A month ago, I started a FT NP job in an area I love. The onboarding for my new job was long (a little over 6 months) and during the onboarding process, I became pregnant. I am very excited for this baby (my first) as we tried for over five years, however the timing is challenging. I told my boss and fellow providers - most were happy but a few were noticeably disappointed. I will be due 8 months after working and plan to work up until delivery, take 6-8 week maternity leave (no FMLA) and return to work. My hope is to negotiate a 4-day work week (32-hours) upon return, with the expectation that I can make phone calls, finish charting, etc., on the 5th day. Does this seem reasonable? Does anyone have experience with this situation?
Will you be having help from your parent(s)/relatives/in-laws?
I had a similar situation where I was one year into my NP program when I got pregnant with my first. Like you, I really didn't think I needed that much time off, and assumed that I could pick up where I left off with little adjustments. Silly me. I was so wrong...
As this is your first child, you really don't know what to expect. You don't know how your labor and recovery will be, whether you will be emotionally sound or develop emotional disorders (I unexpectedly had perinatal and postpartum depression and consequently had to take a year off school), or whether you'll be able to adjust well to a new baby in the midst of your new demanding job and responsibilities.
I think it's wise to negotiate a reduced work week, but you'll need help from home. Assuming your spouse will be working when you decide to go back to work, you will need help from family/friends/babysitter so you can chart, etc off site. Consider doing homework at the library as you won't be able to concentrate while home with the baby. If possible, see if you can take the standard 3 months off. 6-8 weeks isn't enough time. You will barely feel like yourself then, let alone want to go back to working. While you're still working now, continue to push yourself towads excellence so they see how valuable you are to the practice. This may remind them why they've invested in you and may help them realize you are worth the wait of your return.
Congrats and good luck!
We have had this situation in our practice recently. It might be difficult to negotiate a reduced work week after the baby comes. I would start now to feel the situation out - talk with the lead NP, the manager, etc before you have the baby.
You've been trying for 5 years and are finally pregnant? Honestly, when that baby comes your new job will pale in comparison. There will always be jobs but those first months and years with your baby you can never get back. And you don't want to be sticking a 6 week old baby in daycare unless it's absolutely necessary.
I found out I was pregnant two months into my orientation. I asked for six months off and received 4 months, with the understanding that if I needed more time off I could ask for it at the end of my four months. I was ready to come back to work about 8 weeks postpartum, and arranged to come back early, and then all of a sudden, my baby and I got into sync, and I started to really enjoy my time with her, and she became attached to me specifically. It ended up being really hard to go back to work.
You've waited a long time for a baby. This might be your only one. Focus on your job now, take your maternity leave (all of it), and keep an open mind about what you want to do afterward. I ended up going parttime, my daughter is 2 now, and I am starting to think about increasing my hours.
^^Agreed. Daycare (other than family) 6 weeks in is not ideal/recommended unless absolutely necessary.
Thank you all for your comments. We don't have family close by, but we hope to hire a nanny. As this is my first child, I don't know what to expect and I am nervous about the possibility that I won't be ready to go back to work and leave my baby with someone else. I think after my 90 day probationary period, I will speak to my manager about the possibility of a reduced work schedule and a longer maternity leave.
Thanks for all the input!
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