How long is motherhood?

Maternity is the period of abstention from work and its duration can vary on the basis of various factors which depend on the type of work performed by the pregnant woman and her health conditions .

Compulsory maternity leave lasts  five months and can be requested from the eighth month of pregnancy. or two months before the expected date of birth. If the health conditions and the type of work allow it, the pregnant woman can work up to the ninth month of pregnancy, taking advantage of the five months of abstention from work after the birth of the child.

Working until the ninth month of pregnancy: here’s how

For some years it has been possible thanks to Law n: 145/2018 to work up to the ninth month of pregnancy, if the woman’s health allows it. More and more people decide to opt for this solution, precisely because it allows them to take advantage of compulsory maternity leave  5 months after giving birth , with an allowance equal to 80%.

In order to be able to work up to the ninth month , a specific application must be submitted to INPS , through the classic channels:

  1. INPS website ;
  2. call center (803 164 from a landline and 06 164 164 from a mobile);
  3. CAF .

If you submit your request via the INPS website, you must submit the classic compulsory maternity application, however selecting the specific option in which you confirm your willingness to work until the end of the pregnancy.

To be able to work up to the ninth month, it is necessary to submit the application in the seventh month of pregnancy and attach a medical certificate certifying that mother and child are in good health and that continuing to work will not harm either of them. The certificate must be drawn up by a doctor of the National Health System , by a  contracted doctor  or by an occupational doctor .

How to apply for early maternity leave

In the presence of certain conditions that may be linked to the donor’s state of health or to the type of work, early maternity leave can be requested , which can also last for the entire gestation period. Also in this period, as in the case of compulsory maternity leave , the worker receives an allowance from INPS equal to 80 per cent of her salary .

Early maternity can be granted on the basis of medical tests carried out by the National Health Service in the following cases:

  • in the presence of  serious complications of pregnancy  or pre-existing pathologies that can be aggravated by the state of pregnancy ( pregnancy at risk );
  • in cases where  the working conditions  of the pregnant woman, including the environmental conditions, can affect the health of the woman or the child;
  • when the pregnant woman carries out a job of  transporting and lifting weights  or when she carries out a  dangerous, tiring and unhealthy job  and cannot be moved to other tasks compatible with the state of pregnancy.

How long does optional maternity leave last and how to apply for it

After the five months of compulsory maternity leave, it is possible to take advantage of optional maternity leave , i.e. a period of another six months , receiving an allowance of 30% of the salary.

The application , also in this case, must be forwarded to INPS , but does not require any medical documentation.

In conclusion, how long does motherhood last?

In summary, we can say that maternity can last up to 11 months if compulsory and optional maternity leave are considered, and up to 20 months if anticipated maternity leave is also considered .

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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