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Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I'm totally overwhelmed trying to plan my maternity leave. What exactly do I need to do?

Re: I'm totally overwhelmed trying to plan my maternity leave. What exactly do I need to do?

The Bump Expert

First, relax. You're not the first working woman to have a baby, and it's definitely not as complicated as it seems. Second, use this guide to put together a plan.

[ ] Know your rights
Read up on your company’s policies regarding pregnancy rights and maternity leave, as well as your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

[ ] Ask an expert
If possible, confer with a (trustworthy) colleague who’s been in the same situation. Ask about how her news was received, how was she treated during her pregnancy and any other info that may be helpful to you.

[ ] Devise a plan
Determine how much time you want to take off, approximately when you want your leave to start, how accessible you plan to be once you’re out, how much you plan to work during your first weeks back on the job, whether you plan on working a part-time or flexible schedule or telecommute, and who will handle your responsibilities in your absence.

[ ] Set up a meeting
Don’t break your big news as you pass your boss in the hall. Instead, make an appointment to sit down together so you’ll have plenty of time and privacy to discuss the situation and your plans. Then, formalize the arrangements you agree upon in writing (and send a copy to your human resources department) so there are no misunderstandings later on.

[ ] Be ready for surprises
Even if you think you’ve got everything planned perfectly, stuff happens. Baby could come early or late, or you could have unexpected complications. Keep this in mind as you consider when your leave will start and end.

[ ] Train your replacement
Don’t assume anyone can do your job as well as you can. Make sure to go over how to handle your clients, reports, subordinates, and any other responsibilities. Leave detailed step-by-step instructions as well as your contact info.

[ ] Set boundaries
If you don’t want to be completely out of the loop while you’re on leave, request a daily or weekly email that outlines what’s happening at work. But if you want to be contacted only in case of emergency, say so (nicely).

The Bump Editors

re: Q: Maternity Leave Logistics?

I'm thinking on not coming back, but I'm not sure how should I handle this?

degg |

re: Q: Maternity Leave Logistics?

I am in the same boat...I am not planning on coming back but don't know when I should tell my boss......

LaGambagGIRL |

re: Q: Maternity leave logistics?

I'm planning on sticking around for 3 months and then leaving. I've been asking for a promotion for nearly 1 year and have been left hanging. Now, I realize that it's not worth it and going back to school. That's how I'm telling my boss.

tqsbride |

re: Q: Maternity leave logistics?

I talked to our HR dept last week and he said if I am planning on not coming back to not say anything to him because he'll have to notify the insurance company. I've also read that if you take paid short term disability you have to return to work for at least 30 days or you could be penalized for the time you took short term and have to pay all or some of it back.

youngmomma |

re: Q: Maternity leave logistics?

I have recently learned that I do not qualify for FMLA and so my entire maternity will be unpaid. My company (school district) also does not offer short term disability. Finally, any time that I take unpaid is going to effect my seniority making me very susceptible for lay off at the end of the school year...ahhh

radebczak |

re: Q: Maternity leave logistics?

I am quitting, too. I plan to quit July 31 (due date is Aug 22). I think I'm going to tell my boss this Tuesday... I know it's a lot of heads up time, but I want them to find someone that I can train for them before I go...

ShinyHappyMe |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

When i had my first son I asked for 3 months maternity leave and since they didn't want to give it to me I decided to leave. So they changed my positions and made me a head trainer before I left. I trained all the new people and wrote a manual in my last 2 months. All ended very well. I returned to the work force at new career that I love. I am having my second child and this time am planning on coming back to work. I even offered to work from home a little. To help the relief from my absenence.

butterfly_angel23 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

My EDD is August 7th. My work knows I'm pregnant, but I'll probalby turn in a formal maternity-leave request this week. I'm hoping I can take 3 months off, although part of that will be unpaid maternity leave. I plan to go back to work after the baby & continue working there at least to December. By the grace of God, my husband will find work way before then & I'll find a more flexible job closer to home. Good luck to everyone!

