Sheila McGarrigle

Steph's Journey Through PFL: Part 2

The Second Trimester

August 7, 2018

PFL Couple Expecting Baby Girl

We’re checking in with Stephanie, one of ShelterPoint’s employees who is getting ready to have her first baby and take Paid Family Leave for bonding when her baby arrives. In our last article, Stephanie had just finished her first trimester and was announcing her exciting news to family, friends and coworkers.

As Stephanie wraps up her second trimester, she’s started thinking ahead to her Paid Family Leave bonding time off. “Planning for how to manage everything at work when I’m out on leave is probably priority #1 right now,” she said.

“I’m doing as much as I can to prepare for my leave ahead of time,” she explained. Stephanie is working hard to soften the impact for her coworkers when she’s spending time with her new baby. She’s even making manuals and guides for all the work she does on a daily basis to help whomever will handle her duties.

While many companies might find it helpful to use a temp agency to provide temporary help while employees are on PFL, it might not work in Stephanie’s situation. “We’ve considered using a temp agency” to cover things while Stephanie’s out, “but it makes more sense for us to keep things in-house with the kind of work that we do.” 

But Stephanie considers herself lucky to work with “such a family-oriented company,” and that her boss “is a mom of 2 little ones and gets it.” She doesn’t feel the pressure to come back from her leave right away, and knows that things will be in good hands while she’s out, due to her preparation and diligence ahead of time.

Stephanie remarked on how quickly the time has flown since she first found out she was pregnant, and while she hasn’t solidified her Paid Family Leave plans yet, she has a good idea of how she’ll be taking her time. “First I’ll be taking DBL as I recover from the birth, and then take about 4 weeks of PFL to bond. That way I can save the other 4 weeks available to me for later, and use it when the baby’s a few months older.  But, plans could always change, and until I’m really in the situation I won’t know for sure.”  Steph still has some time to solidify her plans.  While it’s great that she’s having conversations early on with her employer, it’s important to remember that your PFL carrier doesn’t need any advanced notice of your leave - read more about that here.

As she has progressed in her pregnancy, Stephanie has been surprised with how many things she has to think about. Like childcare. “Looking for childcare, even though we won’t need it for 6-7 months from now has been harder than we thought.  Finding a place that takes infants has been a real struggle, and there are already wait lists at some of those places.  Doing all the research, and knowing which one to trust with your child can be super overwhelming.  Sometimes you have to go with your gut - especially when choices are so limited.”

But with all the things she has to think about and plan for, Stephanie can’t wait to meet her baby. “We were really excited to find out we were having a little girl!  It was very special - we took our parents with us to find out the sex of the baby.  Knowing now that it’s a girl makes the whole thing seem a lot more real.”

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PFL Tips for Your Second Trimester

If you or your partner are expecting a baby, here are some important tips you may want to take during the second trimester:

  • Work with your boss or supervisor to figure out the best way to cover your responsibilities while you’re out. Whether that’s training someone else, delegating your duties, or looking into temp agencies, now’s the time to start figuring it all out.
  • Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the PFL forms, and everything else you’ll need to submit along with the forms when you start your bonding leave – but, make sure you don’t file your claim too early – read why here
  • Start considering how much time you’re going to want to take off. Do you want to take the full time available to you all at once? Take half like Stephanie and save the rest for later? Having at least a rough idea could help you and your boss manage your coverage.
  • Take some time to read PFL for Bonding  and Benefits of Bonding for interesting information on how you can take Paid Family Leave and the importance of bonding.
  • Our ABCs of PFL also provides detailed information to answer all of your Paid Family Leave questions.

Expecting Mom's GuideRead Part 3








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

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