When is a good time to stop working

Hi there

I work in a very corporate enviroment with 4hours commute a day. I'm thinking of going for maternity leave as soon as I qualify in week 29. Do most women still have the energy to continue for a while? I hear of people working right till birth!



  • Hi, I'm in a very corporate environment too but my commute's less, about 90 mins each day. I hope that I'll be able to work until about 36/37 weeks, as the office has a/c, I sit most of the day, get decent break over lunch, etc. I've given a provisional date to work that my last day will be 18th July (due 7th Aug) but they know it's not cast in stone and you don't have to confirm your leaving date until 4 weeks before you want to take leave.

    If I were you I would give the date you'd like to finish but make it clear to HR that you make need to bring this forward or backward. Don't forget, you're not legally obliged to tell work you're pregnant until week 25. It sounds like you're trying to help them and yourself plan ahead, but so much of the reality seems to be out of our hands, eh?!

    How far along are you and how do you feel?
  • Hi

    I think the best answer is that you stop when you feel you need to. I'm a teacher and had originally planned to work up until week 36 so that I could have longer after the birth before I HAVE to go back to work (after 6 months maternity leave). However, I got to week 20 and decided that I just wasn't going to be able to cope working up to week 36 on my feet all day and dealing with hundreds of stroppy teenagers. I worked out that if I worked up until the Easter Hols, had the two weeks off, went in for the teacher training day (first day of summer term) and then officially started my leave the day after, I wouldn't need to go back until 8th Oct. So, on the training day I was 34+1 but really I'd had two weeks off before that too due to the Easter break.

    Now I'm at 36+3 I know there is just no way I could have worked up until the end of last week. You have to look at your finances and your company's maternity policy and work out when you can go. My mw said that the sooner you can stop the better it is for you...

  • I work in a very hands on busy retail environment. My boss has been brilliant and I have been doing reduced hours for the last 4 weeks, however, finished work yesterday (using up 4 weeks hols first, due 31 May.) I found it hard work because I haven't been sleeping very well, so am very tired through the day, bending is a problem and being on my feet for 7 hours a day was really taking its toll. It's a great relief to me to be finished. But I think each to their own, obviously the more time off you have before, the less time off you have after lo is here (assuming you return to work).
    I would have really struggled to work any later (34+5) and I'm looking forward to having some time for me before lo gets here. You will know yourself when it is time to finish and I agree with weeza, make clear the date you provide is flexible.
  • I worked up to 37 1/2 weeks nut really I was dead on my feet from 32 weeks. I had a 2hr commute everyday.
  • Thanks for all the replies! Yes, I will speak to them about this as I was thinking of going when I'm week 29, but may be able to work longer until week 30-32. My main issue is the commute and standing on trains/tube/ bus as I use all! My due date is 18 Sept, seems so far and so near...
  • I am working until 10 days before my due date (as long as lo doesn't arrive before that) I work in a busy office environment but they have supplied me with almost everything I need ie: a room with a bed in in case I want a lay down, foot stalls and even a fridge if I decide I need to express milk lol I would rather be at work than sitting at home waiting for lo to arrive as I know how frustrated I would get image xx
  • I conceived September last year. On one hand it seems like a lifetime ago and I can't remember prepregnant life - oh the days when I could see my feet. On the other hand it will come round in no time at all!!
    Try going to reduced hours as you get bigger and more tired, it really helped me keep going.
    Good luck
  • I hope you're going to have no issues with requesting a seat on the train, tube and bus as you get bigger. I've found it's usually easy to get a seat on the bus now I'm showing, and if I want to sit down, I stand in between the seats and ask if anyone would mind letting me sit - I think so long as you ask nicely and thank them, there's always someone who feels like a hero for sacrificing their seat - win:win! Have you got one of those TfL 'baby on board' badges? I've heard they work sometimes too.

    Also, is there any chance your work can alter your hours slightly as it gets hotter in the city? I've moved my working day one hour earlier and it makes getting a seat much easier, tho the bus is still steaming hot in the afternoon, even in this weather!

    Good luck - you'll get to week 29 before you know it!
  • I work in a very busy environmetn and i am on my feet for upto 8 hours a day, i dont work too far though so dont have to comute. Im 27+5 now, ive got 5 weeks to go and then i am taking my 6 weeks annual holiday, so my maternity will start just before my due date. I think it totally depend on how you feel yourself, i certainly wouldnt want to travel for 4 hours a day! x
  • Hi,
    I'm only 16 weeks but have already sorted out my maternity leave as it was playing on my mind-I like to have a plan!! I'm finishing at 32 + 3 and using 4 weeks holiday before starting my maternity leave.
    I've only booked the leave so far but they know I wont be back!! I just need that time to be comfortable at home-at the moment I struggle to see me lasting 16 weeks!!
  • hi,

    with my first i was working in a nursery and used to spend 2 and half hours traveling to and from there every day i planned to leave at 36 weeks but ended up leaving at 34 weeks was the middle of summer (july/aug) so was really hot and just started to feel so tired think its different for everyone though so would leave whenever you feel ready to

    emma xx
  • Hey Mother1, Im due around the same time as you, 16th Sept and i'm currently booked to finish at 36wks but plan to take holiday before that, so will actually finish nearer 32-33wks. I just don't think I could suffer the commute and 9hours in office, nevermind 4 flights of stairs at the end!

    So your not finishing that much earlier than most of us and with a long and stressful commute I can understand why.
  • I have an office based job but nowhere near that amount of commuting time. I have found - at 34+5 - its bloody uncomfortable sitting at a desk all day. Yes, I get up and move around and I feel absolutely fine, I just feel all squished when I'm sat down and my back bugs after a bit. I understand why people go at this stage - its my last day today!!! YAY

    If you do stay after 29 weeks, especially with that commute, I hope you get a big thank you and good maternity benefits from your employer!!
  • hey,

    i'm a teacher like someone else who posted though teaching much younger children - year 1! I wanted to go on maternity leave as soon as possible and it worked out that I left at the end of the 'spring/easter' break when I was 30 weeks pregnant.
    so, my maternity leave officially started last Monday after already having 2 weeks school hols and I dont regret it at all!
    I didn't want to work up till the next half term and was finding teaching very tiring and getting up and down off small chairs increasingley uncomfortable.
    I'm enjoying getting the house ready for when the baby comes - we moved in at the end of last august and until leaving work have been too tired to help decorate it!
    My husband is enjoying me being off work as he comes home to a clean house everyday and I have taken over doing all the cooking (which he did until now)! I cant belive how busy i've been though, all the little jobs that need doing and people to visit or have over!

    to the other teacher who has written - how come only 6 months? I'm taking a year? and have already negotiated returning part time only?!
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