alecktra |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

a word of warning.... my friend told her job that she didnt plan to come back after her baby was born, and because of that comment they denied her unemployment claim after her maternity leave was up. i work for an accountant and baby is due in november so i'll have to come back for the few months of tax season but i'm not sure if i'll stay on after that. we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

grover1024 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

Don't people know that you can't claim unemployment if you quit. You have to be fired to claim unemployment. after our honeymoon i decided to quit my job but i had to go back for a couple day inorder to get my vacation time. if your friend told them she was not going to come back after her leave, she was not fired, she quit and you cannot receive unemployment.

our1stbabynov |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I'm getting 14 weeks maternity leave.I plan on returning to work after my maternity leave is up. Just need to decide how to split the weeks (before and after birth).

Reeqeh |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I am taking a year of paid maternity leave. I have not yet decided if i am returning to work or not after my leave. It will depend alot on what position I am returned to when I return to work.

Allisondavina |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

As of right now, I plan on taking 12 weeks after the baby is born. With my job, it will still be here when I get back and I dont have to start counting the weeks until after the baby is born. I just work until I go into labor and then it starts the next day. However, its only 60% of my pay for 8 weeks and then 4 weeks unpaid. We are still debating whether or not its worth me coming back to work.

smshybug |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I plan on coming back to work after maternity leave but I was going to take 10 weeks off and my company would pay me. But we just found out that our company was sold and the new maternity leave is not good at all. I have stayed wth this company for 7 years so that I could have paid leave but now I have to use six or vacation for 10 days then I would get paid for 4 weeks of Maternity leave. So know I am looking at only being able to have 6 weeks off with pay not 10weeks. I am stressing of this. This is my first baby and I want to be with the babay as much as I can at first!

melhubbell83 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

i love living in canada. the maternaty leave in the states sounds horrible. we get 6 months maternity leave paid at 55% (i believe thats the percent) of your wage before you left. as well there is 6 moths parental leave (also paid at 55%) that either the mother or the father can take. so i will be taking the full year paid 55% of my wage as my boyfriend makes much more money than i do.

gerixoxo |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I am having a similar problem, I work for a small special ed private preschool and we do not qualify for FMLA as well as I get 5 sick days a year which will be used before baby is due. We don't have short term disability, so for now I am trying to save to make up for the 6 weeks I will be out of work but really wish I could do 12 weeks after the baby. I also have to submit 6 + weeks of lesson plans atleast a month before my due date with al the materials completed. It is getting to be very stressfull and although I am trying to figure out if there is another way instead of going back to my job, I will lose out on the education aspects of it working towards my BCBA right now. I also get my new contract in Sept so I am not sure how or what my pay will be for next year and I am due in Jan. I have gone as far as trying to see about setting up short term disability with aflac but they dont count the 6 weeks after labor, almost wishing we stayed in NY instead of moving to TX.

ambalzer |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I'll be in school fulltime working on my Phd, I will have about a month give or take. The baby is due right after the fall semester finals end and the winter/Christmas break is just short of a month. I have to go back on time because I still have class in the spring. In terms of getting paid through my research, I am allowed two weeks off paid, and will probably work from home the rest of the time. Not ideal, but then again, life isn't usually.

andreakirchoff |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I feel lucky, I qualify for 12 weeks of FMLA, which is normally unpaid, but my company has a Salary Continuance policy that runs concurrent. My 5 year anniversary just passed so I get my full salary for 90 days, which will cover the whole time I am out. I couldn't imagine trying to afford a new baby on a reduced salary during my leave, so I'm really happy with the timing of this pregnancy.

oneyedsally |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

any other entrepreneurs or freelancers out there? How have you handled this with clients? I'd love some advice. All the advice out there seems to be geared toward full-timers.

contacthayes |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I work in the education field (not a teacher) and I am lucky enough to be due in June. The way it works for us, it I exhaust all of my personal and sick days first, and then the rest of my leave is unpaid. However, my position is not paid over the summer anyway, and my sick/personal days will keep me paid until I would have been cut off for summer break anyway. And then I get 10 weeks of summer!

