So you’re pregnant, congrats!! There is so much to think about when you are pregnant, most of the focus is on you and your babies health, then what to buy, what kind of parents you will be, reading numerous books with differing advice on everything, how long you’ll be off work, childcare, the list goes on! It’s pretty overwhelming I must say.
Don’t let these things take over, just remember to enjoy being pregnant as much as you can, it’s such a special time and how amazing is it that we are growing a little human inside of us!
Hopefully you’re as lucky as I am and work for a supportive company that will help and support you as much as possible at this time. However, for those that need a little extra guidance, here are my top tips for preparing for maternity leave so the transition can be as smooth as possible for you, and hopefully reduce the stress;
Talk to your employer
It is completely up to you as to when to tell you’re employer, I personally think the sooner the better so you have that support in the work place for as long as possible. Find out what maternity pay you are entitled to, how much notice you need to give for coming back from maternity, discuss your plans for returning to work etc. Getting this all on the table will make you feel in control.
Give yourself time
There is no harm in starting your handover doc/making notes and getting things ready as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you certainly don’t want to leave things until the last minute as I can confirm baby brain is very very real!!
Start making sure you make full notes on the system, or in documents etc. No cutting corners now, make everything clear so everyone can understand what you did and why. This will help ensure no one’s kept guessing once you leave, or worse, trying to call you whilst you’re in the hospital to ask work questions!
Handover to colleagues or replacement
You may or may not be involved in the hiring of your replacement, even if you aren’t I would give your boss a gentle nudge to get this done sooner rather than later, you may think you have plenty of time but it absolutely zooms by! Make sure you have your handover notes and all documents (as much as possible) ready to brief your colleagues or replacement well in advance. Don’t leave anything out, even small things you think are common-sense in your role (they may not be common sense to others).
Make sure you have clear boundaries whilst on maternity leave
Have a think what you are comfortable with. Really, your employer (as long as you have done the above) should have no need to contact you on maternity leave. You need to be left alone to enjoy the time with your lovely little new addition, and I’m pretty sure we’ll need all the spare time we have to sleep, eat and just survive! Make sure you have expressed this to your employer however, especially if they have not got children themselves, as they may assume the odd call and text about work is fine.
Hopefully your run down to maternity goes nice and smoothly, you deserve it!
Any advice you need feel free to get in touch.