You cannot be asked to work in the final six weeks of pregnancy – unless, of course, you want to. After your child is born, maternity leave usually continues for a further eight weeks - this is even extended to twelve weeks in the case of premature of multiple births. It is against the law for a mother to work for a defined protection period after she has given birth.
An application for maternity leave must be handed in to the mother's employer. To make an application for maternity leave, you will need a letter from your doctor stating the estimated date when your baby is expected to be born.