Updated at: 23-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

The excitement of getting a positive pregnancy test may be short-lived, though, as further questions may arise. When is the best time to let my friends, coworkers, and family know? Just how painful is labor? Is it going to be one of those normal babies or one of those alien infants? (just kidding, every baby is adorable). Having all of your questions answered and a solid game plan in place will help you relax and get the most out of the time you have left before the birth of your child. The transition back to work after maternity leave should not be stressful if you follow the steps outlined in this checklist and guide.

How to prepare for maternity leave: A complete checklist

Review your company’s maternity leave policy.

  • Research the company’s HR manual or benefits package for clues. If you’re curious about your company’s policies but aren’t ready to inform human resources that you’re expecting, this is an excellent place to start. You can put off approaching HR with queries about the handbook until you feel ready to do so. A startup is less likely to have a maternity leave policy simply because it does not yet exist. We’ve been there, too! Check out this guide to get you started. Some information to understand: how much time are you allowed? Can you tack on vacation time to increase your leave? Are there any incremental benefits based on your seniority? We also love FairyGodBoss, which can give you advice and access to maternity leave benchmarks.

Know your maternity leave rights and laws

  • It’s important to comply with both federal and state regulations. There is a wide range of eligibility requirements and durations depending on factors such as where you live and the type of firm you work for. Factors to consider: Do you qualify for any more types of unpaid leave beyond those provided for under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Who can take advantage of paid time off? What is the length of time that employees can take off work while still being paid? I’m curious in the salary structure for staff members.
  • For reference, most maternity leaves are calculated in WEEKS rather than MONTHS, despite the common usage of the former. It’s possible, then, that when someone says “four months,” they really mean “sixteen weeks,” which is a little under four months.
  • If you’re anything like us, you’ve come to the conclusion that all parents should be entitled to federally mandated paid leave, and you’ve gone to almost activist lengths to convince your friends and family of this. Paid Leave US is at the forefront of this movement.

Explore child care options

  • Returning to work means securing child care, which could mean using a daycare, in-home daycare, nanny, nanny share, or even an au pair. Starting early will give you more time to find solutions that work for your needs and budget.
  • Don’t put off making contact because many daycares have waiting lists and demand tours. An easily accessible daycare, or one that operates at convenient hours and employs a sufficient number of caregivers, can make all the difference when you need to get out the door quickly and calmly. Winnie.com has helped us identify daycares and preschools, while Urban Sitter has helped us find both short-term and long-term sitters (all of whom have through thorough background checks). Internet users can check the results of inspections conducted at any of the nation’s licensed daycares. Also, check out community-based Facebook groups or online forums to learn more about the area.

Prepare for an Employee's Maternity / Parental Leave | Honeybee Benefits

Start the framework for your maternity leave transition plan

  • In order to put yourself and your team at ease before meeting with the boss, it is a good idea to do some basic preparation beforehand. Here are some examples of what to include:
  • Though no one can predict the exact moment your labor will begin, knowing a rough estimate can help everyone prepare.
  • Tasks and obligations detailed. You should think about who might take over your responsibilities if you were to leave, and how much training they would require.
  • If your contacts, passwords, and other important information is stored nearly entirely in your head or in your inbox, you may want to consider documenting it.
  • Inform your coworkers that you will not be checking email or attending meetings throughout your leave, although you may want to drop by a Zoom meeting or the office once so everyone can meet your new addition. An organization may disable your email account, so be prepared. It’s not a personal attack, just a legal requirement meant to keep you from working during your vacation.

When You’re Ready to Announce that You’re Pregnant

Contact Human Resources for further information.

  • Make an appointment to meet with a representative from human resources. Get a copy of your company’s leave rules and FMLA forms, and make sure your queries about the handbook are answered.
  • Prepare to fill out FORMS, as some businesses employ a third-party administrator who needs information from your physician.
  • Additional benefits such as retirement plans, life insurance, health insurance, etc., may also need to be reviewed and possibly updated.

