7 things you need to remember before you start maternity leave

Spit up, tear stained cheeks, and hungry beyond belief….oh, and my baby was there too.

To say that I was a mess going back to work after maternity leave is an understatement. I didn’t prepare my baby, my boss or myself to face the reality of my new normal.

Part of the reason I started ThriveMomma was to create the right info and emotional support for career women that simply didn’t exist. I’ve written at length about what you need to do, how you can prepare and who you need to be in order to (survive then) thrive at being a working mom.

This week’s blog is a super quick way to remember all the areas you need to focus on before starting maternity leave.


Paperwork.  Talk to your HR, principal’s office, etc. They will likely give you instructions and have you sign insurance and leave paperwork.

Person. Create a plan with your boss about how your replacements roles/tasks and transition when you return.

Access. Beware of “baby brain” affecting your return. Write down your computer password on a sticky note. If you have card keys, door key, or any other way you use to enter your work…put them in an envelope in your closet or nightstand with the words “Bring to work.”

Attitude. Take a moment before you leave your work on your last day before maternity leave and silently acknowledge that you will return and be a great employee but that you will fundamentally be changed (for good!). Your baby will rock your world (for the better) and taking a minute to silently close the Pre-baby chapter on your life and compassionately be open to the unknown of the post-baby chapter will be helpful. Your employer will be fine, you will survive!

List. Write a list of daily/weekly tasks that you do, any long term projects that you will need to get updated on when you return, etc. Write them down and put that piece of paper in an accessible drawer at yoru work.

Timing. Schedule a time to talk to your boss about your return about two weeks before your return.

Reminders.  Set a reminder for other tasks to do during maternity leave like: call employer to notify change in status for insurance, starting to pump and freeze milk approximately one month after baby is born (sooner or later depending on what your lactation consultant recommends), start to look for childcare, etc.

My passion is helping mamas through this transition from full-time baby bonding to full/part time working! Once the casseroles stop arriving after baby’s arrival, our society leaves us hangin’ when we are THE most vulnerable and alone. So as my exciting partnership with BabyTalk Co ramps up (Coming soon !) I’m offering a discount on my ebook InstantThrive: The essential guide to a balanced life after maternity leave

Preview it here!

InstantThrive ebook ThriveMomma Elaine McGhee


Hugs and cheers,


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