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  • Maternity Leave

    How much maternity leave do you ladies get with your current job? How much time did you end up taking off? And lastly, did anyone save up for this leave knowing there would be income loss? Curious. Might be helpful to state what kind of job (small private practice, large academic hospital, etc? )

    I'll start first. I get 6 weeks paid if vaginal or 8 weeks for c-section. The paid leave is at base salary so I lose incentive pay (which I do get). We can use our vacation time to augment this. Planning on taking a full 3 months off. And possibility do a 4th month part time. May not have enough vacation for this. Future hubs and I saving for this loss of income for 2-4 weeks. But for the year I have the baby I lose more since I won't get incentive pay for that calendar year which is significant. I do count my blessings that I get any sort of paid leave though. I work at a very large hospital system that is semi academic.

    I live off of my base salary only so would only affect my ability to throw extra money at loans at this point. I am not sole breadwinner either but do make more than him.

  • #2
    My wife and I are expecting our 3rd child in December and my peds wife will get 3 months off. I'm not privy to all the details but she will get 3 months off after using sick time and vacation. She has a salaried position at an urgent care affiliated with the children's hospital in the city. This makes using vacation a no brainer. It will all be paid but we have also paid for short term disability which pays 160% of her usual paycheck (I think that's what she said) for those weeks she's using it... Second 6 weeks I presume

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    • #3
      I am in a large multi-specialty group practice, not academic.  We receive a bank of "extended sick leave" of 60 work days = 12 weeks when we start the position. We cannot dip into "extended sick leave" until we have taken a week of our other PTO days.  All of our days off - regular sick leave, CME, and vacation are the same PTO.

      The caution of course is that you then have to reaccrue extended sick leave - at 12 days per year. Which means that if you have a second baby relatively soon you will probably just be using vacation days or having to take leave without pay.

      This works well for me because I found out I was pregnant a week before starting my new position and I will therefore get three months maternity leave without having worked there for a year. I am not sure I would recommend starting a new job in the throws of morning sickness but I did not want to delay trying to have a baby longer than I did.  The maternity policy was one of the reasons we chose this position, so it definitely worked as a recruiting tool.

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      • #4
        Be thankful for any paid time you get after a baby or after surgery.  I have seen many people who do not have either option.

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        • #5
          I'm taking 4 months. 6 weeks sick leave plus vacation plus ca state disability/baby bonding pay. Will probably have a couple weeks of it unpaid at the end.

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          • #6
            I'm going on maternity leave in 34 days :-) I work 0.75 FTE at an academic outpatient clinic. I get all the benefits of being full time including 6 weeks paid parental leave. Then I'll take another 6 weeks of sick/vacation time. So I'll get my full salary the whole time. However, then I'll go 0.25 FTE for 3 months and then 0.5 FTE for another year or so. I won't get retirement benefits for the 3 months I'm doing 0.25 FTE but will once I hit 0.5 FTE which is pretty sweet and not expected. Next year I'll make about 50k less than this year. But for me (and I feel very lucky to be in this position) this isn't a financial decision. It's based on what I think is the best balance between my needs, baby's needs, and my patients needs. We've planned for this hit to our retirement savings (will still put away 20 percent of earned income though) in our 15 year financial plan so I know we'll be just fine in the long run.

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            • #7
              My wife had to do this during her 12 weeks away:

              • Week 1: took PTO (no maternity leave benefit)

              • Weeks 2-6: short-term disability at 60%

              • Week 7: took PTO (no maternity leave benefit)

              • Weeks 8-12: nothing (totally unpaid)


              Basically lost seven weeks of pay which equated to about $21,500; in her and my opinion, that was more than acceptable of a price to pay to spend as much time as possible with our first child, and we planned to cover it (ended up pulling a few thousand out of emergency fund).  For the next child, however soon or far that may be, we will probably do a similar amount of time off and just plan to divert as much cash as possible to cover the decrease in income.

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              • #8
                #1-3 I was active duty so got the standard 6 weeks of leave at regular pay then with #2/3 I took off 2 days a week to work M/W/F x2-3 months.  #4 I was (am) an employee and after 1 week of vacation time the hospital self insures docs for short term disability up to 12 weeks at 70% pay.  I took 8 weeks and used vacation time to get full pay though obviously didn't get productivity bonus the 2 quarters that my leave spanned (I have since gone to monthly bonuses though).  After the 8 weeks I returned but took an extra day off the weeks I was not hospitalist x4 months, so basically worked 3 days/week until he was 5.5 months and that seemed like a good balance for my guilt of wanting to be home when at work and slacking for my patients when I was at home.

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                • #9


                  It will all be paid but we have also paid for short term disability which pays 160% of her usual paycheck
                  Click to expand...


                  Might want to double-check that disability percentage.
                  Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                  • #10
                    For baby #1 and baby #2, I had 6 weeks of paid leave/CME time (mostly before the birth, since I live abroad and had to fly back to the US at 36 weeks), then took about 1.5 months of unpaid leave. For baby #3 (not yet born), a new maternity leave policy allows me to take 3 full months of paid maternity leave, which I will really enjoy this time around.

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                    • #11
                      My wife (resident) got 4 weeks.  She could theoretically take longer, but it would delay her graduation from residency and all but eliminate any fellowship aspirations.

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                      • #12
                        The short term disability tacks on the 60% for roughly half of the leave. She gets her full paycheck 100% for when the disability hasn't kicked in.

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                        • #13
                          Hi EH,

                          I am a mom-to-be and living in California. How was the state disability program for pregnancy? Was it pretty easy to navigate? How much does it pay? Is it worth all the paperwork? Thanks in advance!

                          Cynthia

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                          • #14
                            I got absolutely nothing (employed by a moderate-sized hospital system's multi-specialty group). I took 8 weeks off total. I took 2 week of "paid vacation" which I use quotes for because I am all RVU-based, so if I generate zero RVUs I make zero dollars. It all evens out at the end of the quarter. But I did get my 403b matching and health insurance premiums paid for those weeks. From weeks 2-6 I got short-term disability which really wasn't much. Weeks 7-8 were totally unpaid. During weeks 3-8 my employer had the audacity to mail a pay stub to my house with "$0.00" on it, despite the fact that they NEVER mail paystubs otherwise because they are all online. I thought that was just rubbing salt in the wound. At the time we were living in a townhouse and could basically afford our monthly expenses on my husband's salary alone- we were still in the live like a resident phase so it was easy. My husband actually got some paid time off because he had so much vacation accrued- he got 3 weeks off paid.

                            Next time will be different because the mortgage is quite a bit higher but we should have enough in our emergency fund to cover everything. Plus will still have my husband's salary again. I think what I may do next time is come back "part time" like 3-4 days a week starting at 8 weeks without call, then go back to taking call at 12 weeks. OB call while breastfeeding a 2 month old was REALLY rough on all parties involved, including my husband who had the hardest time soothing him in the middle of the night with his worthless fake bottle nipples.

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                            • #15

                              LizOB wroteOB call while breastfeeding a 2 month old was REALLY rough on all parties involved, including my husband who had the hardest time soothing him in the middle of the night with his worthless fake bottle nipples.

                              I had a year off with my first so never tried him on a bottle. I went back very part time at 12 weeks with my second. I was afraid he'd starve ( even though I never worked more than 2 hours without taking a break to breastfeed him) so I started pumping and giving a bottle really early on. He never took super well to it, but well enough to survive. So maybe try those comotomo bottles from the get go with your next?? I sympathize with you though, can't imagine being on call, totally sleep deprived as it is, 12 weeks postpartum.

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