Advice » In the Workplace» Work-Life Balance » Prepare Early for Maternity Le ...
Prepare Early for Maternity Leave

Prepare Early for Maternity Leave

Life used to be simple: You fell in love, got married and had a baby. Mom stayed home, and dad went to work. Nice and easy, right? But for many women today baby makes four: you, your partner, your baby -- and your job.

How do you balance your changing body, your changing hormones and your career? Start by planning your maternity leave early in your pregnancy. Here's how:

Break the News

Depending on your relationship with your boss, this may be the easiest -- or toughest -- part of the process. Be sure to give your boss some idea of your plans and assure him that you'll make the transition as smooth as possible. "Your message needs to be, 'I care about this job, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure things run smoothly while I'm not here,'" says DeAnne Rosenberg, a career consultant in Wareham, Massachusetts, and author of A Manager's Guide to Hiring the Best Person for Every Job.

Nail Down the Policy

In a perfect world, you'd get information on your company's leave policy before breaking the news to your boss, but you'll probably have to talk to someone in human resources for specifics. Knowing how fast news travels in a company, you should talk to your boss first. Make an appointment with HR so you'll have the person's full attention, and be sure to get everything in writing.

Consider Your Options

As you're deciding how much leave to take -- or even whether to return at all -- take your time. And remember that you may feel differently once the baby is born. "Most women, unless they're absolutely sure they're not returning, will say they are returning," says etiquette expert Emily Post. "At least be as clear as possible on what some of the dates and boundaries are."

Write a Playbook

Put together a written job description, including a calendar with daily, weekly and/or monthly duties. Attach a step-by-step set of instructions, a list of helpful hints, client information and contact information. "Some people put together a notebook that says, 'when this happens, do this.' This is the kind of thing that should go directly to the boss," says Rosenberg. "Leave things in the kind of shape where somebody else can step in and do the job while you're away." You should also do some hands-on training with the person covering for you.

Expect Change

Nothing stays the same, especially in business. When you return from maternity leave, don't expect everything to be the same as it was when you left. There may be internal changes at your company, or market forces may have changed the way business is conducted. Or worse -- the person who covered for you did a better job. Expect the unexpected, but remember that you have a track record. "You have a strong leg up there, because they know you," says Rosenberg. "You're a known quantity, so they'd rather have you than anyone else."

The best thing you can do is communicate your needs and plans clearly. And don't forget to thank everyone who helps you along the way.

Articles in This Feature

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/30/2015
Castle Shannon, PA
Posted: 05/30/2015
Milwaukee, WI, 53202
Special Response Corporation
Posted: 05/30/2015
dallas, TX
Swift Transport
Posted: 05/30/2015
Chicago, IL
Swift Transport
Posted: 05/30/2015
California, CA

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-317