that in the Netherlands pregnant women are required to start their maternity leave 4-6 weeks before their due date?
When I was living in the Netherlands, until about one month ago, I had the privilege of interacting with pregnant women and hearing about their experience of being pregnant in Amsterdam. In some of my these conversations I heard women reflect on how in their early pregnancy they almost didn't understand why starting the maternity leave 4-6 weeks before the due date was even being required of them. Nevertheless, towards the end of the pregnancy these women had appreciated it so much!
Personally, I love this idea and really appreciate that the Dutch system knows to recognize and values the slowing down that is required as a pregnant mother enters her nesting and gathering stage of late pregnancy. It allows her time to practice yoga, meditate, connect with her baby, prepare and gather any last pieces, or simply relax in bed.
More than that, these 4-6 weeks of maternity leave allow the pregnant mother to get used to the slow pace of life and support a smooth transition into a slow postpartum period which is so important for a blissful recovery from birth. By detaching from work life already one month before birth, moms are encouraged to continue into a slow postpartum as well.
If you live in a country that does not require this, perhaps you can consider speaking with your manager or planning your work ahead of time so that you can give yourself this gift of a slow and relaxing final month of pregnancy.
You can use it as a time to connect with your baby, practice yoga, meditate, watch movies on the sofa, get your village ready for supporting your postpartum, and anything that brings you peace and joy.