Maternity leave in normal pregnancy

Guideline Developer(s)

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Date Released

2011 Aug

Evidence Supporting the Recommendations

Type of Evidence Supporting the Recommendations

The type of evidence supporting the recommendations is not specifically stated.

Implementation of the Guideline

Description of Implementation Strategy

An implementation strategy was not provided.

Implementation Tools

Foreign Language Translations

Benefits/Harms of Implementing the Guideline Recommendations

Potential Benefits
  • Application of best practices in caring for the pregnant woman in order to minimize risk and maximize positive outcomes for both mother and infant
  • Improved education of women about the difference between health-related and illness-related leaves of absence
Potential Harms

Not stated

Rating Scheme for the Strength of the Recommendations

Not applicable

Qualifying Statements

Qualifying Statements

This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances on the date issued, and is subject to change. The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Local institutions can dictate amendments to these opinions. They should be well documented if modified at the local level. None of these contents may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC).


Methods Used to Collect/Select the Evidence

Searches of Electronic Databases
Searches of Unpublished Data

Description of Methods Used to Collect/Select the Evidence

Published literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed or Medline, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Library in 2009 using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g., maternity benefits) and key words (e.g., maternity, benefits, pregnancy). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies. There were no date or language restrictions. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to December 2009. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the web sites of health technology assessment and health technology assessment-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical specialty societies.

Number of Source Documents

Not stated

Methods Used to Assess the Quality and Strength of the Evidence

Expert Consensus (Committee)

Rating Scheme for the Strength of the Evidence

Not applicable

Methods Used to Analyze the Evidence

Systematic Review

Description of the Methods Used to Analyze the Evidence

Not stated

Methods Used to Formulate the Recommendations

Expert Consensus

Description of Methods Used to Formulate the Recommendations

Not stated

Cost Analysis

A formal cost analysis was not performed and published cost analyses were not reviewed.

Method of Guideline Validation

Internal Peer Review

Description of Method of Guideline Validation

This policy statement has been prepared by the Clinical Practice Obstetrics Committee, reviewed by the Family Physicians Advisory Committee, and approved by the Executive of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Identifying Information and Availability

Bibliographic Source(s)

Leduc D. Maternity leave in normal pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2011 Aug;33(8):864-6. [3 references] PubMed


Not applicable: The guideline was not adapted from another source.

Source(s) of Funding

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Guideline Committee

Clinical Practice Obstetrics Committee

Composition of Group That Authored the Guideline

Principal Author: Dean Leduc, MD, Ottawa ON

Clinical Practice Obstetrics Committee: Dean Leduc, MD (Co-Chair), Ottawa ON; Glenn H. Gill, MD (Co-Chair), Williams Lake BC; Anne Biringer, MD, Toronto ON; Louise Duperron, MD, Kirkland QC; Ahmed M. Ezzat, MD, Saskatoon SK; Donna Jones, MD, Calgary AB; Lily Lee, MSN, Vancouver BC; Suzanne Muise, MD, St. Thomas ON; Barbara Mary Parish, MD, Halifax NS; Lexy Regush, MD, Saskatoon SK; Vyta Senikas, MD, Ottawa ON; Kathi Wilson, RM, Ilderton ON; Grace Yeung, MD, London ON

Family Physicians Advisory Committee: William Ehman, MD (Chair), Nanaimo BC; Anne Biringer, MD, Toronto ON; Andrée Gagnon, MD, Blainville QC; Lisa Graves, MD, Sudbury ON; Jonathan Hey, MD, Saskatoon SK; Jill Konkin, MD, Edmonton AB; Francine Léger, MD, Montreal QC; Cindy Marshall, MD, Lower Sackville NS

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest

Disclosure statements have been received from all members of the committees.

Guideline Status

This is the current release of the guideline.

Guideline Availability

Electronic copies: Available in Portable Document Format (PDF) from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Web site. Also available in French from the SOGC Web site.

Print copies: Available from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, La société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada (SOGC) 780 promenade Echo Drive Ottawa, ON K1S 5R7 (Canada); Phone: 1-800-561-2416.

Availability of Companion Documents

None available

Patient Resources

None available

NGC Status

The NGC summary was completed by ECRI Institute on October 12, 2011. The information was verified by the guideline developer on November 14, 2011.

Copyright Statement

The NCG summary is based on the original guideline, which is subject to the guideline developer's copyright restrictions.



Uncomplicated pregnancy

Guideline Category


Clinical Specialty

Family Practice
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Intended Users

Advanced Practice Nurses
Physician Assistants

Guideline Objective(s)

To assist maternity care providers in recognizing and discussing health- and illness-related issues in pregnancy and their relationship to maternity benefits

Target Population

Healthy Canadian women with uncomplicated pregnancies

Interventions and Practices Considered

Advising pregnant women on health- and illness-related issues in pregnancy and their relationship to maternity leave and maternity benefits

Major Outcomes Considered

Not stated


Major Recommendations

Recommendations for Obstetrical Care Providers

  1. Understand the difference between a health-related and an illness-related leave of absence.
  2. Initiate a routine discussion early in pregnancy about the issues that can present in an uncomplicated pregnancy (e.g., discomfort, poor sleep, fatigue, etc.) so that women can plan their cessation of work.
  3. Support women in taking health-related leave to prepare for labour and delivery.
  4. Advise women that they can begin maternity benefits up to 8 weeks before the onset of labour.
  5. Advise women that physicians cannot support an illness-related leave in an uncomplicated pregnancy and that this leave would be voluntary.
Clinical Algorithm(s)

None provided

Institute of Medicine (IOM) National Healthcare Quality Report Categories

IOM Care Need

Staying Healthy

IOM Domain



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