Planning Ahead for Maternity Leave as an Entrepreneur

Planning for maternity leave is a challenge for any working mother. But if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s all on you to figure out just how to keep the business moving forward—as your focus shifts to the delivery and care of a tiny human.

How do you decide what to automate? What to delegate? What to outsource? And how do you build those systems prior to the hard deadline that is the arrival of your baby?

Today, maternal health expert Arianna Taboada joins me to share her advice around planning for maternity leave as an entrepreneur, discussing how to assess both your personal and professional needs. She speaks to the psychological transition back to work after giving birth and the opportunity for entrepreneurs to phase in gradually. I ask Arianna about her personal parenting journey, and she explains how her business has changed in light of being a new mom and moving to the US. Listen in to understand Arianna’s policy research around access to leave for self-employed women and learn why maternity leave is a human rights issue.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #065

Some quotes from the episode

  • “You are one of the biggest assets to your business, so taking care of your personal needs is a business investment for the long-term sustainability of your work.”
  • “This is one of the opportunity areas that I see self-employed women having is that you do not have to go from being on full-time mom duty … back into your business full-time. You really can gradually phase in.”
  • “Talking to women who have been through this before—and specifically seeing if you can talk to women who have a similar business model to you—that is also helpful because it really puts some of the realities on the table and can help reframe expectations.”
  • “Learning how to hold both the enthusiasm for your business and genuine love of what you do and also really mourning the fact that your capacity is so different than what it was before—that juxtaposition is what I find is really the hallmark, the through-line of everyone’s experience.”
  • “Think of getting sleep now as a good business decision because it will allow you to come back into your business in a way that allows sustainability in that two years, three years down the road.”
  • “Maternity leave is a social justice and human rights issue.”
  • “If you invest in mothers, specifically during the perinatal period (pregnancy through postpartum) the outcomes for children are dramatically changed during early childhood but also into their adult life.”
  • “[We want] to encourage politicians to think about investing in maternity leave as investing in the future generation and childhood health and educational outcomes.”


Arianna Taboada is a maternal health expert and consultant who helps female founders design maternity leave plans that meet their personal and professional needs. She has more than a decade of experience as a health educator, social worker, reproductive health researcher, and yoga therapist. Arianna also speaks and writes on the topic of maternity leave as a social justice and economic equity issue, and her scientific work around reproductive health has been published in peer reviewed journals including the International Journal of Health Equity, Advances in Social Work, and Prevention Science, among many others.



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