an obligatory benefit to their employees, often pays between 50% and 100% of your salary for a specified number of weeks after you give birth.

STD is a benefit that is intended to pay you a portion of your salary when you are unable to work due to illness, injury, or childbirth.

Qualifying for STD insurance

STD advantages come in a wide variety of forms. What you get may depend on your employer or union, how long you’ve worked there, and other variables. Make an appointment with an HR representative to find out what benefits you are eligible to.

How long STD benefits last

For a period of six weeks, you may be able to receive a portion of your pay while you are out of work due to STD benefits. If you had a C-section or other difficulties during delivery, you may be eligible for additional time under some plans. Pregnancy bed rest may also be covered by some insurance policies.

Other ways to extend maternity leave

You may be able to use any or all of the following options if you want to extend your maternity leave or STD benefits:

  • Time off throughout the school year
  • Sick leave.
  • Days off from work for personal reasons

Before taking a vacation, familiarize yourself with your company’s policies and procedures.

If none of these choices work for you, but you still want to stay at home with your infant, you may be eligible for extra government assistance. Your HR department can tell you if you’re allowed to do so.

  • Take a leave of absence without pay.
  • Unpaid disability leave can be taken.
  • To make the move easier, consider working from home.

Preparing for maternity leave

Make a few final preparations once you have a maternity leave game plan in place and have addressed your pregnancy with your supervisor. It is important to convey to your employer and coworkers that you have a strong commitment to both your family and your career. Consider these suggestions:

  • The unexpected can and will happen. Your baby can show up six days early, even if you prepare everything to the slightest detail. Try to maintain your maternity leave start date open in the event that your kid comes early or late, so that you don’t have to reschedule.
  • Make the decisions. If you’ll be absent for a period of time, make sure to train a temporary substitute well in advance of your departure. While you’re away, make sure everything runs smoothly by putting together a list of instructions, tips, and contact information.
  • Continue to communicate with one another. How often do you want to receive work-related emails or phone calls, or do you prefer to leave everything at the office? Make sure you tell your supervisor and coworkers what you’ve decided. But keep in mind that if you find that parenting takes up all of your time, you can always opt out of the service.


Is 36 weeks too early to start maternity leave?

MOTHERS IN CALIFORNIA CAN START MAternity Leave at 36 weeks of pregnancy, even if they haven’t paid into the state’s Social Security Disability Insurance Fund (SDI). It is possible for a pregnant lady to work closer to her due date if she so desires.

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Can I go back to work 2 weeks after having a baby?

A six-week “disability” leave following the birth of a child is the usual. Depending on the demands of their profession and the level of care they receive at home, some women may be able to return to work sooner than others.

How much maternity pay will I get?

A maximum of 39 weeks of maternity leave are covered by Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). For the first six weeks, you’ll receive 90% of your average weekly profits (before taxes). If your average weekly earnings are less than £151.97, you will receive 90 percent of that amount for the next 33 weeks.

Is it OK to not work while pregnant?

Pregnancy does not interfere with most women’s ability to work, and many do so right up to the due date. If your work is physically demanding, you’re exposed to hazardous substances, or you’re experiencing specific pregnancy-related issues, you may have to alter your responsibilities or find another career.

When should you stop working when pregnant Canada?

17 weeks after the leave began or 12 weeks after the stillbirth, whichever comes first, is the termination date for pregnancy leave under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ESA). It is 12 weeks following the stillbirth in this case. After the stillbirth, Wai can take an additional 12 weeks of leave, bringing her pregnancy leave to a total of 27 weeks.

When is a good time to go on maternity leave?

At approximately 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Morning sickness and changes in appetite/food cravings are common during this time for women, who already have a lot going on with their bodies.

In order to make life a little bit simpler, physicians and other mothers alike advise pregnant women to get themselves fitted whenever they find something that’s too big or too small for them, even if it means going up or down a size.

Another good time to see a shop fitting specialist is during the end of your first trimester. This will give you a leg up when it comes to buying the best maternity bra for you because you’ll know exactly what size you need.

It’s important to make sure your breasts aren’t protruding or overflowing over while you’re trying on a bra, and you should also pay attention to how it feels on your ribcage and back.

Go up a size if something seems too tight in these areas at any point during the fitting procedure; otherwise, it will be too small instead of the perfect fit!

What country has the longest paid maternity leave?

There are no rules in the United States requiring employers to provide paid time off for new mothers and fathers.

In what state can you get unemployment insurance during this period of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)?

You should check with your employer and state benefits before determining whether or not to take full maternity leave in the United States. If you’re thinking about taking a maternity or paternity leave, check out the information on our blog.

Statutory Maternity Pay in the United Kingdom is guaranteed for 52 weeks, and increases incrementally based on the number of years an employee worked for the employer prior to giving birth.

For the first time, fathers in certain nations are receiving paid time off to care for their children. Despite the fact that the United States does not yet have a paternity leave policy, a number of firms do!

If anything isn’t apparent, do some research and ask questions so that you and your family may be as prepared as possible. We, too, are ready to assist you in any manner we can.

How long do maternity jeans last?

For this reason, maternity jeans normally don’t last as long as other types of pants.

Does unpaid maternity leave count as service for redundancy?

Unpaid maternity leave should not increase your chances of being laid off because it is based on how long you’ve worked for the company and your position.

Can I apply for Cerb after maternity leave?

After your maternity leave ends, you are eligible to reapply for Cerb.

What to do if I am not breastfeeding?

Mothers who choose to breastfeed their children generally do so because they believe it is the best option for both themselves and their child. Regardless of whether or not you are able to breastfeed, there are still many options available to meet your baby’s milk supply demands!

Pumping during working hours is one option, as is freezing your extra supply in advance. A lactation consultant can help you figure out what works best for you and your baby.

How long does paternity leave last?

Paternity leave is often granted for three days, but this might vary by state.

What happens during paternity leave?

Since mom is presumably exhausted, take advantage of the three days of paternity leave to spend time with your new kid and help around the house.

If necessary, you could also make an appointment with a doctor. Taking care of a newborn baby isn’t difficult, but it does take some getting accustomed to, so having an additional pair of hands on deck would be quite useful in the first few weeks after giving birth!

This transition period can be made easier if there are family members nearby who are willing to come over and help out.

Keep an eye on yourself so you don’t fall asleep carrying your baby, which could lead to them becoming lethargic from not being carried and cared for.

Does maternity leave count as continuous employment?

Yes, as long as she returns to work after her FMLA leave time has expired and there has been no break in service. Possibly, if all other conditions are met, such as having worked at least 20 hours per week on a regular basis during the prior year of active military service and then returning to work for an employer who granted you unpaid FMLA leave while you were away from that job.

How do I ask for paid maternity leave?

If you’re expecting a baby and would like to request a paid maternity leave, let your employer know right away.

What is the average length of paternity leave?

Depending on where you work, you may need more or less time. When it comes to paternity leave, some countries grant fathers up to 40 weeks off at a time while others limit it to only two or three days.