The TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association) recommends starting maternity leave between 28 and 30 weeks and earlier if you are carrying more than one baby or have any health complications.
There are some guidelines on making your time at work more comfortable and safe when you are pregnant, and it's a good idea to try to implement these.
When should you stop work?
In general, there is a happy medium but every woman’s situation is different and all pregnant women will try to do what will work best for them. However, we would recommend taking as much time to rest and prepare for the birth as is possible for you. Take time to connect with your baby, think about the birth and gently nest.
If you are pregnant with twins or multiples, you may be carrying bigger than average and be more likely to go into labour a little early. For these reasons, you may want to stop work earlier so that you get some time to rest and prepare before your babies arrive.
Making your time at work as comfortable as possible
- Speak to occupational health (if there is one) or to your employer about what might help make your work environment better. For example, a chair is provided so that you can taking sitting rests if you are on your feet during working hours.
- If you work at a desk make sure you are sitting comfortably. If your feet don’t reach the floor, get a footrest.
- If you put a ball on your lap while you are sitting, ideally it should roll down your legs. This position is good for the position of your baby. Take the time to adjust your chair accordingly.
- If you can – alternate between your chair and a gym ball.
- Take plenty of breaks – walk around and get fresh air.
- Try to avoid stressful situations (as much as you can).
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you spend time making calls, try not to tuck the phone under your ear. It’s stressful for your shoulders, neck and general posture.
- If your work involves working with chemicals and strenuous activity speak to your manager, health and safety officer or HR manager about health and safety in pregnancy. You can also look at the Health and Safety Executive website for their advice for pregnant employees
- Mat b1 forms for employers can be issued from the 20th week of pregnancy by a midwife or GP who has cared for you in some way. This form entitles you to statutory maternity leave and pay. Paternity leave can be given at the discretion of employers.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here