Share your news with your boss

  • Share your news with your boss
  • Inform your superiors of your recent developments.
  • Get any changes and approvals in writing: You may be able to negotiate for additional time or benefits. Whatever you discuss should be approved and put in writing so everyone is on the same page.
  • Make sure all revisions and approvals are documented: It’s possible that you may bargain for more time off or better benefits. It’s important that all of your agreements be formalized in writing and signed off on by the appropriate parties.

Plan for your return to work after maternity leave.

When deciding what to add, keep in mind:

  • Dates to Remember: When You’re Supposed to Have It Done, When You’re Slated to Leave Work, and When You Can Expect to
  • Communicate your doctor’s and hospital’s contact information in case you go into labor at work.
  • Regular meetings: make a note of the meetings you lead or attend, whether or not they will continue while you are away, who else will be involved, and how.
  • Team: If you have direct reports, identify who they’ll report to while you’re on leave and set expectations for regular updates.
  • As a team, you should determine who will be in charge of your direct reports while you’re away and make sure they know you anticipate regular updates.

As a team, you should determine who will be in charge of your direct reports while you’re away and make sure they know you anticipate regular updates.

  • If you have direct reports, you should make sure they know who they should report to while you’re out of the office.
  • Once everything is in one place, it’s crucial to schedule time to hand off projects and walk through the documentation with whoever will be providing support to you and your team.


A good rule of thumb is to schedule 30 minutes in the middle of the day and the beginning of the afternoon for pumping BEFORE you go on maternity leave.

The Mat Leave Template provided by the Muse is a great resource.

Inform your customers (if applicable)

  • Now that your staff is on the same page, you can start talking about it with customers. Keep in mind that depending on how much you’re revealing, this conversation may need to happen earlier if you have any in-person meetings. If you have major or highly anticipated deliverables coming up, you should try not to surprise or shock your clients.
  • Communicate your plan for maternity leave and make sure they are as ready for the change as the rest of the team. Make sure the person who will be in charge of the relationship while you’re gone has had a chance to meet with the other party and earn their trust before you leave.

Collect a group of pediatricians

  • Having a pediatrician lined up before leaving the hospital is a standard requirement at most facilities. Stop putting things off until the last minute! Get in touch with a few of pediatricians you’re interested in and see if you can arrange a consultation (many have information sessions for expecting parents, especially in big cities like NYC and Chicago.)

Question and topics to think about:

  1. How do they feel about things like baby sleep, vaccines, and nursing?
  2. Availability outside of normal business hours? Which hospitals do they have ties to?
  3. How do they prefer to talk to their mom and dad? Do you prefer email or a mobile app? Phone?

During Your Final Trimester

  • Make a copy of your plan for taking maternity leave so that others may see it. Distribute it to your staff and reportees and make sure they have both physical and digital access to it.
  • Gather your subordinates for a meeting to discuss task allocation. Schedule one-on-one appointments to go through your goals, your progress, and any problems you’re having.
  • Last minute HR verification. Take this time to double-check your paperwork and ask any outstanding concerns you may have about your health insurance, perks, and pay.
  • Choose a day to leave.
  • Construct prewritten answers to frequently asked questions (personal email users, this is highly recommended!).
  • Tour the hospital, take a birthing class and an infant CPR course, pack a bag to take with you, and make sure the nursery is ready.
  • In the days and weeks before the birth of your child, treat yourself to some self-care. Get that prenatal massage, eyebrow wax, pedicure, haircut, girls’ night, and movie date in your calendar; you won’t be sorry. Make sure you prioritize some time for yourself.
  • RELAX. We’re well aware that a lot is happening right now. When in doubt, remember the words of the one and only Oprah: “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the greatest place for the next moment.”

10 Steps to Planning Your Maternity Leave

In the midst of all the excitement around the impending birth of your child, one of the last things you want to worry about is how you’ll manage your profession while you take time off to care for your newborn. Pregnancy and preparing for a new child are stressful enough, but adding in the additional considerations of how you will manage your time away from the workplace, who you will ask to cover for you, and how you will return to work after your leave is over may be overwhelming.

