So I have a question for those of you who have taken maternity leave before. I am due July 12 and my company offers a Short Term Disability Plan that pays me for 6 weeks for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks for c-section. I am starting to get concerned as I know I am not going to be able to leave my little one to go back to work at only 6 weeks old. Are there any ways to extend maternity leave through my company's Short Term Disability policy so that I can have enough time to prepare myself to leave my baby? For instance, if I suffer from medical complications, could my doctor theoretically extend my leave based on these complications? 6 weeks is hardly enough time, I mean I would barely have adjusted to having the baby with me and I couldn't bare to leave him so soon unless I absolutely had to. Techinically we could get by for a bit while living off of savings but I don't think I should have to exhaust my savings account if there was way I could get my leave extended. I know this sounds weird but I honestly know that I am not going to be able to leave my baby at 6 weeks old.
Most companies also have something called FMLA, which is short for the Family Medical Leave Act. It will give you an addition 6 weeks of maternity leave, and depending on your company, only a percentage of that final 6 weeks will be paid for. I know my company pays depending on years of service. I've been at my company 5 years, so I would get an addition 6 weeks paid at 75%. I would ask your HR rep.
I am soooo glad I live in Canada when it comes to this. I can take up to 1 year off or my husband and i can split the year however we wish to. And if there are any complications after 20 weeks you can start your leave then. i am currently off on sick leave for 15 weeks after losing my baby at 19 weeks (1 more week and i would've been entilteld to the whole year).
People looked down at me when i said i was only taking 3 months becuase of my job- not wanting to lose my clients that i've worked so hard to get.
We are so lucky to have that time to bond with the baby, I couldn't imagine only 6 weeks. That is barely enough time for the mother to recover...and to think they are trying to get mat leave extended even more here. we do only get 55% of our income though
You are very lucky you live in Canada! My friends in Norway also get a whole year, and I know many countries do. Unfortunately, the U.S. is very behind in terms of medical care. :-( I can't imagine sending my child to daycare at 3 months old, let alone 6 months!!! The U.S. needs to adopt the ways of our neighbor to the north for sure.
One of the reasons they are trying to get the maternity leave extended to almost 2 years where i live is because you cannot get childcare in a daycare until they are at leasst 1 1/2 years old at most places and even more places want them potty trained first. The only option if you go back at the year mark or even before is to find someone who takes care of children in their home.
You are so lucky that your country allows such a generous maternity leave. I agree with Atia_Julii in that the US is way behind in terms of women's rights and the right to bond with a newborn baby after he/she is born. I know for certain that 6 weeks is not enough to bond and get to know my baby. As you said, it's barely enough time to recover. I have been talking to other friends in my area who went throught the same thing I will be going through. They gave me some options at getting the leave extended since my short term disability WILL pay for a medical reason for up to 6 months. As bad as it sounds, most of my friends have said that their doctor's signed them out of work longer with back problems or other postpartum problems to get a longer paid leave. I know this is dishonest but I pay my premium into Short Term Disability EVERY week and have NEVER even used the benefits. I am always doing the right thing when it comes to stuff like this. I feel it is my right to spend time with my child and so if I suddenly develop a back problem after he is born, so be it!!! Besides going by the friends I have talked to, no OB will deny a woman a chance to stay home with their baby. If this is the only option I have, than I plan on using it.
I wouldn't feel bad at all for using short term disability. We work because we HAVE to, but what is really important in life is our family. When I get pregnant, I will do anything in my power to take as long of a maternity leave as possible.
Thanks for the understanding. I am a very honest person and don't like doing anything in a dishonest way. However, regarding this situation, there is no changing my mind. I need more time with my baby and that is all there is to it. You are absolutely right, our families are the most important things in our lives and I will do whatever it takes. It's good to know that someone else feels as strongly as I do.
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