5 Ways to Max Out Your Maternity Leave in California 
(that Most Women Don’t Do)

I have good news for pregnant women who work in California!

You can spend 5-6 months with your baby and get paid without losing your job.

 

Even though the U.S. maternity leave policy is the worst among the richest countries,  California is the best U.S. state for working moms to have a baby.

If you meet the following criteria,  you’ll qualify for California’s generous leave:

  • You are seeing a doctor or midwife for your prenatal care.

  • You made at least $300 5-18 months prior to your Estimated Due Date (EDD)

  • SDI has been taken out of your paycheck

  • Your employer has more than 50 employees

  • Everything you need to know to take full advantage of your maternity leave in California in one place.

  • Have as much time as possible to bond with your baby when you get instant access to Max Maternity Leave.

  • A magical spreadsheet that will generate a custom step-by-step maternity leave plan within seconds so you can relax, prepare for your baby, and have as much time as possible to bond with your newborn in fewer than 5 seconds.

Get instant access to Max Maternity Leave for only $67

And I am living proof.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. The below tips are from my own experience and desperate need to spend as much time with my baby as possible while being a good employee. I gave birth 3 times in the past 5 years, receiving 60-65% of my paycheck for 15-18 weeks, and took at least 6 months off to bond with each baby.

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Extend your baby bonding bliss as long as possible with great “hacks” for making your return to work after maternity leave easier. Take advantage of the interactive checkbox so your daily tasks focus on your most important postpartum goals like losing baby weight, stocking up on breastmilk, and getting to know your newborn. Enjoy the monthly calendar view format to have a high-level overview of what each week looks like. Confidently go back to work with a smooth transition because you have a solid plan based on what matters most to you.

How did I get the most out of my maternity leave?
 

For most working women, you’ll have 20-25 weeks of guaranteed job protection with 15-20 weeks paid at 60-70% of your salary. Get my Max Maternity Leave- California Edition if you want to instantly know your specific breakdown.

There are many ways to qualify for maternity leave, but I think it’s easiest to explain it in chronological order. Go through each question and follow the Action Item.

1. Are you seeing a doctor or midwife for your prenatal care?

NO - You’ll need a medical professional to sign-off on your pregnancy to start your leave so find one you trust today.

YES - Great. Head to question #2.

2. Does your company have 5+ employees?

3. Will you have been with your employer for at least 10 months?

  1. Boost breastfeeding success.

  2. Improve baby's long term health.

less stress for mom is a good thing.

  1. Increase your chances of a vaginal birth.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-JB-1195

Women who worked right up until delivery were more likely to have cesarean sections, which can be costly and lead to complications and longer maternal recovery times, UC Berkley

Women who took early leaves were nearly four times less likely to have a c-section.

estion is would you take advantage of the month prior and start leave a month before the “ expected “ due date or try to work as long as I can and maximize time with the new baby after he is born ? 

  1. Gain more time with baby

Start 4 weeks out.

 

  1. Get paid more than when you worked

Taxes. Bonuses. Highest paid quarter.

  1. Extend your baby bonding time

work part time. Split baby bonding. Use PTO.

  1.  

  2. four more weeks paid.

  3. Save PTO for when you return

  4. Give your bottom line a boost.

  5. Return part-time

  6. the number one thing you can do to have your boss begging you to return

Purchase supplemental short-term disability insurance.

  1. 5 Common Maternity Leave mistakes that your California employer won't tell you. (Not knowing these could cost you 4 weeks of quality leave)

  2. 5 mistakes to avoid to maximize your maternity leave in California 

  3. (Most women lose 4 weeks of paid leave by not doing #3)

  4.  

  5. Common California Maternity Leave Questions Every Working Mom Needs Answered

  6.  

  7. Who qualifies for paid maternity leave in California?

  8. If you meet the following criteria, you can take advantage of California’s disability insurance for pregnant women and recovering moms

  9. Have earned at least $300 from which State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during your base period.  (four consecutive quarters starting about 18 months prior to your estimated due date)

  10. Be under the care and treatment of a licensed physician/practitioner 

  11.  

  12. This will cover you up to 6-8 weeks after baby is born, depending on the type of birth. If you also meet these criteria, you are covered under the Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) and can get paid Paid Family Leave (PFL),

  13. Work for an employer with at least 50 employees.

  14. Worked for the company for at least a year as of the time your disabilty insurance runs out.  

  15.  

  16. If you’re extremely lucky your employer may offer you additional benefits such as supplemental disabilty insurance and extended leave to care for your newborn.




  17.  

  18. How much time off do you get for having a baby in California?

  19.  

  20. For a normal pregnancy, you can get 20-25 weeks of guaranteed job protection in the state of California. Your exact time off depends on when your baby is born compared to your due date and whether you have a vaginal or belly birth (c-section).

  21.  

  22. You can start your leave up to four weeks before your estimated due date. Every week except the first week (deemed your waiting period) is typically paid. Most Moms think it’s best to hold out until closer to the due date but these weeks are use it or lose it. If baby comes one week early, you’ll only get 3 weeks. If baby comes one week late, you get 5 weeks.

  23.  

  24. My first baby came at 42 weeks 5 days so I had almost 7 weeks off before he even came., 6 weeks were paid.

  25.  

