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Close up of a woman with her arm propped under her chinThis post is a follow-up to last Friday’s post that shared tips about working during your third trimester. Here’s a question we get asked about maternity leave:

Question: “How long should I take off from work after I have my baby, since I’m choosing adoption for her at birth?”

Answer: The amount of time you take off from work depends on a lot of things…your doctor’s order, your health, the type of delivery you had, and your employer.

You’ll want to talk with your doctor to get their recommendations about when it’s OK for you to be actively working. Also, think about your health. Since you won’t have a baby waking you up at all hours, you may find you recover a little quicker than if you were raising a newborn.

Your employer’s policy on maternity leave will also affect how much time you can take, so talk to your HR department. The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) allows you to take up to 12 weeks of leave from your job, but that leave is unpaid. So you’ll want to consider if it’ll work for you to not have a paycheck for three months.

Finally, the amount of time off will depend on the type of delivery you did. A c-section is a major abdominal surgery, so you’ll need more recovery time.

Remember, every woman is different. Going back to work may be a helpful part of how you heal after adoption. If you need to talk, call your adoption coordinator at 1-800-923-6784. They can connect you with professional or peer counseling. Peer counseling means that you could speak with a women who’s chosen adoption for her child too. She can share with you what she did work-wise after giving birth. If you feel like you’re not quite ready to talk just yet, you can also hear from birth mothers by watching their adoption stories.

Heather Featherston
Written by Heather Featherston

As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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