Preparing for Maternity Leave!Mar 03, 2022
Pregnancy may feel like a long nine months at times. But sometimes the arrival of baby and consequent planning and preparation can catch you by surprise! One such surprise can be feeling unprepared to go on maternity leave. It can be a big pause in a person’s career at a pivotal time, and transitioning into and out of it can be a tricker maneuver than it seems. This is precisely why today’s guest, Sonja Baikogli Foley, co-founded Maturn, Canada’s first comprehensive program supporting self-identifying women throughout their entire maternity leave. Sonja co-founded Maturn out of a desire to support women and turn maternity leave into an intentional year. A proud mother of two, she is driven to build a more equitable, compassionate and inclusive world for future generations. Join Sonja and Dr. Alicia as they discuss how to prepare for maternity leave.
Top 4 Tips for Preparing for Maternity Leave
- Create an intentional transition plan.
Ask yourself questions around when you want your last day of work to be? Do you want to take any time for yourself before your baby arrives? What would you use that time for? What are some projects that you feel are most important to maintain oversight on before you leave? What things can you begin to relinquish control on and delegate to other people? Beginning this planning early can help you maintain agency of your professional and personal life as you enter the new phase of parenthood.
Which includes your pre-maternity leave checklist, top tips for your transition and a transition plan you can share with your employer.
- Start thinking about Childcare
It may seem premature to begin exploring childcare options in pregnancy, but it can be a longer process than you think! There are many different childcare options out there better suited for different needs, so begin by doing some research around what types of options are accessible to you, and consider your needs so you can prepare the right questions once you’re on those often whirlwind daycare tours. Consider becoming a Maturn Member which provides a whole list of things to consider when choosing childcare! And once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, start putting your name on some waiting lists as availability can be hard to find!
- Maternity Leave Policies & Benefits
Familiarize yourself with your company’s maternity leave policies and benefits. What are the offerings on extended health benefits? What is the policy around accruing vacation days? Take an active part in creating a professional transition plan and share it with your employer. Consider if you’d like to maintain contact with the office or receive updates about your work, and at what frequency. Consider how you’d like to hand-off work and how much of an active role you’d like to take in training your cover.
- Create a Community
Try to create a list of people who you can turn to for support and engage with them early on. Anyone from family members who you can turn to for help with functional things like walking your dog or taking care of your toddler while you’re in labour, to professionals like midwives and doulas, and friends that can relate from their own experience, try to establish a few of these relationships early on and clearly define them. Maternity can be an isolating time - don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
And last but not least - be open to change. Keep in mind that no matter your plans, things may change and try to practice self-compassion during this exciting but unpredictable time.
Canada’s first comprehensive program supporting mothers throughout their entire maternity leave with the *exact* tools, connections and compassionate resources required so you can transition back to work with greater ease and less self-doubt.
Taking you from anxious and overwhelmed to confident during your childbirth experience:
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