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Dad's paternity leave timing
Wait till after hospital?


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#1 Tulipa

Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

My husband has asked me whether it would be better to start his 2 weeks of leave after I come home from the hospital or as soon as I go into labour. He will take off a day or 2 for the birth but thinks he might be of more use once I leave hospital. We have no other kids. He can also pop into the hospital after work as it is very close. Opinions?

#2 MGB

Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

My husband was on Annual leave initially and then paternity leave. We only had 24 hours in hospital but had it been longer I would have liked it to start when we got home.

Personal choice though.

#3 Agnodice the Feral

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

I have found having my husband on hospital overnight invaluable. Not conducive to him going to work during the day though.

#4 Feral-chillibean

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

When you get home, especially if he is able to be there during or shortly after work.

That's what we did with DD1, it worked very well.

You will have support in hospital, and it's nice to have both of you at home for those first couple of weeks.

#5 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

my husband took it after we left the hospital with Ethan. Ethan was in NICU for 6 weeks - it would have been all of DH's paternity leave  mellow.gif  if you are only in hospital for a day or 2 i dont think it would make much difference original.gif he might be able to double check the house is ready for when you come home  tthumbs.gif

#6 SeaPrincess

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:04 PM

With DS1, DH didn't go on leave until after the birth.  We didn't really have the option for him to stay in hospital - the maternity ward was full to bursting and I had a tiny room.  He came and saw me before and after work each day, and then we had time together once I was home.

#7 baddmammajamma

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

My husband started his leave once I was released from the hospital. Like SeaPrincess, I had a small room -- I didn't see the point in having TWO of us have crappy nights' sleep.  wink.gif  Plus, I had support from the hospital staff. It was much more valuable having him with me at home.

Good luck with your delivery!

#8 hoohoobump

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

When you get home.

#9 cuddlebud

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

Yep, when you get home. I found bubs was sleeping a lot when I was in hospital, which gave me a chance to sleep too. But when dh was there, it was difficult to sleep and part of me felt like i should be up talking to him etc when i just wanted to rest. I eventually told him to go do what he needed to do for work and he was at the hospital from 5-10pm and the weekend (we were there 5 nights) which was plenty and enough time for the midwives to show us bathing, baby care etc.

#10 nomazoca

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

When you get home! There's only so much he can do in hospital...at home is a different story!

#11 harryhoo

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

Are you able to decide after you see how the birth goes? I really needed DH when I was in hospital, and I was there for five days. Birth didn't go as I imagined and I was a bit of wreck and having him around most of the day was beyond fabulous. I don't know what I would have done without him. It was also good to have him there to act as crowd control for grandparents and family. Obviously each to their own but if you decide to start when you get home, just see if there is flexibility so he can start earlier if you need it.

#12 Ice Queen

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:14 PM

For me when you get home, but the above poster's advice is good.  I didn't need DH in hospital except first thing in the morning while I had a shower and got organised.  From memory he came in at lunchtime which was great as he got to do first bath and all those nice things with me.

I used to kick him out at night so I could go to bed!  I agree that I dont see the point having you both sleep deprived from day 1.  Much more helpful to have him refreshed when you get home.  Then it gets busy!

#13 eachschoolholidays

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

When I went home.  I love having the days to myself!

#14 sparkles30

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

I agree that it's best to aim for when you get home as there are nurses etc to help out in hospital. However, don't underestimate how overwhelmed you may feel after the first time birth. I was a bit of a wreck and needed my DH around at the hospital.

#15 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

DH ended up starting paternity leave a few days before I went into labour because of all the complications.

This time I'd like him to be at the Birth Centre over night again so I guess I'd get him to start when I'm in labour, unless I end up induced or having complications again.

I didn't want to be all alone at the Birth Centre overnight with a this strange baby. I had no idea what to do with DS. Lol!

#16 adl

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:23 PM

My DH started the day I went in, he was far too excited, after to go to work!!!

It was really rather adorable but he seemed to be walking on air, he got things done at home and came and saw us every day, I was there5 nights...and he celebrated with friends so he had done all that by the time I was home  biggrin.gif

#17 Funwith3

Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Definitely when you get home. We learnt this with DD1. There's not a lot he can do for you (or really that you need him to do) while you're in hospital.