How Maternity Leave Is Defined

Time off from work for a new mother after the birth of her child is commonly known as maternity leave. Common types of paid and unpaid leave that can be combined to make up maternity leave include sick days, vacation days, holidays, personal days, short-term disability, and family leave. To learn more about your company’s policy on maternity leave, see the employee handbook or get in touch with HR.

Maternity leave at most companies is paid for out of sick days, vacation days, and holidays. In fact, several employers stipulate that you exhaust these options before taking unpaid leave or a shorter period of disability.

Make sure you know what is expected of you by your company before you start. Do your homework to make sure they aren’t violating your rights if they impose unreasonable limits.

Why You Should Develop a Plan

While it’s understandable that you’d like to see business as usual at the office while you’re off, the real motivation for creating a maternity leave plan is to protect you and your family from financial hardship, especially if some of your leave will be unpaid.

You also want to be sure your plan allows you to make the most of your time with your new baby. What’s more, very few companies offer clear guidelines on how to manage maternity leave. As a result, you likely will have to decide how to prep your co-workers, outsource your work, stay in touch with the office, and transition back when your leave ends.

Know Your Rights

It’s crucial that you know your legal options before scheduling your maternity leave. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn, adopted, or fostered kid if you have worked in the United States for more than a year. However, these regulations only affect businesses with 50 or more workers. As a result, smaller companies may have very different expectations.

Additionally, it is important to remember that laws pertaining to maternity leave vary by state. So as soon as you find out you are pregnant, you should be researching your state’s laws as well as your company’s guidelines for maternity leave. Even if there are no formal guidelines for your company, find out what other employees before you have done. Also, keep in mind you will need to negotiate the terms of your maternity leave whether you work at a large company or a small company.

It’s also worth noting that each state has its own set of regulations concerning maternity leave. So as soon as you learn of your pregnancy, you should look into the maternity leave policies of both your state and your employer. If your organization doesn’t have written policies, you should still research what other employees before you have done. You should also know that whether you work for a large or small company, you will need to bargain for your maternity leave.

Start a Conversation with Your Boss

Tell your supervisor as soon as possible that you’re expecting a child. Remember that once one person finds out you’re pregnant, you may safely assume that everyone other has found out as well. Since you do not wish your employer to learn this information from anybody other than yourself, you should not tell anyone else that you are expecting.

Make it known right away that you intend to return to work. Reassure him that you are a dedicated employee and that you will create a thorough maternity leave plan to ensure business continuity while you are away. This is only the beginning of a series of discussions you and your employer should have as you map out your maternity leave policy.

Ask an Expert

Before you sit down to write your maternity leave plan, be sure to talk with someone in the office that has gone through the process before. She may be able to provide you advice based on the lessons she’s learnt.

You might also inquire as to how she was handled during her pregnancy and if she felt she was able to return to work as she had planned. The objective is to learn behind-the-scenes details that can help you write your plan more efficiently.

Develop a Game Plan

Finding out if you can afford the amount of time off you want to take is the first step. After all, you may have to take unpaid time off throughout your pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to prepare for and try to avoid any monetary problems that may arise while you’re away.

The length of your absence, the number of hours you expect to put in during your initial weeks back, and whether or not you want to be able to work from home for a while are all factors to consider as you formulate your strategy.

The second step is to prepare a list of your core responsibilities. Then, divide them into tasks that can be assumed by others as well as others that are not so easy to delegate, such as client relationships and expertise-related functions. Then, start to think about who might be willing to take on these responsibilities while you are gone. If you do not have someone on staff that can handle the work, consider suggesting a temporary employee.

Plan Regular Communication with the Office

It’s fine to take a sizable chunk of time off after you’re on leave, but you still need to keep in touch with the workplace. By doing so, they will feel more at ease asking you questions and more confident in receiving answers from you. Plus, if it’s feasible, try to check in with the office once a week, whether that’s through a quick phone call or an email.

