Maternity leave is a leave of absence from work before and after the birth of your baby. This is a period for birth recovery, bonding, breastfeeding, and adjusting to the learning curve that comes with having a newborn. The terms of your maternity leave depend mainly on the time you can take away from your job and whether your employer pays you during your absence. These factors vary widely based on your country, state, employer, and financial situation.

Planning for maternity leave is a big project. For many moms, it can be stressful to think about taking time off or returning to work after you have your baby. Planning is the key to maximizing the time you can take and minimizing the effects on your income and career. This episode covers navigating job protections, coordinating federal, state, and employer benefits, assessing your financial capacity for time off and planning for a smooth transition back to work.

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