#18 lozoodle

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:40 AM

I prefer him to start his leave the day we go home, unless he wants to take it earlier. He was no real use to me in hospital and i quite enjoyed our quiet lazy days beforenthe afternoon visitors arrived original.gif

#19 Toothfairy01

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:03 PM

How early would he be able to pop in after work? Public or private hospital? If he doesn't start leave when you go into labour, will he still be able to be at the birth?

Our bub came a little earlier than expected and I also only laboured at home for about 2 hours before having to head into the delivery suite so we were prepared but we didn't have time to gather everything we needed for the hospital.

In the end, those days off from the start of labour were invaluable, plus, he couldn't have gone back to work (we laboured during the night and bub was born in the morning so he wanted to be with us in those precious early hours and he was exhausted!) In the next few days, hubby had time to go back and forth between home and hospital, do some last minute shopping for baby things we weren't sure if we would need (hence didn't buy before hand), supported me during the day when only dad's  were allowed to visit, etc. He went home for a good rest after visiting hours but if he could have stayed overnight, that would also have been great as I wasn't able to move around as freely as I would have liked and the overnight midwives were horrible and unhelpful (some of the day ones were amazing in comparison).

So it's a really difficult question as it depends on your labour, your post-delivery state, your baby and the hospital. If it's your first, you might need your partner during those early days (the midwives at my hospital were variable in their helpfulness so I couldn't have done it alone).

We might go private next time (depending on my paranoia about having paediatric cover onsite), so we may be able to start pat leave when we go home, plus it will not be our first so I might be more capable and relaxed the second time around.

If we go public again, we'll probably have him go on leave at the start of labour, plus we want him involved at the birth.

#20 Eirinn

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

It's not only about what he can do for you - it's about sharing your baby's first days together. I was unexpectedly in hospital for 5 days, and while I technically didn't need him, it was important to us to have all those first experiences together.

When DD2 was born, he couldn't spend anywhere near as much time at the hospital with me as he had to look after our toddler. It was frustrating for him and lonely for me.

#21 Bluenomi

Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

DH started his before my due date! It was awesome, gave us a few days to do things as a couple before DD arrived and meant he could be there for my last OB appointment when we set the induction date (which thankfully we didn't need)

It also worked best for his work, they prefered to have a set date he started leave.

#22 kpingitquiet

Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

Mine had two weeks and it began the night I went into labor. I had a 3-day hospital labor ending in c/s so if I'd had to go through all that alone I think I would've lost my mind! I got intensely stressed and panicky when he did get sent home the one night I spent in the hospital after kiddo was born. He did too. Drove home at nearly midnight (after talking a nice night nurse into forgetting to enforce the leaving time) and returned promptly at 530am. Baby was in SCN so I was just alone after a very hard time. Neither of us slept. "Popping by" after work would not have cut it. He then had a little more than 1 week off to spend with us before returning to work for a couple weeks, then had two more weeks off for Christmas. The only thing that would've been better is if we could've managed him to have the entire time off! He hated being away from her.

Now, obviously my birth experience is not the norm. Most women are in and out in a day, or maybe they enjoy sleeping in a hospital. So your mileage may vary.

#23 Guest_- Poppy -_*

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

My husband barely left my side while I was at the hospital! He slept over for 5 days and only went home for an hour or so each day to check on the dogs, get new clothes etc

He was a very hands on dad and helped out a lot from day 1.

DH and DS have had a great bond since birth.

To answer your question DH worked that day and I went into labour that night and thats when DH started his leave.

Edited by - Poppy -, 06 December 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#24 JaneLane

Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

My DH took 3 weeks off, 1 before and 2 after birth for DS1.  We did have scheduled c-sections so a bit easier to plan. He came slightly early so that was good.  With DS2 he planned 2 weeks from birth, another planned c-section but he was 3 weeks early.  Lucky DH's boss is a friend and very accommodating so he had the 2 weeks just earlier than expected.

I had a private room & paid for DH to stay overnight for the full 5 days I was in.  I really did need him during that time as having c-sections it was very hard. I couldn't move my legs or move for over 24hours after birth and even then found moving to pick them up quite hard as I couldn't move easily or twist to lean over and get them from their cots beside my bed




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