The key is to be sure your boss knows when and where he can expect to hear from you while you are gone. Remember that it can be extremely stressful to transition back to the office after being out for three to four months. As a result, consider spending 30 minutes to check in and debrief. It can be very beneficial for everyone involved.

Avoid Overcommitting

The most important thing is to set clear expectations with your boss about how and when he can reach you while you’re away. Keep in mind that returning to work after an extended absence (say, three to four months) can be a very trying experience. Plan on allocating at least 30 minutes for a quick check-in and debriefing. It has the potential to be extremely useful for everyone concerned.

It’s crucial to set expectations with your boss about how and when you’ll be communicating while you’re away. Keep in mind that it might be very taxing to return to work after being away from it for three or four months. Consider setting aside 30 minutes for a check-in and debriefing. It has the potential to be highly advantageous for all parties.

The most important thing is to make sure your boss understands when and how he can reach you while you’re away. Keep in mind that returning to work after an extended absence (say, three to four months) can be incredibly trying. Consequently, you might want to set out 30 minutes for a quick check-in and debriefing. It has the potential to be extremely useful for all parties.

Set Boundaries

It’s important to spell out in detail how often employees can reach out to you during maternity leave. Say so if you don’t want to miss anything and wouldn’t mind a daily phone call or email. In any case, let them know if you’d prefer not to hear from them until you made the first move.

To avoid confusion, make sure your contact policy is crystal clear. The worst thing that could happen during maternity leave is to hear nothing more from the company.

Look Into Child Care

Finding reliable child care might take a lot longer than you might expect, so don’t wait until the last minute to start looking.

Research their background and then drop by unexpectedly. Avoid making any hasty decisions on the location without first getting a sense of what it’s like. Additionally, you should always go with your instincts when making decisions like this. If you don’t feel comfortable with the sitter, keep looking. If you don’t look into your options, getting back into the workforce will be quite difficult.

Maternity Leave: What Am I Entitled To? - NerdWallet UK

A Word From Verywell

Preparing for maternity leave may be stressful, even if you’re really excited about being pregnant. This is especially true if you’re also very committed to your career. However, if you put in the time and effort to communicate with your manager and outline your expectations, you should be able to create a maternity leave plan that not only fits your needs, but also makes sense to them and details how things will be handled while you’re away.

Before You Announce You’re Pregnant at Work

1. Familiarize Yourself with Maternity Leave Rights and Laws

Employers are not required to give you time off for maternity leave unless you work at a company with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your work site. If you do, then you may take 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act. This law guarantees that you may take 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of your child without losing your job and healthcare benefits. You don’t need to become a legal expert, but if you understand the fundamentals you’ll feel much better about what you’re doing. If it helps, you can read our maternity leave primer, Maternity Leave 101. If you are an employee working in California, New Jersey or Rhode Island, you’re in luck because we’ve written about additional maternity leave benefits you may have. Read below for more information

2. Learn Your Company’s Policy

Read the company’s benefits manual to find out about your options for parental leave. Reading the material is a good first step, especially if you’re like many women and don’t feel ready to tell anybody about your pregnancy until after the first trimester is through. Don’t look to the manual for solutions to all your problems; information like that is spread out (e.g. short-term disability policies and healthcare plan benefits also include important information). Once you’ve made the decision to break the news, you can talk to HR about anything you’re unclear about (or that isn’t in the policy).

When You Announce You’re Pregnant at Work

This usually occurs during the third and fifth month of a woman’s pregnancy.

3. Tell Your Supervisor First

Inform your superior or manager that you are making preparations for your maternity leave and would appreciate their feedback or approval. We’ve produced an article with advice on how to inform your boss you’re expecting, and we hope they’ll be impressed by your foresight.

4. Discuss Your Plan Ideas with Your Boss

Talk to your supervisor about your ideas by scheduling a meeting convenient for them (i.e. not before major deadlines, stressful deals, their vacations or major holidays).

