Sheila McGarrigle

Steph’s Journey Through PFL: Part 1

The First Trimester

July 10, 2018

PFL Couple Expecting Baby

A few months ago, one of ShelterPoint’s own, Stephanie, got some very exciting news: she and her husband are going to have their very first baby! Most of you reading this post already “know” her. She is part of our small but busy content team at ShelterPoint that has been educating you about all things PFL for over a year. As work and personal life are coming full circle for Steph, we’re going to follow her journey first-hand through pregnancy and PFL for bonding leave – giving you insider tips along the way! SIGN-UP for updates to follow along with her story.

Steph and her husband found out they were expecting towards the end of 2017. At the time, Steph’s main concern was the health of her child, which is why she didn’t tell her coworkers right away. “The first trimester is really scary — it’s when most miscarriages and all the most critical development happens,” she explained, “also reality sets in that you’re about to become parents.”

Though Steph wanted to keep her pregnancy a secret from her coworkers during her first trimester, she did decide to tell her boss early “because you never know how your body will react. I ended up having a lot of morning sickness, so it was good that I told my boss early on.  It also took away some of my stress having an understanding boss who was so accommodating.” By the time Steph was ready to tell everyone about her big surprise, she said that “a lot of people had an idea already because I was just walking around kind of green all the time.”

At the end of her first trimester the news became official, and her work-family had one thought on their minds. “When people at ShelterPoint found out,” Steph said, “one of the first questions they’d ask was always ‘are you going to take PFL?’” But because Steph is still pretty early in her pregnancy, no one has brought up the subject of leave since then. “Except for my mom,” Steph added with a laugh.

“Mom mostly wants to know how much time I’m planning on taking off,” Steph said, adding that her mother-in-law had similar questions as she might be helping “watch the baby for a bit when I go back to work.”

But there’s still plenty of time for Steph to worry about the childcare logistics a little further down the line. Right now, there are other things she has on her plate.

“Trying to figure out our health insurance in general” was pretty daunting, Steph explained. “My husband and I had renewals on 1/1, so figuring that out with HR and understanding how we’ll get coverage for the baby was at the top of the list.” Beyond daydreaming about the paid time off she’ll get to take with Paid Family Leave once her baby arrives, PFL isn’t really on her radar at the moment. “Right now I’m focused on planning and scheduling ahead at work for when I’ll be absent.”

But she’s excited for both the process of her pregnancy and PFL . “It’s always on my mind,” she said. “There’s a little human growing inside you. One little kick and you instantly remember what’s going on.”

SIGN-UP for updates and follow Steph’s journey through Paid Family Leave!


PFL Tips for Your First Trimester

If you or your partner is expecting a baby, here are some important steps you may want to take during the first trimester.

  • Get to know your rights as a new working mom.  You’ll want to make sure you work for a Covered Employer in New York, and meet eligibility requirements to make sure you have Paid Family Leave available to you.
  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with PFL for Bonding Leave.
  • Start considering how much PFL you may want to take after the baby comes.  Even though PFL is paid, the benefit is still only a portion of your salary.  So now’s a good time to start looking at budgets and see how much you might need or want to save up for.
  • Plus, unlike NY State Statutory Disability (DBL), PFL isn’t just for birth Moms!  Make sure your partner also knows about the bonding time that may be available to them.


Read Part 2

Expecting Mom's Guide









This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at

Previous Article NY PFL Legislative Update: Bereavement Leave
Next Article Bonding Photo Contest – Call for Entries
2877 Rate this article:
No rating

Theme picker

Get the latest Paid Family Leave New York updates delivered to your inbox!