A Practical Guide for Mums Preparing for Maternity Leave from Work

Are you getting ready to go on maternity leave soon? As you prepare for the arrival of your little one, balancing professional responsibilities with impending motherhood may seem daunting. With careful planning, you can set yourself up for success, and feel empowered and ready both at home and at work ahead of your maternity leave.

Here’s a practical guide to help you navigate the work process and prepare for maternity leave:

Understand your company’s maternity leave policy and benefits:

Every company will have its own maternity leave policies and benefits, so it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with them, and if something isn’t clear to you, don’t be afraid to ask. Ensure you know how to access them while you are on leave. Its important to determine the duration of your leave, whether it’s paid or unpaid, and whether there are any benefits or resources available to you during this time. Knowing the specifics will help you plan your finances and manage expectations. Check out Citizens Information Website which has lots of information on your entitlements.

Also check out this Free downloadable which details your state benefits and entitlements.

Understand your partners company’s paternity leave policy and benefits:

It is important to also understand what your partners employers offer in relation to paternity / parental leave and benefits and how you many be able to combine this with your own to plan for your leave and return to work.

Have a clear handover plan:

Identify key tasks and responsibilities in your role and create a comprehensive list. Document processes, procedures, and any essential information to help your replacement or colleagues step in seamlessly during your leave. Ensure there is clear communication between you, your replacement and your manager to ensure a smooth transition. If you would like to be involved in finding your cover, ensure you discuss this with your manager.

Check who needs to be aware of the handover plan and ensure all parties are clear on the timelines for the handover process. Bear in mind your leave date may change, so preparing in advance is beneficial.

Set clear out-of-office expectations while on maternity leave:

Prioritise effective out-of-office communication by setting clear expectations for how you will be reachable during your maternity leave.

Please note you are not required to stay in contact while on leave, some contact between the employer and employee is allowed during the Maternity Leave period. What amounts to ‘reasonable contact’ will depend on your particular circumstances, and what you would like. Your employer may need to contact you in relation to changes in the workplace, promotional opportunities for example.

It is important to also seek clarification on who is your main point of contact while on leave if you wish to contact. Discuss the best form (email, phone…) for your manger/HR to get in touch, if required while you are on leave.

Plan for your return from maternity leave:

While it may seem early to think about your return to work, planning ahead can make the transition smoother. Discuss what is available for you upon your return, whether that is flexible work arrangements, a phasing back, childcare options, and any specific needs you may have upon your return. Discuss with HR / manager what other supports are available to you such as external coaching.

This proactive approach ensures that you and your family are prepared for the challenges of balancing work and parenthood.

Preparing for maternity leave involves many elements of planning and effective communication. By taking the time to do this, leaning on those around you, delegating responsibilities, communicating clearly, and planning for your return, you can set the stage for a successful transition into maternity leave.

Remember to prioritize YOU when getting ready to welcome your little one. Putting time in to fill your own cup as you navigate this part of your motherhood journey. Congratulations on this exciting journey ahead!

For more tips on navigating your return to work check out more blog posts here or book a Free 20min consult to discuss the challenges that are arising around your return, and how coaching may support you to make the transition as smooth as possible.


back to work, maternity leave