  26. Once baby arrives, you get an additional 6-8 weeks (6 weeks if vaginal and 8 weeks if c-section) of paid time off through DI to recover from childbirth. 

  27.  

  28. After this you switch to the paid family leave (PFL) program for an additional 12 weeks that you can take anytime your baby’s first 12 months for baby bonding. Thanks to recent legislation that passed, 8 of these weeks are paid.

  29.  

  30. Here are three examples to show you how I came up with 20-26 weeks.

  31.  

  32. Example #1: Pregnant Mom gives birth at 38 weeks (normal delivery)..

  33. 2 weeks before birth (one week paid through DI)

  34. 6 weeks to recover (all paid through DI)

  35. 12 weeks baby bonding (8 weeks paid through PFL).

  36. Total: 20 weeks off. 15 weeks are paid.

  37.  

  38. Example #2: Pregnant Mom gives birth at 41 weeks (cesarean section).

  39. 5 weeks before birth (4 weeks paid through DI)

  40. 8 weeks to recover (all paid through DI)

  41. 12 weeks baby bonding (8 weeks paid through PFL).

  42. Total: 25 weeks off. 20 weeks are paid.

  43.  

  44. Example #3: Pregnant Mom gives birth at 43 weeks (normal delivery).

  45. 7 weeks before birth (6 weeks paid through DI)

  46. 6 weeks to recover (all paid through DI)

  47. 12 weeks baby bonding (8 weeks paid through PFL).

  48. Total: 25 weeks off. 20 weeks are paid.

  49.  

  50. How much do you get paid for maternity leave in California?


  51.  

  52. When can I take maternity leave in California?

  53. Do you pay taxes on maternity leave in California?

  54. Can I apply for maternity leave before baby is born?


  55.  

  56. First, as a disclaimer, I am not an attorney, and I do not provide legal advice. 

  57. How to get California maternity leave without 

  58.  

  59. California Maternity Leave revealed: 5 secrets every working mom should know

  60.  

  61. Do you qualify for maternity leave in California?

  62. How much time off do you get for having a baby in California?

  63. How much do you get paid for maternity leave in California?

  64. When can I take maternity leave in California?

  65. Do you pay taxes on maternity leave in California?

  66. Can I apply for maternity leave before baby is born?

  67.  

  68. Let us know if you want more information. We can’t cover everything here as it would take several volumes and naturally 

  69. Who pays for maternity leave in California?

  70. How can I extend my maternity leave in California?

  71.  

  72. What are the rules for maternity leave?

  73. Assuming 

  74. Paid time off pre-birth is use it or lose it.

  75. Waiting until the due date to start your leave.

  76. Giving your boss exact dates too soon.

  77. Worrying about getting everything done.

  78. Completely avoiding planning to take time off.

  79.  

  80. Giving up 4 weeks of paid leave by Waiting until you give birth to start your leave.

  81. Trying to prove yourself 

  82. the number one thing you can do to have your boss begging you to return

  83.  

  84. I love to work hard and play hard so when I became pregnant I was thrilled to learn about maternity leave.

  85.  

  86. Having extended paid time off to bond with my new baby is the dream… now how do I make the most of it?

  87.  

  88. While not as generous as other countries (like Sweden and Poland where you get one plus year), California working Moms can get up to 22-24 weeks off with 16-20 of those weeks paid.

  89.  

  90. But search for California maternity leave and get a slew of different rabbit holes, primarily law firms that lead you in different directions.

  91.  

  92. Wait until your employer tells you and sometimes it’s too late to capitalize on this gift.

  93.  

  94. Find answers to the hard to navigate California maternity benefits in one place, such as:

  95.  

  96. How do you qualify for California maternity leave?

  97. How much time do you get off for maternity leave in California?

  98. How much do you get paid for maternity leave in California?

  99. Is California paid family leave taxable?

  100. How do you calculate California maternity pay?

  101.  

  102. Livelihood and motherhood is important. So first things first, you need to know:

  103.  

  104. How do you qualify for maternity leave in California?


  105.  

  106. How much time do you get off for maternity leave in California?

  107.  4 weeks beforehand is use it or lose it....use it. 1st week unpaid no matter when you start. You can elect to get paid sick leave or PTO first 40 hours.

  108.  6-8 weeks of disability

  109. 3. 12 weeks guaranteed job protection. 8 weeks paid. My first two babies I took it all at once a total of 5.5 months. This one m splitting.


  110.  

  111. How much do you get paid for maternity leave in California?

  112. Based on the highest quarter a year ago.

  113.  

  114. Is California paid family leave taxable?


  115.  

  116. How do you calculate California maternity pay?

  117.  

  118. 1. EDD or day of birth

  119. 2. Annual Salary (Average for past year)

  120. 3. Vaginal or c-section

  121. Every two weeks paycheck

  122. When is paid versus unpaid 

  123. Earliest date you can go on leave

  124. Calculate your maternity leave pay and leave in California in seconds.

  125. The best $10 you’ll ever spend.

  126.  

  127. Feature/Benefit

  128. Instant feedback/save time

  129. Know your rights

  130. Personalization custom entry/tailored to your unique situation

  131. Google sheets/tool you're already used to