What You Wanted To Know – Doctor Appointments

pregnant-doctorToday when I looked at what search keywords are being used to find The Maternity Leave Coach it was very clear what’s on expectant mother’s minds… taking time off of work for doctor’s appointments. So, you ask and I deliver.  Here are some Q&A that will hopefully answer some burning questions.  AND… while you’re here be sure to check out the new Maternity Leave Prep Kit that will bring everything you need to know about preparing for maternity leave into one handy guide.  $9.99 is a small price to pay for the stress-relief of getting a plan in place.  Look to the right of the page to order your copy today.

Q. Can I use FMLA leave during my pregnancy or only after the birth of my child?

A. Yes. Employees can use FMLA leave during their pregnancy or after the birth of their child. Under the regulations, a mother can use 12 weeks of FMLA leave for the birth of a child, for prenatal care and incapacity related to pregnancy, and for her own serious health condition following the birth of a child. A father can use FMLA leave for the birth of a child and to care for his spouse who is incapacitated (due to pregnancy or child birth).

Read moreWhat You Wanted To Know – Doctor Appointments

What Happens If You Work for “Neanderthal Inc.”?

I am so excited to share a special guest post from my husband and biggest supporter.  Take a few minutes to hear his perspective on maternity leave.

For starters, I’m really proud of my wife for doing the Maternity Leave Coach blog and helping get useful topics/hints/suggestions out there that working women can use when they are on the verge of experiencing the most amazing event they will ever experience in their life. My wife asked me to chime in on a guest post, so we chatted about what I’ve experienced in my working life.

For starters, I’ve had a knack in my working life for working around and with companies that could also be labeled as “Neanderthal Inc.”  By that I mean that they are typically male dominated and may have a culture that is gruff and quite frankly doesn’t understand women and how to work with them or develop them so they are vital parts of the organization. Fortunately, my wife has mostly worked for large companies that have had fairly progressive policies when it comes to women and typically would go above any federal minimums when it came to maternity leave and benefits like that. So, it’s safe to say we’ve had different experiences over our almost 20+ years working. We were talking about her blog recently (did I mention I’m proud of her?) and why some women might not want to tell their managers they are pregnant or that they might be nervous about their future when there are laws to protect them. Here are some observations I’ve made over the years.

Read moreWhat Happens If You Work for “Neanderthal Inc.”?

Support Pregnant Workers – Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

There was big news last week but you probably missed it.  With all the focus and controversy about the Time breastfeeding cover, there was little attention to the announcement about an issue that we can all agree on.  Last Tuesday it was announced that legislation has been proposed that would protect women who need accommodation in the workplace while they are pregnant.  Today women are being discriminated against when they ask for accommodations like carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated or using a stool at their work station instead of standing through their entire shift.

Bonnie Rochman does a great job explaining the proposed act in her Time post.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Should Expectant Women Be Accommodated in the Workplace? 

There are several organizations on board in support of the legislation and I hope you join me in rallying support as well.  Since it was just announced last week there aren’t yet a lot of details on how working moms can get involved, but I will keep you posted here.  In the meantime, read up on the proposed legislation and contact your Congressmen and Congresswomen to ask for their support.  Don’t know who your representative(s) are?  Click here and enter your zip code.

Spread the word and get others involved!  Let’s support pregnant workers!

The Four Rules of Maternity Leave

Julie Steinberg wrote a nice article that encapsulated the four rules you need to remember about your maternity leave.  I’ve linked to the article at the end of this post.  I wanted to expand a bit on her rules and ask you all if you’d add any more rules to the list.

1.  Start the conversation early

I was glad to see that the women Julie referred to in the article recommended letting managers know sooner than later.   The 12 week mark seems to be a good time to let people know.  You’d want to share the news sooner if you are having an especially tough time with morning sickness or you are high risk and may need accommodations during your pregnancy.  

Read moreThe Four Rules of Maternity Leave

Doctor Visits and Work – Planning for Pregnancy Care

“Will my boss let me off to go to my doctor’s appointments?” is a common question that I’ve heard from women newly pregnant who are actively involved in the workforce. If you consider that most pregnant women have between ten and 15 prenatal visits over the course of nine months, it’s understandable that this would be a concern.

To answer the question of whether or not your employer will let you off of work, I’ll answer with the “spirit” and then the” letter” of the law. From a “spirit” perspective, most employers will be understanding and as long as you aren’t pulling a fast one with your appointments, they will be accommodating. They will allow for the time off either from sick time allocation through FMLA or if you prefer, from your vacation allotment.

