MNHQ here: Pregnant with your first baby? Due spring 2017? Planning to go back to work after maternity leave? Here's a proposition for you... (free!)

(28 Posts)

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RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Oct-16 12:10:09

Hello ladies of the pregnant variety <offers chairs and decaffeinated drinks>

As you may know, Mumsnet HQ likes to celebrate the benefits of family-friendly working, and advocate for ways to make it easier for mothers (and fathers who take extended leave) to continue to progress in their careers after having their babies.

We've been doing a bit of work with the maternity coaching business Womba, which specialises in supporting parents (usually but not always mothers) in their transition out of and back into the workplace. (Here are some links about maternity coaching and the benefits it could provide.)

Womba has come up with a new maternity coaching development programme for soon-to-be mothers, bringing women from different organisations together into a cohort, and providing a range of development workshops that start when they're between 5 and 7 months pregnant, continue during maternity leave, and are provided again when the women return to work.

The very first cohort will be getting underway in late November (provisionally the 22 and 23 November), and will include women employed by some very big UK businesses - and Womba have kindly offered a free place to one Mumsnetter.

You'd need to be:

a pregnant lady
expecting your first baby
due in February or March 2017
currently employed, eligible for and planning to take maternity leave
intending to go back to work after maternity leave
able to commit to six half days in total: two prior to maternity leave, two during, and two after
willing to provide (honest!) feedback and possibly feature in Womba's coverage of the event in the press - so you'd need to be happy being photographed and filmed
able to travel to the workshops in London (we know, WE KNOW! But this is the very first run of this particular programme - if it's successful Womba hope to roll it out in locations across the UK). Travel expenses will not be covered.

Womba has lots of experience in talking to employers about the benefits of these programmes, and participants are often able to get their employers to sign off the time as training and keeping-in-touch days - so if you'd like help making those arguments to your employer, Womba are happy to advise.

So, if this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please stick your name on the thread and we'll take it from there. Any questions about the course do please ping them up as well and we'll try to get answers for you.


OP’s posts: |
charlybs Wed 12-Oct-16 18:16:09

This sounds amazing! I am able to travel to London, am really pro development of women in the workplace and am due March 2017.

This is especially a good idea because I have really been worrying about navigating maternity as successfully as possible and was having trouble finding resources or support.

NameChange30 Wed 12-Oct-16 18:23:39

Absolutely definitely interested!
My baby's due on 27/02/16.
I'm currently working and planning to go back after maternity leave.
I can make it to London (already got a Baby on Board badge just in case! grin)

(Also <waves> at charlybs!)

NameChange30 Wed 12-Oct-16 18:28:18

Make that 27/02/17 (doh)

charlybs Wed 12-Oct-16 18:34:43

Haha hi namechange I wonder if anyone else from the march babies thread will be joining us? grin

everdene Wed 12-Oct-16 18:41:00

This sounds absolutely brilliant, I'm in!

At 15 weeks pregnant I'm finding I'd really appreciate some support with some of the decisions about pregnancy and work. When to tell my boss, when to start maternity leave, how to forward-plan for my absence. Already so much to think about.

I work in a London-centric female-heavy creative industry and many women here freelance after being mums, or don't return, so I feel some support would really help me!

I'm due 9/4/2017 so am nine days out but hope I can still be considered wink

SkyLucy Thu 13-Oct-16 05:37:33

Hello! This sounds fabulous - I'm employed full time in a senior marketing role in London and am already very concerned about the possible negative impact of taking time out when I go on maternity leave next year - I'm currently five months pregnant with my first child, due on 14 February 2017.

Happy to share full details of my role and discuss how having a baby can hopefully benefit my career and employer, rather than hinder them - just ask!

Thanks for the opportunity smile

RasperryInAMelon Thu 13-Oct-16 05:58:19

Would be so interested but not due till May!

TopKittyKat Thu 13-Oct-16 07:22:28

I'd be interested but am not due until April 9.

I'm currently a London commuter.

Grumpelstiltskin Thu 13-Oct-16 07:45:25

I'm due on 17/2/17 and also extremely interested in this! I am currently living and working full time in London, for a large market-leading company (in what sounds like a very similar, female-dominated industry to everdene).

