10 answers

Maternity Leave in California

I know that California offers expecting moms 4 weeks prior to due date. My question is that 'due date' is the natural due date? or the scheduled c-section date (which is typically 1 week before the natural due date)?

I have to schedule a c-section (recommended by my OB) but my OB told me the maternity leave in CA calculates 4 weeks from the natural due date (which means I would only get 3 weeks - that does not make sense to me). Any others that have had experience with leave policy for c-section?


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Featured Answers

Hi C.,

Here is a website I found helpful. You should have 4 weeks before the due date. You MD should be able to give you a note.


Good luck!

More Answers

I'm an HR professional who deals with maternity and disability leaves regularly. You are generally put on leave by your doctor 4 weeks from you due date, but EDD- disability insurance will only pay/compensate you for up to 4 weeks prior to birth and 6 weeks after vaginal delivery or 8 weeks for C-section. And no, if you end up having the baby after 2 weeks off, you can not "add" the remaining two weeks to the post-partum. It is black and white and there are no exceptions. If you have a complicated pregnancy and need to go on leave earlier, than that is ok, it can be at any time before the birth, but again the same 6 or 8 weeks applies for post-partum. Hope this helps.

Go to your HR, they should be able to advise you and help walk you through this process. If not you are more than welcome to contact me. You need to educate yourself on your rights. It is amazing and disheartening to see how many women have no clue about their rights or have been grossly misinformed.

Best of luck-
S. Hart

Hi C.,

From my experience, you can get disability pay (typically 4 weeks) prior to your due date. I was due July 18. My doctor took me off work June 6 (6 weeks prior to due date). I was scheduled for a C-section on July 11 (1 week prior to due date). However, I went into labor on June 26, and my daughter was born that day, so I was off for almost 3 weeks before she was born. I was paid the whole time.
CA Disability calls the pre-delivery time "anti-partum" and generally approve the time as long as your doctor provides valid medical reason for being off work (unfortunately, exhaustion and backache don't work).
Then you will get 8 weeks post delivery pay thru disability. Towards the end of that, you can apply for CA Paid Family Leave for a total of 6 weeks. Basically, with a C-section, you can take 14 weeks off from the day the baby is born. I ended up taking almost 17 weeks off total (June 6-Oct 2).

If you have any questions, please let me know. Congratulations and good luck!

Hi Cathy, do you eventually find it out? I am running into the same situation. The answers are still not clear....I also want to know specific how due date counts when you submit the form. It means NATURE due date or scheduled C-section date?

I had the same experience. My OB said that they caluclate the date from the natural date, so I did not get a full 4 weeks either. Doesn't seem right, but I guess that is the policy.

Hope you have a speedy recovery from your c-section! I had two of them.

Hi,, both my girls had c-sections in 2008 and they both got 8 weeks AFTER the baby was born..Your Dr. may take you out a month before due date but you still get 8 weeks for a c-secton.. If it is regular birth you get 6 weeks.. And if a c-section is done ,,the day of the birth is when your 8 weeks START..But you still may go out a month before and start your maternity benifits..And your husband too can get 5 weeks with 60 percent of his pay to help, it*s legal and called Family leave.. You will need him and he bonds too with baby..GOOD LUCK

This was 10 years ago, but for me it was 4 weeks prior to "natural due date" even though I was scheduled to have a c-section 2 weeks prior to that and actually went into labor and had the baby a week before that (giving me one week off before). Doesn't make sense to me at all how they calculate it as a 40 week pregnancy, even when the doctor says the baby needs to be delivered early. But I guess it averages out for those moms that go over and get induced at 42-43 weeks.

They'll also want to schedule your 6-8 week check-up appointment (to release you back to work) right after you get home from the hospital rather than waiting for you to call to be sure you get in the doctor's schedule. That's another tactic some moms use to squeeze a few extra days of leave.

It's from the natural due date. My Dr. actually wrote me a letter to say I needed to be taken off of work so that I could have my extra week. Though I was pregnant with twins and really did need to be taken off of work.


Just fill out the paperwork and put the date of the C-section and you get 4 weeks and 8 weeks after the C-section. You can also take 6 weeks after the 8 weeks through FMLA paid time off. You can also take an additional 6 weeks unpaid but it protects your job. But to qualify you have to be at your current job for at least 1 year.

If your doctor thinks it would be a good idea to take you off work before the 4 weeks she/he can. They have to fill out some paperwork as well.

I had twins and with twins you do not really know when the babies are going to come. My due date was Oct 7th and they actually came Sept. 18th and I was out of work since Aug 13th.

Hope that helps.

Remember after you have the baby you need to call disability and let them know you had the baby by c-section so they will give you the 8 weeks. Towards the end of the 8 weeks they will send you paperwork for FMLA. Make to sure look out for it, if you do not get it make sure to call. Once you complete the FMLA paperwork it take 10 days to process. They will back pay you.

SOrry for the lonf response, if you have any questions you can e-mail me.

Good Luck

Hi C.,

Here is a website I found helpful. You should have 4 weeks before the due date. You MD should be able to give you a note.


Good luck!


Both of my kids were c-sections and I had 4 weeks prior to delivery date. so when you fill out your paperwork you put down the date of the c-section. you get the 4 weeks that way.

Hope that helps

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