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Maternity Leave to-Do List

Preparing for maternity leave is a major undertaking for most moms-to-be. That's true whether you are dropping out of the work force indefinitely or just for a few months. Here's how to make a smoother transition.

  • Check your employer's maternity leave policy. Talk to a human resources staff member if you have any questions.
  • Ask your employer if you can also use sick, vacation, or holiday time.
  • Ask about any effects your leave will have on your health insurance and other benefits.
  • If there is no company-paid maternity leave, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain workers after the birth of a child. Be sure to give 30 days' notice.  
  • Let your boss know the best way to reach you during maternity leave.
  • Ask your partner to ask about paternity leave at his or her workplace.
  • Try to clean up as many of your projects as possible. Tying up loose ends will help you feel more organized. Your coworkers will appreciate it, too.
  • Remove any personal belongings from your desk.
  • Create an "out of office" responder for your work e-mail and change your voicemail greeting.
  • Type a "hand-off" document to summarize the status of any pending projects.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Maxine Dorin, MD on June 16, 2012

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