Monday, April 5, 2010

When You Should Begin Your Maternity Leave

By Martha 

Many factors will need consideration before you can set an appropriate date to start your maternity leave. Primary among them is your own health. On your fifth month expect not only to have gained a lot of weight, but also to provide for the nutrition of your own body as well as that of your baby’s. This can drain your stamina considerably. One way to go around this bush is to eat nutritious foods and take supplemental vitamins. Onwards from your second pregnancy, you will have gained enough insight to know how far you can remain active while pregnant. During your first pregnancy, you need the supervision of a qualified pediatrician to keep at your work without getting ill. For the purpose of evaluating your maximum tolerance for work the pediatrician will have to consider the type of work you engage at. 

Necessarily, legal regulations concerning maternity leaves influence your decision to start your maternity leave. While these rules vary from country to country, there is usually a specified deadline for sending in your application. In the UK this is 15 weeks before the estimated date of childbirth and the earliest date for the actual leave is 11 weeks before. If you are in the dark about this, consult your HR officer. 

Another consideration for deciding when to start your maternity leave is the need to prepare the accommodations for the new baby. To avoid the necessity of taking an early leave just to prepare the house as a conducive environment for the child, you could start buying baby’s needs little by little long before you take your leave. However, if for some reason you are not able to stock diapers, blankets and baby food piece by piece, you should opt for an earlier maternity leave to give you time to prepare your nest.

Money-wise, the earlier the leave starts, the sooner will your SMP(Statutory Maternity Pay) be consumed. The result of this is that after having the baby, you will have fewer paid days in your leave. This need not be a major problem. It will just be a question of not splurging your maternity pay when you receive it. Save it up to spend towards the end of the leave. 

Last but not least, most women need some time to transform themselves from career ladies to mothers. This transformation can be drastic, all the more so because it is necessary for a successful maternity. Not only your physical activities will be altered but also you psychology and mentality. It may take a period of about a week to entirely adapt yourself to the new role and consequently might mean your starting your leave one week earlier. Given considerable flexibility, this should not be necessary for you and you could start your maternity leave at a later date. 

Deciding when to start your maternity leave is a question of acting on three issues. The need to comply with legal guidelines concerning maternity leaves, the necessity of making adequate arrangements in the house for the new baby and acquiring the necessary adjustments in mentality to cope with the psychological and physical stress during and following birth.

About the Author: Martha cares a great deal about families and childhood. She would like for you to take a look at her Baby Bedding and Glenna Jean Crib Bedding

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