Going on maternity leave is a big change for most moms as it follows a lot of uncertainties, here are 5 tips to help you prepare for a successful leave if you are on paid employment.

1. Know Your Rights & Review Your Benefits

Be sure to review your employee handbook or H.R. policies for up-to-date information about your company’s parental leave policies, so you know exactly what to expect and can plan accordingly.

2. Talk to your manager/boss

Your manager is one of your main allies when you are going on maternity leave. To assure she or he is bought into your plans, have a conversation with them at an early point in your pregnancy.

3. Prepare a Work Transition Plan

The plan should contain detailed information about projects, owners, stakeholders, and milestones. When your plan is completed, review it with your manager and, if necessary, schedule some time to sit with anyone who will be covering for you to walk them through your work transition plan and address any questions ahead of time.

4. Talk to other mums in your network

Ask other women in your company or your network who have recently been on maternity leave questions and concerns that you are having right now. They are normally happy to share their experience with you, including company specific tips.

5. Set boundaries, Set up Auto Replies

Maternity leave is not a vacation, it is your time to recover from birth, to get to know your little one, and to cherish these special first moments as a family. Avoid Overcommitting, be clear in which situations it’s okay for colleagues to reach out to you for work related issues.

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