I've frequently witnessed over the years a frustrating gap between the excellent maternity leave provision and widely trumpeted flexible working policy of my company and the reality of how many new mothers actually successfully negotiate a flexible role upon return to work, leading them to either resign, or move into less-secure freelance roles instead.
It's playing on my mind!

HelenM39 Thu 13-Oct-16 09:04:34

I would be interested in participating. I am due 21 Feb and work in London (however I live in Glasgow, just to make life interesting!!). I commute during the week and fully intend to return to work after 6 months maternity leave (although would be likely to request flexible working). My employer has been very flexible to date (despite me only being here for 7 months) and as an aside are currently looking to develop a pregnancy champion (a senior female colleague who juggles work and family life) so no doubt they'd be interested in my feedback.

Abacha Thu 13-Oct-16 09:26:43

I am interested too. I'm expecting twins 22/03/2017. I live in Herts but commute to London daily.
I am hoping to take a year off and I will probably go back on compressed hours to save on child care.

hanloulou85 Thu 13-Oct-16 10:08:50

I would be very interested in this - i'm due in mid-March.

When i finish, I will have only been back in my fairly senior communications role for just under a year following my 1st mat leave and am particularly worried about the impact of 2 periods of leave in quick succession.

My employer however has been great about both pregnancies and about flexible working on my return.

hanloulou85 Thu 13-Oct-16 10:10:49

Ahhh just realised this is for those pregnant with DC1! Nevermind!

DanGodsall Thu 13-Oct-16 13:04:54

Hi hanloulou85.

Second time mums are welcome too (or any other multiple), but generally our experience is that first time mums get the most benefit from the programme. If you'd like to be considered, we'll make sure your details are included in the final selection.


hanloulou85 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:15:23

Hi Dan, yes i would like to be considered. Thanks very much!

DanGodsall Thu 13-Oct-16 16:32:16

No probs. You're welcome.

Frankier88 Thu 13-Oct-16 19:55:05

Hi, I'm interested! I'm due my first baby on 11/02/17, I live in London and work in management for a large retailer. I plan to return to work after 9 months, all being well.

IceNoSlice Thu 13-Oct-16 20:14:44

I have a similar program through my work (plus I have 2 DC already) so I'm not putting myself forward but just wanted to say I have found this kind of program excellent and really encourage y'all to go for it.

I found it helpful hearing practical tips etc but mostly I valued meeting an interesting and supportive group of women to share experiences.

Crazycatlady123 Thu 13-Oct-16 22:53:17

I'm in! What a brilliant opportunity I've been looking into this at work but we don't have this unfortunately. I'm due on 14th February with my first baby. Live West of London and work for a large high street retailer in learning & development, hoping to take the full year of maternity leave before returning to work to progress towards a different role.

How exciting smile

Witch91 Sat 15-Oct-16 15:58:06

I would be interested, I'm due 5/02/17 with my first. I work in a very male orientated STEM company who are looking to improve the way they are perceived by women, but have a lot of seniors who are still very stuck in their ways and opinions, so I would benefit from some coaching on returning to this environment. Currently planning to go back in September after 9 months off.

Sounds like a great opportunity.

HmrTron Sat 15-Oct-16 19:42:08

Hi there,

I'd be interested. My first baby is due 6/3/17 and I live in London. I hope to take at least 9 months off and return to my marketing role for a large IT company. Coaching would definitely be useful as I'm concerned about the impact of mat leave on my career.

Barefootcontessa84 Sun 16-Oct-16 12:52:46

I'm interested!
Due 22/03/17
City lawyer planning on returning to work

Henrythegreenengine Sun 16-Oct-16 22:26:08

And adopters returning from adoption leave?

AcademicNerd Mon 17-Oct-16 15:37:21


I am pregnant with my first, due mid March, and live in London.

However, I am a PhD student. I am not technically employed by my uni, though I do receive a stipend from a funding body. I am due to go on 'mat leave' (called an interruption of study), hit pause on the project, and return six to nine months after birth. Incidentally, much of my PhD is centered around parents and parenting culture!

I would be happy to speak with your organisation, though I understand if my being a student precludes me from participating.

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