The letter applying for maternity leave has to be written and constructed properly. All pregnant women should first decide how much leave they should request before they write the letter. Your letter has to fall in line with the department of labour, but you also have to make sure that you are not stripped of any benefits that you are entitled to. In order for you to do this, you have to understand the policies of your company and make sure that you are entitled to maternity leave in your job. You might not be if you have just started there, but you should be able to clear this up with your employers.
In your letter you will state that you are pregnant, or adopting a child, therefore you will need leave from work and you will do this with a letter applying for maternity leave. All pregnant women have a right to apply for leave from their jobs, the department of labour states this, but just to be safe it is more professional for you to construct a letter. Employers will be understanding in this situation and give you the leave you are entitled to, but it is up to you to apply for it, and give them enough time to find a temporary replacement to fill in for you while you are away.
You also need some time off work once your child has been born; most mums take about two to three months to spend with their little ones before they go back to work. The amount of time you take is up to you, but also your company and what their policies state. In most cases you get four months maternity leave; one month before baby is born and three months after they are born, but this might differ from company to company. Be sure to mention dates in your letter applying for maternity leave.