5. Write Your Maternity Leave Plan

Develop a maternity leave strategy that you feel comfortable leaving with your manager and turning over on paper. This is a big job in and of itself, and it needs to account for how you’ll be in touch with the office and whether or not your boss will need to bring in temporary help if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time. To ensure that you have thought of everything, we have outlined the essential components of, and steps for developing, a maternity leave plan.

6. Decide if You Want to Negotiate

Before meeting with your boss, decide if you want to try to negotiate a longer maternity leave or a higher salary. If so, if your manager seems to agree of your idea in general, be sure to bring this up during your meeting with him or her.

7. Prepare for Any Negotiations

Do your homework, come up with some solid offers and rationales, and assess the procedure at your workplace to ensure you are well-prepared for the maternity leave negotiation. We’ve put together a guide on how to bargain for more time off when you’re pregnant.

8. Update Your Plan as Necessary

If you are able to negotiate more time off, it is important to reflect that in your maternity leave plan (if applicable).

9. Get All Changes and Approvals in Writing

Get your manager’s written permission for any maternity leave arrangements that fall outside of company rules (its better to be safe and paranoid, than sorry).

In Your Last Trimester

10. Create a Shareable Version of Your Plan

After you and your superiors have settled on a plan for your maternity leave, you should distribute it to your direct reports (if any). Information such as your departure and return dates, the names and contact information of the people your direct reports should go to for approvals and managerial sign-offs, and a list of objectives for the time away should all be included in this document. Use this form to keep track of information for your visits with them before, during, and after your maternity leave.

11. Discuss Your Plan with Your Direct Reports

Plan one-on-one meetings with your direct reports before you depart for maternity leave so that you may go through your expectations and address any concerns they may have. Make it clear that everyone on the team needs to do their part to get ready so that there are no hiccups when the deadline draws near.

12. Fill out All Necessary Forms

See the Human Resources department for any paperwork you may be missing. You may need to submit a vacation request form if you plan to use your vacation days to extend your maternity leave. If the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to you, you may also need to submit paperwork to your doctor, the state disability agency (depending on where you live), and the Social Security Administration (ST) for leave.

13. Share Any Necessary Forms

Make carbon copies of all finished forms and deliver them to the right people (e.g. your doctor, your insurance company, your HR department). Make sure the forms were actually received by following up with them. In the case of forms-based benefits, this is of paramount importance. If there was a mistake on your ST disability form, you don’t want to have to go through the hassle of contacting the insurance company’s payroll department to get paid.

14. Inquire About Your Other Benefits

Learn from Human Resources or your Employee Benefits manual what will happen to your benefits (such as healthcare) while you are on maternity leave. If your health insurance includes dependents, you should find out how and when you can add your newborn to your coverage. There is often a 30-day window in which you can add a dependent to a health insurance policy, after which it may be more difficult to do so. When you add a family member to your health insurance plan, you may see a rise in your monthly premium payments.

15. Find Out About Your Vacation Time

Inquire as to whether or not you will still be able to earn vacation days and seniority during your time off for childbirth. If it doesn’t, and your worry is significant, you might try to get an exception.

16. Learn Your Company’s Childcare Policies

Learn about your company’s policies with respect to childcare. Does your company offer on-site childcare or backup childcare? You will probably be making your childcare decisions while you’re out on maternity leaves so find out all the details about childcare from your employer while it’s convenient. Some employers also have relationships with childcare/nanny agencies that may even offer you an employee discount.

17. Ask Around for Childcare Advice

Investigate the childcare provisions of your employer. Does your organization supply either primary or backup child care services? Get all the information you need from your employer concerning childcare now, while you have time off for maternity leave, so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes. If your company has an established partnership with a childcare or nanny agency, you may be eligible for a discount as an employee.

18. Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Special Rules

Find out if you have to follow a different set of regulations because you are a union member, a consultant, or a worker on a temporary basis. There may be significant disparities between the perks and policies offered to part-time workers and those offered to full-time salaried workers.

