Steph’s Journey Through PFL: Part 3
September 11, 2018
When we checked back in with Stephanie towards the end of her third trimester, she was excited to both meet her baby, and that it was “almost over.” “Overall, pregnancy has not been the most pleasant experience for me,” Stephanie said with a laugh, but she knows it will be worth it as soon as she can hold her new baby.
But there’s still a few more weeks to wait before the baby arrives, and some things to wrap up before she goes out on leave. Stephanie feels pretty confident that her work duties will be handled by her team while she’s out — “I’m a planner,” she said, “which hopefully people can appreciate. We’ve tried to get everything set up ahead of time as much as we can.” Planning so far in advance has helped Stephanie feel a little more secure as she gets closer to taking her leave.
As part of Paid Family Leave law, Stephanie has already provided her boss with her 30 day notice (and then some) that she is planning on taking PFL. While she can’t pinpoint the exact day her baby will arrive — babies tend to come on their own schedule, don’t they? — she was able to give a rough estimate based on her due date. But since she and her boss are close, her boss has been aware of her intention to take leave for a while now — especially since they work for ShelterPoint, and are the team that has been educating you with Paid Family Leave content for over a year. “It’s pretty cool to be able to experience PFL first-hand,” Steph added, “We’ve been living, breathing, and sleeping Paid Family Leave for over two years now, so I’m really looking forward to actually using it!”
As of right now she’s still planning on taking 4 weeks of PFL after her DBL time, but realizes that things come up and that might change. Which is why it’s so important to wait until after your leave begins to file your PFL claim form. Depending on how things go once the baby arrives, she might want to take more time, or take less and spread the remaining time out over the next year. The flexibility of Paid Family Leave allows her to do whatever makes sense for her and her growing family.
But pregnancy has brought some new and unexpected challenges with it. “Things that were really simple, like tying shoes, have become a physical challenge at this point,” Stephanie said, adding that “sleeping is a lot more challenging,” and that her giant C-shaped body pillow has been her saving grace. She even brought it with her when she traveled upstate when her family threw her a baby shower.
“It’s overwhelming all the love and support we’ve received,” Stephanie said about her baby showers. “This tiny person, who isn’t even here yet, is already so loved by everyone.” And she will be well-dressed too — Stephanie received quite the haul of adorable baby clothes from her friends and family, saying that “this little girl already has more clothes in her wardrobe than I do — her closet is full, her dresser is full, but it’s all so cute!”
Stephanie and her husband are spending their time now anxiously awaiting the arrival of their bundle of joy. While Steph’s husband isn’t planning on taking PFL himself (though many dads do), his job provides fully-paid paternity, which will be helpful. Plus, her husband’s “family lives very close, so they’ll be a big part of our support system.” And though Steph’s family lives upstate, “my mom is planning on staying with us for a while after the baby’s born” to help out.
Between the weekly doctor appointments, the last minute planning, and the struggling to tie shoes, Stephanie is still excited to meet her baby girl and “figure out how to be a mom.” She’s only a few short weeks away!
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PFL Tips for Your Third Trimester
If you or your partner are expecting a baby, here are some important tips you may want to consider during the third trimester:
- Don’t forget to give your boss at least 30-days notice for your foreseeable leave. Baby might come early, or be late, but you can help avoid some headaches by staying in communication with your boss from the time you decide to take PFL until you go out on leave.
- This is also a good time to check in with your employer to see how PFL interacts with any other benefits you may have (like DBL, other Short-Term Disability and your vacation/sick time.)
- Start thinking about your options for how you’ll want to use your benefits. Do you want to take DBL first and then take PFL? Or maybe skip DBL and go right out on PFL directly. Will you want to take weekly leave or intermittent days? Now’s the time to start thinking about your anticipated schedule.
- Worried you might be forgetting something important for your baby — like finding a good pediatrician? Making a list of things to do that you gather from parenting books, friends with kids, your OB, and other sources may help you feel more on top of things.
- Take some time to read Benefits of Bonding for interesting information about how bonding can help you and baby bloom.
- Our ABCs of PFL also provides detailed information to answer all of your Paid Family Leave questions.
Are you a soon-to-be mom?
Get Paid Family Leave tips for any stage of your pregnancy journey with this downloadable guide here!
To read about the next step in Steph's journey, please click here for Part 4.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org