I was initially planning to take 6 weeks off for maternity leave, maybe a little more. We theoretically get off 6 weeks if it's a vaginal delivery and 8 if it's c-section. Now I'm wondering about those numbers. What's the reasoning for them? I'm thinking of taking off less. What's the bare minimum to take off? Honestly, I don't think I ever WANT to go back...maybe when the kid starts school or something.... But, as long as I have to return for financial & training reasons, when can I physically and practically return to work?
Here's what the previous generation (or perhaps 2 generations ago) did. My mom had a C-section on Friday and was rounding on Monday. She was a 2nd year OB-Gyn resident at the time (way back in the 60s).
I would plan on at least the 6 or 8 weeks, and then see how you feel.
I had c/s with all three of my kids, and here is how recovery went:
With my first, I was not physically ready to go back at 8 weeks- it was a struggle every single day up until about 10 weeks.
With my second, I was running up and down stairs and feeling great at four weeks.
With our youngest, I was back in classes 6 days affter surgery and back to work within 10 days (part-time). I went back about 2 weeks later full time.
You are probably best off planning on the 6 or 8 weeks and then coming back part-time earlier if you are ready. In the long run, your coworkers will appreciate it more if you come back earlier than expected from a typical leave than if you need to take additional time when they were planning on you being back.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - MLKJ
With my 2 med school babies, I had 5 for the first and 6 for the 2nd, both C-sections. 6 weeks was plenty of time for me (ok, maybe a little too long personally), I think 4 may have been the edge of comfort (at least for the first). Of course, you prepare for what you need to and if less was all I had, it would have been fine. I was in lectures at the time and certainly could have attended lectures part-time and studied from home. Physically, the first 2-3 weeks it would've been hard for me to do much more than feed and change baby and myself... Everyone's different though!