Your due date is just a few weeks away, and you鈥檙e sooo excited about having a baby. (You already have an awesome name picked out.) You can鈥檛 want to bond with her during your maternity leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you get 12 weeks to take off when your baby is born. That seems like a lot in comparison to your little stockpile of sick days, but those three months will fly by like nothing at all. If you go on maternity leave too early, you may wish you had a few more days at home with your little one. Here are six reasons why you might want to consider working closer to your due date.

pregnant-coworkers-header

1. Due dates aren鈥檛 always right. The doc gave you a due date, and that鈥檚 what you鈥檙e basing your maternity leave on. But here鈥檚 the thing: That due date isn鈥檛 set in stone. Consider this: If you take your maternity leave two weeks before your due date, and your baby is two weeks late, you鈥檝e just wasted one month (or one-third) of your time off.

2. Waiting is boring. Sitting at home testing out your brand-new glider and folding onesies isn鈥檛 exactly thrilling. If you take an early maternity leave, you may do a lot of sitting and waiting. Sure, you鈥檒l enjoy the time to relax, but after a few weeks, you鈥檒l be begging to answer an email (or even sit in on one of those morning staff meetings). Whether you鈥檙e at work or home, you have to wait for baby to arrive. You might as well make the most of it and keep yourself occupied with your job.

3. You need more money. Extra cash always comes in handy 鈥 especially when you鈥檙e about to become a mom. After all, it could cost you as much as $233,610 to raise your child, according to the USDA鈥檚 Expenditures on Children by Families report. If you haven鈥檛 saved sick, vacation, or other paid time-off days, your maternity leave comes at a cost. Working up until (or close to) your due date means that you鈥檒l have extra income to spend on your brand-new baby.

Pregnant African American businesswoman using laptop at desk in office

4. Your company offers partially paid maternity leave. If you鈥檙e lucky enough to work somewhere that provides paid maternity leave, you probably want to make the most of it. Some super lucky mamas may get the whole 12 weeks or more paid for. But if you only get a partial pay period, you鈥檒l want to wait until the very last minute to get it started.

5. You have friends at work. Your work friends are some of your best friends, and you love seeing them every day at the office. At home, you鈥檙e alone 鈥 your baby is still in your belly and your S.O. is off at work. The longer you stay on the job, the more social you鈥檒l feel.

6. You actually like your job. If your job is your passion, you may want to stay as long as possible. Just remember to listen to your body and do what works best for you and your family.

When are you planning to go on maternity leave? Tweet us @BritandCo!

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