Read moreDoctor Visits and Work – Planning for Pregnancy Care

Your License to Ill – Pregnant Woman’s Right to Morning Sickness

Don’t Mess With My Zofran

The words “morning sickness” conjure up so many things for me.  Had a documentary film crew been following me through the first 5 months of my pregnancy they would have had several opportunities to achieve cinematic greatness as they chronicled my plight.  To start, there was this overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke everywhere I went and my resulting disgust that those close to me must surely be sneaking some cigs when I’m not looking.  How dare they lead a secret, unhealthy lifestyle without checking with me?!  Come to find out, that was actually the first weak signal that I was pregnant and it wasn’t cigarette smoke but an intense ability to sniff out mold and mildew in any location.  Go figure.  Sorry Steve for all the finger wagging that you endured even though you had never smoked in your life!

Read moreYour License to Ill – Pregnant Woman’s Right to Morning Sickness

Working Through Mommy Brain

My pals at LiberatingWorkingMoms recently wrote about “mommy brain” and it sparked some reflection on my part about how my pregnancy and now everlasting mommy brain has impacted my work. Overall, it’s been a good thing if you don’t count the really stupid stuff I’ve done.

If you want to get all scientific about it, there is a great book by Katherine Ellison called The Mommy Brain that makes the argument that women can actually get smarter as a result of having children. So I guess the Octomom is a genius?!?

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Pregnancy Discrimination Grows Like a Baby Bump – Not Good America!

Just read a  interesting (and depressing) post from Time about pregnancy discrimination.    Once again, I’m trying not to call foul and be the victim but come on.  As always, there are two sides to every story and no doubt maternity benefits are a weight on employers.  But how is it that other countries have figured it out?  Read the article here http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/16/pregnant-at-work-why-your-job-could-be-at-risk/

Read morePregnancy Discrimination Grows Like a Baby Bump – Not Good America!

Baby Prep 101 – For Moms Who Want To Know It All

Do you like lists? Have you been researching all the experts and reading your “What to Expect” religiously? Well then Houston moms (and dads) mark your calendar for February 23rd because I have good news for you!

Premier Baby Planning regularly hosts their popular Baby Prep 101 class and if you’d like to know the scoop on how to prioritize the many things to do before baby arrives this class is great for you.  You will receive guidance on where to focus your time and energy when preparing for baby.  Topics will help you make informed decisions and include birth plans, prenatal services and classes to consider, nursery tips, choosing the right pediatrician, completing your maternity checklist, transitioning to return to work or stay home and so much more! Reducing stress is important for every pregnancy.  Being educated, informed and organized helps make your pregnancy more enjoyable. This class is for expecting parents and will help answer some of those questions that are keeping you up at night.

For more information and to register visit http://premierbabyplanning.com/

 

What to Wear to Work – Pregnancy Can Be in Fashion

Let’s get real.  If you are a normal woman, you don’t have a celebrity stylist dressing you through your pregnancy.  In light of the length of time you will be wearing maternity clothes, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune building your pregnancy wardrobe.  Here are some tips to help you get through the six to nine months you’ll need to re-route your work wear.

In the first three months you will probably be able to sneak around in your regular clothes.  There’s the rubber band around the buttonhole and then wrapped around the button trick.  It can look pretty lumpy under a knit shirt so adjust your tops accordingly.  This will provide that crucial extra inch or two of breathing room.   There are also inserts that you can add into your pants that will give you a little more wiggle room.

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Who Asked You? Dealing With Unwanted Advice During Pregnancy – Part 1

It usually comes along with a look of “you are so clueless about this baby in your belly” and it’s probably well intended.  But… it rarely is received in that way.  In talking with tons of moms I think that instead of those goofy shirts that say “baby” and have an arrow pointing to their belly, they might prefer a t-shirt that says “Who Asked You?”

Rude, I know but it’s how you start to feel after months of unsolicited advice.  So, you have some choices here – drop kick the next person who goes on about how you’re singlehandedly setting the Earth into a death spiral toward Armageddon by not using cloth diapers OR respond with grace and tact.

Here’s more on the grace and tact approach.  I’ll do this post in two parts, this one highlighting the more subtle approaches.

Read moreWho Asked You? Dealing With Unwanted Advice During Pregnancy – Part 1