MegStory17 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

Before planning your maternity leave you should put your finances in order. That is why you should hire a new jersey cpa. I'm sure he will help you out.

deanjohnson |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

When I remained pregnant I joined a Work at home moms club. They were great, they offered me any information I needed about pregnancy, maternity leave and child allowance. I advice you to do the same. I also wish to have a healthy pregnancy.

marta8080 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I am allowed 6 weeks of maternity leave at my job, but it is unpaid. We can't afford for me not to get paid, so I'm saving my vacation and sick as best I can and using that which gives me 2 weeks. After that I hope to do part time for awhile then full time. One of those things that I can't plan b/c I'm a first time mom and don't know how I'm going to feel before and after delivery...kinda scary leaving it up in the air.

frmgirl |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I am due this September and work for a small company in construction for 2 years. There is no other females in the office, and they have never had a HR Administrator leave for maternity. We don't qualify for FMLA because we are less them 50 employees, and in our handbook there has never been any maternity guidelines (grey area). I did sit down with my direct boss, and they are aware of my pregnancy but I haven't told them my plans yet. I only receive 10 days of sick/vaca a year and in order to use them I need to still remain with the company, but I want to take a normal 3-4 months off after the baby is born. I brought up the possiblitly of working part time (home and coming in once or twice a week) after that time period. However they didn't seem pleased with that idea/senario and have told me to let them know my plans so they can plan accordingly for my replacement. I am stressing out as the weeks and months go by. There needs to be more laws/rules enforced for especially smaller companies requiring both maternity/paternity guidelines.

ckazaks810 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I have been unhappy at work for a while (was promised a promotion when I received another job offer, declined other job offer, and then was never given promotion) and when I found out I was pregnant, kinda freaked out. I am due in October and had been planning on applying to new jobs over the summer. Now, I know I am not marketable. I mean, even though it is totally illegal, can you imagine an employer saying "Oh, sure, we'll hire you, have you work for a couple of months, and then need to find a replacement while you go off and have your baby!" It is super frustrating too because my hubby's work has crappy health insurance so if I decided to just quit and do freelance or consulting work, we would be screwed. Gahh! Even with our two salaries, child care would be too expensive in our area to make it worth it. So many tough decisions!

laurenmdrn16 |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

My story is similar to many. I have been promised several promotions, but have not received anything. I began grad school and found out I was pregnant three weeks later. All this while I was also interviewing for other positions. My husband and I have decided to wait until after the baby is born for me to start another position. Since I am due in December, this means starting a new position at the beginning of the year. My job does not offer sick days or short term disability (or any other benefits) since the company owner claims that they cannot afford to offer competitive wages or benefits. I will not be returning after maternity leave, but have not figured out how to break the news. The owner taunts us saying that no one is irreplaceable. We'll see how that goes. I've seen many people give 2 weeks notice and get fired on the spot. The job is so stressful that I almost feel like this is the blessing that is making me leave. Child care is too expensive to continue working with this job since they now refuse to pay me for my degree. Still working on the "proper" way to say that I'm quitting.

edouge |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

Do not plan on telling your company if you are leaving if you have short term disability or any sick or vacation time left to use that your will be paid out during your leave. Also, I would check what the state guidelines are for maternity leave, for example if you are not eligible for FMLA states like MA have an 8 week maternity law and 16 weeks for twins.

kellybdoyle |

Q&A: Planning my maternity leave?

I am very lucky! I have over three hundred hours vacation and over 700 of sick leave. I m not due until December, so over the next six months, I will continue to accrue till I go out on leave. I am eligible for 12 weeks, all paid because of the time that I have accrued. My husband does not have any options except for the three or four days of vacation he will have when I deliver. So I will be without him, but my mom has time she can take off, plus we both work in higher ed and get a winter break from Christmas to after New Years. Then my mother-in-law is on disability and is always home. She also lives right next door, she is always there to help.

Babysimba13 |