HOW TO PREPARE FOR MATERNITY LEAVE
If you’ve found out you’re expecting a baby, congratulations! If you’re a working mom to be, you need to know how to successfully plan for maternity leave at work. You might feel overwhelmed with all the planning ahead of you. But, don’t worry, preparing for your maternity leave doesn’t have to be hard. You can use these 7 tips for a smooth transition and start enjoying your new little bundle in no time!
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you let your boss know, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with your company’s policy about maternity leave and benefits. Did you know that every company is not required to provide paid or non paid maternity leave? Check your employer’s leave policy and see if you are eligible for any leave. You may be eligible for time through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under these regulations, a mother can be allowed 12 weeks of non paid job protected leave for the birth of a child.
2. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES REP ABOUT MATERNITY LEAVE
If you have questions or need clarification about the information you find in the policy, Human Resources should know the answers. Feel free to ask them the following:
- Does the company offer paid maternity leave?
- Are short term disability benefits available for compensation during maternity leave?
- How do I apply for leave?
- Is my health insurance coverage still valid during maternity leave? How are these premiums covered?
- Will maternity leave affect my eligibility for raises and promotions?
- Can I take additional time for complications?
3. DEVELOP A MATERNITY LEAVE COVERAGE PLAN
You should wait until you have completed your first trimester of pregnancy before telling your work.
Here are few basic suggestions to help you ready your boss and coworkers for your leave:
- List your day to day workflow and make note of any special projects you may be working on.
- Train people who will be doing your job duties for job training to ensure they have sufficient knowledge on how to do your work.
- Make sure work has your phone number that someone can contact in your absence.
4. SET BOUNDARIES FOR EMPLOYER CONTACT
Now, after saying that, you’ll need to decide if or when your employer can contact you about work related issues while you’re out on maternity leave. You can request that you be contacted during an emergency situation only.
5. PREPARE FINANCIALLY FOR MATERNITY LEAVE
Here’s how to prepare your finances that will decrease your stress about money so you can focus on your baby.
The sooner you can start saving for your baby expenses, the better prepared you will be. Start by putting together a budget. You’ll want to be spending less than you make. You don’t know if situations arise where you might be out longer. By cutting costs, you can save money for unexpected expenses. Tax refunds can help as well.
6. FIND CHILDCARE OPTIONS
Finding childcare is one the most important steps you need to take while pregnant if you plan on returning to work after having a baby. Parents may think they have plenty of time to find care, but consider preparing for the care of your child now, so you won’t be scrambling later.
Some daycares have waiting lists just to get in. Research what childcare options are available while you’re pregnant. Most daycares like our daycare ask for a deposit to hold a spot. Start setting up meetings as soon as possible.
7. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING
It’s a really good idea to have a written copy of your plan for yourself and as well as for your boss. Your temporary replacements will be grateful and it might mean less contact from you during this precious time away. Don’t forget to thank your boss and coworkers as you will appreciate their help during your time off.
Have you started planning for your maternity leave? How do you plan to make the change from work to home go smoothly?