Post # 16
I agree with the PP who said at least 6 weeks for vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for c section. Those are the guidelines for disability, in most states I believe (those are the guidelines here in NJ). I’m due with my first baby in September, and while the whole FMLA/disability/no technical maternity leave sucks, my job won’t even let me in the building until my doctor clears me to return. You may want to look into that. If you end up having some kind of complication and it occurs at work because you went back too soon, your company could run into some issues. Again, I have not yet ever given birth, but based on what moms I know have told me, I would not want to return to work after 3 weeks. This is the time to put yourself and your family first.
Post # 17
I can’t belive you would take 3 weeks. Then again, I think the U.S. minimum is woefully inadequate (here in the UK, we get 9 months paid and 13 weeks unpaid – better occupational schemes also exist).
The better policy you can put together for other women, the better. Not all women (actually most women) wouldn’t only take 3 weeks. Please don’t set a precedent.
Post # 18
My best friend just adopted a baby and got 8 weeks off. She starts back part time on Monday and she doesn’t think that is enough time.
I know personally when we decide to TTC, I want to take at least 12 weeks, but maybe 16. It will just depend.
Post # 19
I work for a small company and I am currently the only person in my office who can do my job. I am training someone else right now so I can take maternity leave. I am taking 12 weeks off.
I think you are underestimating your recovery and adapting to new life with a baby. Three weeks just isnt enough time. Many women bleed heavily for 4 weeks after a vaginal birth and you cannot do much at all for about 6-8 weeks after a c section. These are not things I would want to do while at work and I have a desk job as well.
I would recommend negotiating more time right now (6-8 weeks minimum) with your boss. If you are feeling well and want to return sooner than great but you dont want to agree on three weeks and then when that day comes be forced to go back when you are not physically recovered or emotionally ready to leave the baby.
I know you are trying to be a good employee and look out for your company but this is one time in your life you should be selfish and think about you and your baby only. Discuss having your boss bring in a temp person that you can train for a few weeks or a month beofre you leave and then you will not feel like you are leaving them without someone to run the office.
Post # 20
As someone at home with a 7 week old (and taking 12 weeks FMLA, 6 with saved up PTO and 6 unpaid) I highly doubt you’ll be ready to go back at 3 weeks. At 3 weeks, I was still just trying to get used to being a mom. I had an incredibly easy delivery (5 hours start to finish) and have a very easy going child (I know exactly when she’s going to be ready to eat and sleep each day and she rarely cries unless she needs something, food, change, sleep)
However, at 3 weeks, she still needed to be fed every 3 hours round the clock which means on an average night I got 3-4 hours of sleep in 1 hour incraments. (Say she would wake to feed at midnight, next feed would be at 3am, 20-30 minutes for her to eat, now its 12:30am, another 30-40 minutes for her to get back to sleep, now its 1am, 30 minutes for me to fall back asleep its now 1:30am… she’s back up in 90 minutes repeat, every night for the next 4-6 weeks or longer…)
At three weeks, you’re probably still incredibly sore, bleeding, exhausted, overwhelmed and every other feeling under the sun. Also, sitting hurts for many people… like seriously, freaking hurts and lets not even get into having to use the restroom… omg tear worthy. Honestly, your doctor isn’t even going to clear you for normal activity until 6 weeks and its longer if you need a c section.
Post # 21
anna4041: they legally have to give you 6 weeks off without losing your job. I got very lucky with my bosses being so understanding.
Post # 22
Why not train someone to do your job?
Being a parent is more important. Take advantage of the paid time off/ leave pay.
Post # 23
As an outsider looking in, 3 weeks seems completely insane. We get 52 weeks. 3 weeks seems way too short. The baby is still so small and so new at that point. And I don’t even think you’d be fully healed from even the easiest of births.
Also, if you are in a precedent setting situation, I’d consider future pregnancies and those who come after you. It is admirable that you want to make things easier on your employer. But if you go back at 3 weeks this time, will you be expected to do the same for any subsequent pregnancies? Would those who come behind you (through business expansion, staff turnover, etc) be expected to conform to the example you put forward? You are in a position to stand up and set a healthy work/life balance for the women who come after you in your company. You’re effectively creating a policy. Why not try to strive to create one that supports new mothers? You definitely don’t have to create something so liberal that it takes advantage of the company.
I’d go, at least, with the medically accepted recovery period. It’s still seems woefully short from my perspective.
Post # 24
Bare minimum I would try for 6 weeks for vaginal delivery, and 8 weeks for a c-section. Those are pretty standard and I doubt your OB would even clear you to go back to work any earlier.
Post # 25
graygodess20: If you don’t qualify for FMLA they don’t have to hold your job at all.
Post # 26
3 weeks is not enough time, not even close. 6 is majorly pushing it and 12 would be acceptable. It’s not as easy as it seems, 3 weeks in you’ll probably not even remember your own name!
Post # 27
graygodess20: It depends on state law. Nationally, if you are not covered by FMLA (due to business size, length of employment, or part-time status), and you don’t have short-term disability insurance, you have no legal right to get your job back. Some states offer a higher level of protection, but not all.
Post # 28
Westwood: seriously?! Wow I didn’t know that, thats Insane
Post # 29
I’ve not been in your position (I’ve never had paid leave but have always worked at places where they had to follow FMLA), so hard to advise.
I do think 3 weeks is likely going to be too short. I physically COULD have worked 40 hours a week outside of the home after 3 weeks (I had a c section but my recovery was super easy) but I don’t know that I mentally or emotionally could have handled it.
Since you are creating the policy, I would say 6-12 weeks would be more in line. I understand your boss may not be able to allow for 12 weeks, but at least with 6, those working moms that use daycare won’t have to scramble for child care or lose their jobs. (My state won’t allow children younger than 6 weeks to attend a licensed daycare, so keep that in mind for the women after you who don’t have other options for childcare).
Post # 30
Even with totally uncomplicated birth, you will not be fully healed by 3 weeks post partum. I have had both a c section recovery and an uncomplicated VBAC. The uncomplicated delivery took me longer to recover from, probably because I had a 2 year old at home and I was not able to rest enough each day. It took the full 6 weeks to recover and I was able to stay home an additional month. With the c section, it also took the full 8 weeks to feel recovered.
You don’t know what kind of delivery you will have. You don’t know if you will need bed rest at the end of your pregnancy or what other complications may arise. Do yourself a favor and don’t rush back to work at 3 weeks post partum. You won’t be medically cleared then anyway. Take the time to rest and heal and be with your baby. If you set the expectation that you will be available soon after delivery and then you can’t because of complications, that will hurt the business. You don’t want added work stress at this time of transition.