Whether you are a workaholic or a superhero whose team depends on her for success, there will come a time during your pregnancy when you’ll have to pass the baton (temporarily) and take rest for the sake of your baby’s health.
We know that taking a maternity leave is one of the most difficult career decisions you’ll ever make, and there are a number of factors that go into determining whether you need this break, including your current medical state and personal choice.
There are some who want to stay in the workplace until the last minute for financial purposes while others opt to have their vacation early on in order to prepare for the arrival of their bundle of joy.
Maternity leaves aren’t a big concern for women in their first trimester, but for those who’re getting closer to their due date may find their energy levels too low to continue working.
This is where the pressure of deciding when to finally take a break emerges. It’s a pretty serious and nerve-racking subject, especially if you’ve never taken a maternity leave before.
At some point in your pregnancy, you’ll be bound to ask questions: Should I start my maternity leave right now to prepare myself for the birth of my child or wait for a bit longer? Or should I work till I’m about to give birth and take a longer break after the delivery to spend more time with my child?
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding when to take maternity leave.
How Are You Feeling?
This question targets more of the medical and psychological factors of pregnancy. You need to ask yourself if you’ve been stressing enough on the job that you can’t focus on your well-being anymore or if you’ve been having restless nights trying to finish presentations and other tasks.
Likewise, you also need to check if you’ve been experiencing sleepless nights because of excruciating pain in the back from all day sitting in your office. If this is the case, you may want to consider taking some time off of work.
If you don’t want to, try modifying your habits so it doesn’t take a toll on your health – try changing up your schedule or taking more breaks for stretches, or maybe you can try mixing up the chairs in the office or elevating the monitor for your convenience.
How Is Your Pregnancy Coming Along?
Early on, you should always ask your doctor about what’s best for you and the baby. If you are having a high-risk pregnancy, expecting twins or you have a higher chance of contracting a disease in your workplace, the most logical move is to start your maternity leave sooner. Whatever it is, your decision should always be in accordance with what the doctor will advise.
Can You Afford It?
Other couples consider their financial health as the deciding factor when it comes to taking a maternity leave.
Let’s face it, a majority of the employers don’t give enough or any paid leaves to women who’re expecting, which is why you must strategize properly.
If in case you have unpaid leaves, you may want to take time off at a later moment in your journey to motherhood, but that is only if you have a healthy pregnancy.
On the other hand, if you have paid leaves, you may also want to reserve the days off for when the baby finally comes so you’re not just spending time with your child, you’re still earning while you’re enjoying.
What Are You Going to Be Busy with?
Sometimes, moms can make hasty decisions without considering this important factor. Say you’ve started your leave early on, do you have a list of things to do?
If yes, then it’s ok, but if not, you may crave for the distraction that your job gives you. Taking an early vacation is essential for those who have lots of things to prepare, like the nursery room, paper works, and even relaxing time.
Is Flexibility Possible?
If you have an uber-nice employer who can understand your pregnancy and perhaps your financial need at the same time, flexibility may not be an issue. Ask your boss if you can change your shift, work from home, or go in a few days in a week.
While suggesting this option, you can say that you will become more comfortable in that arrangement which could mean you’ll be more proactive.