Pregnancy is a special and emotional time for any woman, yet for most of us it also comes with a sea of nerves — and sometimes those nerves translate into confusion over our identity and how this new phase might affect our career. That’s why we’re hooking you up with a no-nonsense checklist. While no two women’s pregnancies are the same, these tips will put you on the right track and will guide you as you navigate these exciting months.
-Browse this maternity leave database to find out what your company’s policy is (or, if you’re job searching, figure out which companies have good leave programs).
-Not thrilled with your company’s policy? Read up on the basics of maternity leave, short term disability insurance, and FMLA to figure out what your options are and whether you might be able to negotiate for more maternity leave.
-If you have a male partner who’s working, find out what the paternity leave policy is at his company.
-Check out what other women have reported about your company's (or a prospective company's) work-life balance and flexibility policies. You may not tire of working long hours now, but when you have a baby at home you may want — or, let's face it, need — to be able to have a more flexible schedule.
-Do some research on how other mamas have navigated pregnancy week by week in the workplace.
-Start crafting your last-minute checklist before maternity leave. You’ll be grateful that you have it when you’re struggling to tie up loose ends before your last day.
-If plan to breastfeed — and to return to your job — it’s never to early to look into your legal rights and protections as a breastfeeding employee...and, of course, how to pump at work.
-If you’re thinking of working from home post-baby, check out these 13 great work-from-home job opportunities for stay-at-home moms.
-Most of all, don't forget to enjoy the wonderful ride that is pregnancy — and if you're ever feeling like you need more support, let this checklist guide you, and don't be shy about posting a question or discussion topic to solicit advice from mamas who have been there!