19. Document Everything

Make both a paper and electronic filing system for your Maternity Leave paperwork. You can store HR paperwork, state disability applications, insurance and benefits documents, correspondence from HR or your manager, and anything else relevant to your leave here. Always make duplicates of forms before sending them in.

20. Start Telling Colleagues

Get in touch with coworkers in your department or with whom you are friendly to learn about their experiences on maternity leave. Inquire if they would be willing to get coffee or lunch with you and give you some advice on how to handle your maternity leave and your return to work. Different people might desire to do this at various times for various reasons (e.g. when you are finding out who else negotiated maternity leave, you will want to do this before you negotiate yours).

21. Prepare Contacts You Might Need While Home

While you’ll likely have access to email and your phone while away from the office, it’s a good idea to print down a list of contact information just in case. You may want to provide the contact information for your manager, key team members, and a human resources point of contact. Even though you are in constant communication with these people at the moment, it is remarkable how quickly you may forget these details once you return home.

22. Prepare Your Technology for Any Remote Work

Get your computer and other equipment ready for remote work with the help of your company’s IT staff, and then try everything out at home to make sure there are no problems. Even if you want to spend your whole maternity leave away from the office, you never know when an unexpected emergency can arise and you’ll need to deliver a document, respond to an email, or locate a file that you don’t have at home. You should make sure your tools are in good working order for when you return to work, as you may have to work odd hours or on a different schedule.

23. Update Your Own Contact Information

Modify your profile in the company’s directory to reflect your current contact details. If you want to be reached easily, now is the time to double-check that your current phone number and mailing address are correct. Contact the mailroom at your place of employment to have mail forwarded to your home if you will be away from work for an extended length of time (such as maternity leave) or if you anticipate receiving a large amount of mail at work.

24. Fill in Your Clients

Get in touch with your frequent clients and consumers and let them know you won’t be able to serve them for a while. A phone call is the best option because of the personal touch it provides. The worst case scenario is that they receive an Out of the Office autoresponder email from you for an extended period of time and are taken aback by it.

25. Make Introductions if Necessary

Introduce your interim substitute to your clients and consumers if necessary. In addition to meeting your replacement in person or over the phone, it’s a good idea to send an email introducing them to the person who will be taking over your responsibilities.

26. Prepare Your Fill-Ins

Make sure your substitute has all they need to do their job while you’re away. This is beneficial for all parties and, unless you have cause to believe that your successor is plotting to permanently usurp your position, will likely earn you respect as a team member.

27. Tidy Up

Take a few minutes to straighten up the area around your desk; doing so will help you get more done. You want to leave a good impression as an organized worker, and that starts with your workstation. No one wants to return to their desk with a snack that has been sitting there for a month or more.

28. Set up Auto Replies

Establish an automatic reply for your work email. Leave a single contact or a list of relevant contacts for the sender to use in your absence.

In Your Last Month at Work

Due dates for babies are often unpredictable, so don’t put off preparations until the very final two weeks.

29. Make Copies of Your Maternity Leave Plan

Don’t forget to give your manager a copy of your maternity leave strategy. Make sure they have access to a digital copy, but it’s also a good idea to leave a hard copy on your last day.

30. Share Your Contact Information

Provide your covering teammates with your contact info and specific instructions on how to reach you in case of an emergency (if applicable).

31. Thank Your Helpers

During your final two weeks, consider treating the people who will be covering for you to lunch or another sign of your appreciation for all they’ve done to help out. It’s a good deed, and people will think fondly of you after you’re gone.

32. Find out About Your Company’s Breastfeeding Resources (If You Choose To)

If you want to breastfeed, you should find out if your workplace has a lactation room and if there are any restrictions on when you can use it. Talk to other working mothers about your experiences, challenges, and concerns. Depending on the situation, you may need to consult with Human Resources before making any changes. Now is much better than later when you’re under the gun, sleep deprived, and frazzled trying to deal with problems.

33. Prepare for Pumping at Work (If You Choose To)

Think through how you will manage pumping in your workplace. You should know where you can keep your extracted milk, how far it is from your workstation, and whether or not you will have any privacy when doing so.

