Your maternity leave does not have to wait until you have delivered. You can take your maternity leave earlier than your due date and have time off work before the baby arrives.
For this reason , an early maternity leave sounds like a mini vacation. It is just perfect for expectant moms as they can easily rest as they wait for the arrival of the baby.
But is an early maternity leave a good option for all expecting moms? The work, health and financial implications of an early maternity leave make it less desirable for most expectant moms even when they want it.
This post discusses some of the reasons you should welcome and take early maternity and when it is not an ideal option for you to do so.
Proven Reasons why Taking an Early Maternity Leave is Recommended
1. Take an Early Maternity Leave If Your Productivity Is Affected
When pregnant, your body is working hard both for you and for your unborn baby. Such has an impact on your focus , performance and productivity at work.
The impact may not happen the right way but is usually significant once your pregnancy has advanced into later stages. You may realize you can no longer deliver adequately what is expected of you.
For this reason, you may feel you need a break before your due date. Therefore if you can’t focus or be reasonably productive at work, you should take an early maternity leave.
2. Take an Early Maternity Leave If You can Afford It
Almost all working moms welcome the idea of early maternity leave. However, the main challenge is the financial implications of an early maternity leave. This is especially so if you do not qualify for a paid maternity leave from your employer.
It means you will lose out on some potential income before your baby arrives. You will also have to report to work early than you would have. As such if you can afford going for an early maternity leave, take it.
3. If You need Time Off for Self Go Leave Early
With no doubt, the entire pregnancy journey can be overwhelming. It can leave many expecting moms feeling at edge at all times. The change in moods can especially take a toll on you mentally, and emotionally to a point you need a break.
You may feel that you need to be away from work related stress and focus on being well in preparation for the baby. At this point an early maternity leave eliminates any work-related stress such as the work itself, dealing with colleagues, and a long commute among others.
An early maternity leave can be used for self-care and just relaxing to get emotionally and physically better in preparation for the baby. You can even get a maternity massage and pedicure, treat yourself, go on last dates with your spouse and friends among others things you need to do before the baby arrives.
4. If You have Complications, Take a Break
You should always look out for the safety of your child and yourself during this pregnancy journey. Do not compromise on your safety for work.
If you have any issue that may be aggravated by work, it is safe to consider taking a break from work early. There are many possible conditions related to work and your doctor should be able to advise you when it is unsafe to continue working.
Also, listen to your body and don’t push it too far. Check out signals that your body needs a break. Consider the nature of your work, safety at the workplace, and your options for commuting to work among others and take an early maternity leave if need be.
Expert Advice why Taking an Early Maternity Leave is not Recommended
1. Don’t Take Early Maternity Leave If Work Transition Is Not Ready
There is a lot of preparation that is needed for you to complete at work before you proceed for your maternity leave. At the very least you need to have adequately oriented and trained your replacement for the period you will be away on your maternity leave.
It can take a bit of investment and time on your side to be ready. However it is crucial for both of you and your employer to ensure that work will still flow smoothly while you are on maternity leave which will minimize distractions and calls from the office.
The process of getting ready for this may take a lot of time depending on the nature of your work and your replacement abilities. If this has not been accomplished yet, you may not take an early maternity leave.
Taking early maternity without an equipped replacement jeopardizes your work and will lead to you not having your own time while on maternity leave. It is hence not a recommended option.
2. Don’t Break Early If You Do Not Quality For Paid Maternity Leave
Unfortunately, some expectant moms may not qualify for paid maternity leave. This depends on the terms of engagement and the company policy. Most firms will only cover for employees who have been with them for at least a year.
If you are not covered under this, your choices may be slim on just how long you are willing to go unpaid. If you take early maternity leave, it means you are giving up the amount of time worth of income.
If you are not in a good financial position to afford it, then you should not take early maternity when it is unpaid. You would want to wait it out until the absolute necessary time on or around the due date.
3. Don’t go on Maternity Leave Early If You are Still Productive
What your employer expects of you is to deliver to the expectations. If you are able to still do this, consider pushing the maternity leave to the very end. There is no need to go on early maternity to just wait on your baby if you can still work.
You may be limited especially in some manual work but if you are still able to put in and deliver an acceptable level of work, then don’t take the option of early maternity leave. Working till you are due will keep you active, as well as being socially and mentally engaged till you the baby arrives.
4. If You Have No Complications Don’t Take Early Maternity Leave
One absolute factor you should consider if to take an early maternity leave is the safety of yourself and the child. You need to always do what is in the best interest of this.
If you do not have any condition or complications that may put you at risk by working, then it is safe to take continue working rather than taking an early maternity leave.
5. If You Want Optimal Time with Baby, Don’t Break Early
Eventually an early maternity leave diminishes your time with baby. When you take an early maternity leave, your time starts to count immediately you do. The option therefore means you are losing precious time that you would have spent with the baby before going back to work.
For instance if you take your maternity leave a month early, it means you will return to work a month early than you would have had you waited till you due date. As such waiting out till the end is important is making you get the optimal time with the baby.
Doing so ensures that your entire maternity leave is spent bonding adequately with your baby before you have to go back to work. If time with baby is special for you, don’t take an early maternity leave.