When to start maternity leave...

I’m approaching that time where I will need to tell HR which date I intend to start my maternity leave and for how long etc... at the moment I’ve had a straightforward pregnancy, however I am only in my second trimester so things could quite easily change as my pregnancy progresses.

I was thinking of starting my leave at the beginning of my 39 weeks and use my remaining 10 days of annual leave before then - so I’ll essentially be working to the beginning of 37 weeks.

My work is office based so I’m sat down most of the time. I have a 1 hour bus journey there and back for commuting. On the return journey I have to walk up a hill which currently takes 15 min... used to take 10.

I should also mention that my work place is a 10min walk to the hospital maternity unit, so I’m in a great place if anything was to happen at work!

This is my first so I’m a little blind on how I’m going to cope... I was relatively fit and slim before pregnancy but can’t say the same now!

What have you done in the past? Would you suggest making different arrangements?