23rd February 2014 22:30Partyon there's nothing stopping you starting your leave on 1st Sept- off the top of my head you can start your leave anytime from 24/26 weeks however that means you'll lose those weeks at the other end. If you started on 1st sept, you'd be due back at the start of March but if you took 3/4 weeks unpaid leave you'd be officially back to work for the Easter holidays so would be paid but the not back to school until after the Easter holidays which is 13th April meaning your baby would be just around 6 months old (26 weeks) [[b:2debli6x]if[/b:2debli6x] he/she arrives early!!] Alternatively, you don't know how you'll be feeling at the start of Sept & your doctor could decide you're not fit for work and sign you off sick until you're due to start your mat leave. I'm only just back to work and had 4 weeks off before my Ds decided to put in an appearance which meant, after taking over a month unpaid leave he was still only 6.5 months when I went back to work. I'd have much preferred to have had those 4 weeks at the end when his personality was really starting to come to the fore. Just something to consider but it all depends on what you'd prefer. Best of luck with the pregnancy!