How I designed my maternity leave handover plan

Aaina
6 min readMar 26, 2019

Today’s my second day of maternity leave and I’m just 4 days away from my due date! 😱 When I first found out that I’m pregnant over 8 months ago, I was overcome by joy and all the butterflies-in-the-tummy feelings that go along. As reality sunk in and I went to work after taking the weekend to digest the news, I knew I had to start planning out various aspects of how the next few months will play out. There were lots of things to consider, i.e. who do I share the new with first? How? When? What all should I be aware of before sharing the news? What sorts of questions (if any) should I ask for what I can expect in the next few months? What kind of support will I be looking for from Unmind?

Having never done this before, there was a lot brewing in my mind. I should also add that I had moved from San Francisco to London just 8 months ago so, I didn’t have a huge network of new moms to gather useful insight from. So, I decided to get creative with how I would plan out my time at Unmind over the next few months as I started to think about specific logistics.

Do your research

I’ve always believed that being informed is the best way get comfortable with taking on a new challenge. So, naturally, the first step for me was to start doing loads of research on the matter. This included browsing articles and posts about the topic, reading a ton about first mums’ experiences, and talking to as many working mums as I could connect with. Here’s a list of a few specific things to research and get answers to:

  1. What’s my company’s parental policy? How will they support me during my pregnancy and afterwards?
  2. How and when should I share the information with the team?
  3. What all should I prepare for before I head off for maternity leave?
  4. When should I start my leave?
  5. How do I prepare myself for the next few months (mentally, physically, and emotionally)?

Start planning early

Just like with anything that you’re doing for the first time, it’s a good idea to start putting a plan in place as early as you possibly can. With pregnancy, this becomes even more important because you don’t want to end up stressed out towards…

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Aaina

Designer of many things. Currently, leading the Core Products Design team at Grammarly. Helping Designers and Design Leaders navigate their career.