Maternity Leave Checklist

There are so many details to consider before the birth of your baby. Your to-do list extends from the nursery to the office. Here's a few of the things you need to consider as you make your transition from working woman to working mother.

Six Months Prior to your Due Date
  • Review maternity leave and work/life benefits offered by your employer
  • Notify your supervisor of your pregnancy. Ensure him/her of your intent to continue your present performance.

    Four Months Prior to Your Due Date
  • Consider child care options for returning to work. (Childcare Overview)
  • Schedule your annual review for a date prior to your maternity leave if your review date occurs while you are maternity leave.

    Three Months Prior to Your Due Date
  • Visit or meet with child care providers.
  • Write a work plan for distributing your duties while on maternity leave
  • Discuss with co-workers and supervisor a plan that will ensure the work in the office gets done in your absence.
  • Create a maternity leave plan. Will you work from home a few hours a week? Do you prefer not to be bothered at all?
  • Discuss your maternity leave plan with your employer.

    Two Months Prior to Your Due Date
  • Review important dates and deadlines that will occur while you are maternity leave.
  • Develop a work plan for your return following maternity leave and discuss with your employer.
  • Begin educating co-workers on regular tasks that occur within your work day.
  • Make sure your insurance and employee benefits are up to date and ready for your delivery.
  • Schedule your annual review and evaluation prior to your maternity leave in the event that your review date falls during maternity leave.

    One Month Prior to Your Due Date
  • Assemble a contact list with important vendor information, client phone numbers and service providers for your replacement.
  • Create a roadmap of your office. List where important information can be found, secrets to your filing system and important notes for your replacement.
  • If you plan to work from home during maternity leave, it's time to set up a home office.
  • Establish a home email account.
  • Take co-workers and supervisor through your typical day.

    Two Weeks Prior to Your Due Date
  • Notify clients and others you interact with regularly of your pending maternity leave
  • Remove any personal property from your office that is private or valuable.
  • Take home your rolodex and a copy of your company directory for emergency purposes.
  • Create a communication plan for telling your office friends of your new baby.

    One Week prior to Your Due Date
  • Activate an auto response reply for your business email address.
  • Thank your employer and co-workers for their support.

    Also see:
    Exploring flexible work options
    Working out a telecommuting proposal

    Maria Bailey is the mother of four and Founder of, a Website for working mothers and the companies who employ them. She is the author of "Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market" (Prima, 2002) and host of Mom Talk Radio.