34. Consider Your Schedule

When planning your return to work after having a baby, it’s important to take an honest look at your work schedule and determine if your old routine will still serve you. Even if you’ve always despised early mornings or eaten a leisurely lunch, you’ll have to adjust to some unavoidable changes when you return to work after maternity leave (e.g. needing to pump during your lunch period or getting to work earlier so you can leave earlier).

35. Consider Your Commute

You might want to rethink your daily commute. Having a baby at home means your travel schedule may require you to make adjustments, such as using the train or bus at off-peak hours. You’ll need to carry a pump, an ice block, milk bottles, and cleaning supplies to work with you if you plan to pump, so keep that in mind while you pack your other essentials.

36. Make Scheduling Changes as Necessary

Make adjustments to routine meetings and events before you leave, if possible. You should start notifying folks through updated calendar invites that their meetings with you may now begin and end earlier in the day.

37. Carve out Time for Pumping (If You Choose To)

If you want to pump milk after returning to work, schedule some time to do so. This will save you the trouble of having to ask coworkers to reschedule meetings around your pumping time once they begin scheduling them in anticipation of your return. Depending on your milk supply and schedule, you may need to set aside two or three half-hour blocks. Put those times on your calendar marked “Private” and you won’t have to tell anyone about them. Those chunks of time can be removed at a later point if you find that you won’t be needing them.

38. Join Any Company Support Groups for Parents

Find out if there are any mother/new mother/parent support groups at your company. If so, learn more about the group’s leadership, meeting schedule, and application process. There is strength in numbers, and these groups might help you feel more connected to others at work. If your employer doesn’t already have a group like this, they may be open to you forming one.

39. Decide How You’ll Share Your News

Make a choice: update your coworkers with images or convey some exciting news (and with whom). Some employees reportedly felt slighted if they weren’t included in the initial distribution of the birth announcement and images through email.

40. Relax

You can now take it easy. And most importantly, enjoy life. If you’ve done even half of these things, you’ll be far ahead of the game compared to other soon-to-be working mothers. It may seem excessive, but in our experience, it was best to be well-prepared for the indescribably lovely yet utterly life-changing event of having a kid.


When should you start planning for maternity leave?

When is the best time for me to take maternity leave? Because of pain or the need for extra time to be ready, some women start their leave a week to a month before they are due. Some people choose to wait until the very end so that they can spend as much time as possible with the newborn.

How long is maternity leave?

It is expected that a woman will take use of her maternity leave benefits either before or after the time of delivery. Prenatal and postnatal care can be combined into one period of leave for a mother, but the total amount of time off she receives cannot be less than 60 days.

Is 36 weeks too early to start maternity leave?

MATERNITY LEAVE IN CALIFORNIA: Working moms in California are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave beginning at the 36th week of pregnancy, regardless of whether or not they have contributed to the state’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fund through payroll deductions. It’s possible for a pregnant woman to continue working up to the very end of her pregnancy.

When should I talk to HR about maternity leave?

Once you tell your boss and colleagues that you’re pregnant, set up a meeting with your HR rep. You need to give at least 30 days’ notice for FMLA, but it’s best to know as far in advance as possible what your options are. This is also a good time to talk to co-workers who also went on leave from your company.

Can I get maternity leave if I just started a job?

Meet with the human resources representative once you’ve informed your supervisor and coworkers that you’re expecting. FMLA requires at least 30 days’ notice, but it’s best to know your rights and alternatives as early as possible in the process. Talking to other employees who took leave at the same time as you is also a good idea.

What forms do I need to fill out to request my maternity leave?

The next step after informing your superiors and coworkers of your pregnancy is to consult with an HR representative. Notifying your employer of your FMLA leave of absence needs to be done at least 30 days in advance, but the sooner you can figure out what you can do, the better. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with fellow employees who took leave at the same time as you.

Do I get paid by my company while on maternity leave?

