When’s the best time to go on maternity leave?

People often laugh when I talk about when the best time to go on maternity leave is because with both of my babies.. I never actually got on mine before my babies were born (hello early babies!).

Interestingly, when I talk to people – the vast majority of people tend to leave it as late into the pregnancy as they can before going on maternity leave as it means that they have a bit more time with their baby before returning to work / more maternity pay when their baby arrives.

Currently in the UK, you are able to go on maternity leave up to 11 weeks before your babies due date.. so there is quite a lot of flexibility in terms of when you choose to go.

Whilst I completely understand the benefit of taking late maternity leave, I always say to my clients – don’t forget the benefit of just having a little bit of time to be able to rest, do some cooking or catch up with friends (without having to focus on a small human!) as that can really help prepare you for parenthood too.

In Germany, there is a time just before the baby arrives where you take some time to reflect and just nurture yourself – we spend so much time running around getting things prepared (don’t get me wrong, I know some people who do prefer that!) and we never really stop and consider what a massive transition we are about to go through.

Here’s your permission to slow down if you want to.. if you are feeling tired towards the end of your pregnancy, its okay to ask to bring things forward – work will continue without you, I promise! I’ve been there.

So the real answer to the question is, do what works best for you.. if you feel you want to take some time before your baby arrives, that’s okay. And if you want to work right until the end, that’s okay to do – just get those feet up where you can!