Some businesses go above and beyond what is provided by the government and provide their employees with paid maternity, parental, or paternity leave. These payments may equal 100% of your salary for the entire duration of your maternity leave (yay!) or a predetermined percentage of your compensation for a certain time period. Inquire about such perks by inquiring with your company. Get everything in writing, including the amounts and the timing of the payments.

Am I entitled to benefits when on maternity leave?

Payroll deductions may be used to cover the cost of some or all of your benefits, depending on the plan’s design. Find out how your company handles leave-related benefits and if any preparations need to be made. Payments for your share of the benefits contributions during leave periods, for instance, could be submitted in the form of postdated checks.

Pension payments and matching contributions to RRSPs are two examples of additional perks.

Does my maternity leave affect my vacation time?

If you are salaried, your vacation time often increases with your length of employment. In principle, this means that your vacation time won’t be affected by your maternity leave. Use your vacation time before or after your maternity leave. Depending on the company, there may be varying rules about vacation time and its use, therefore it’s important to get this straight with your superiors.

Am I still eligible for my full bonus, or is it a prorated?

Bonuses are a nice perk, but they might cause complications when it comes to taking time off. During your leave of absence, your bonus may be reduced or eliminated entirely, depending on your eligibility.

How do I add my baby to my health insurance benefits?

Learn the company’s procedure for this while you’re still expecting. To make this happen, you will likely have to fill out a form. Get a copy of the form, the address where you should send it, and an estimate of when your new cards will arrive. When the kid finally arrives, you’ll have a stack of forms to fill out, and this one should be added to that stack.

How can I contribute to a successful onboarding of my replacement?

By helping with your replacement’s onboarding, you’ll be setting yourself and your team up for continuing success during this transition. Follow your supervisor’s lead and make sure you’re involved in the onboarding in the right way.

How can I stay connected to the company through my maternity leave?

You might want to maintain contact with the office (but if not, that’s fine, too). If you need help figuring out how to handle this situation effectively, consult your supervisor or the HR department. Think this over, and be ready to provide suggestions of your own.

Can I keep company assets while on maternity leave?

Identify the resources you frequently utilize from the firm. Instances include, but are not limited to, your mobile device and computer. If you’d like, you can ask your employer to keep these items safe for the duration of your absence. According to business policy, you should expect a negative response. Nonetheless, there’s no damage in inquiring.

Will the company continue to pay for my professional designation or licensing fees during my maternity leave?

Find out if the employer will continue to pay for your professional distinction or license while you’re on leave if you work in a field that requires one. When you’re on maternity leave and getting paid, the last thing you need is a bill for hundreds of dollars.

Will the company continue to pay for my education through maternity leave?

Find out the company’s policy on continuing training courses while on maternity leave if you are presently enrolled in one.

Maternity pay and benefits - BabyCentre UK

Can we set up a ‘keep in touch’ schedule?

Maintain contact with your company; it will serve you well. Before taking off on vacation, plot out a schedule for how often you’ll check in with the appropriate coworker. Depending on how you’re feeling at the time, this could alter. The timetable ought to be realistic and doable for you.

What’s the best way to stay informed of ongoing organizational change and opportunities for career progression?

Before you take maternity leave, have a conversation with your boss about your plans for the future. There are two benefits to bringing this up. First, it keeps you informed. Two, it shows that you are serious about your professional development.

When will my performance review be administered?

Additionally, this will serve as a constant reminder of your dedication to your profession. Before taking time off, ask for an evaluation of your performance to ensure that everything is in order with the projects you’ll be passing off.

How will I return to work after maternity leave?

You shouldn’t put off making preparations for your return to work until the last minute. Plan your return to work with your employer and discuss the best time to pick back up. Ensure that all details are coordinated in advance (childcare, parking, morning routine, meals, etc.).

Will I be returning to the same role after my maternity leave?

Find out how other employees like you have handled returning to work following maternity leave. You should know how they manage changes to your role in case they were made while you were away from the office.

For the purpose of organizing your maternity leave, here are sixteen things you should ask your company.