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Navigating HR to Plan Your Maternity Leave, with Katy Dahl

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #116

Today we are talking about navigating HR to plan your maternity (or paternity) leave. This can be an insanely overwhelming process, with so much fine print. So where do you start, and what should you be looking out for in order to avoid unfortunate surprises during postpartum? Katy Dahl is tell us more. Check it out!


To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.

To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the buttons below to listen in iTunes or Google Play Music .

Listen on Google Play Music


What we talked about:

  • When should you start asking about leave benefits?
  • What questions should you be asking?
  • Is there room for negotiation?
  • Different health insurances; different types of maternity/paternity leaves
  • Where to start with the laws
  • Letting your employer in on your pregnancy news
  • What should you discuss with your employer before going on leave
  • Navigating your leave and benefits with your HR person (or benefits admin)
  • Questions to ask during your meeting
  • Planning your return (as important as planning your exit!)
  • Learning about all the programs at your disposal (postpartum counseling, day care benefits, financial planning…)
  • Getting the skinny from colleagues: how was their experience?
  • What if the benefits you have don’t match up with what you want?
  • What about Income Replacement Insurance?


This episode is brought to you by the Expectful meditation app.
Learn more and sign up for a free two-week trial at

And also by

 Megan Othling, of


Additional resources and articles:


Other related Birthful episodes:


Spend the day with me, feeding your birth-y soul!

November 4th: Thrive With Your Newborn full day workshop – for expectant parents

November 5th: Rethinking Prenatals (to support physiology and promote birth ownsership) full day workshop – for doulas and birth professionals

Workshops will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Learn more and register at



Image of Katy Dahl
Courtesy of Katy Dahl
About Katy Dahl

Katy Dahl is a human resource professional who has been working in the profession since 2006. Katy specializes in the areas of compliance, risk management, and leadership coaching. She earned a master of science degree in management from Minot State University, a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification, a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional certification, and is a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching certified Coach. Katy is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the American Association of School Personnel Administrators. Katy currently serves as the Human Resource Director for a k-12 public school district and consults as a leadership coach and investigator. She lives in Minot, North Dakota. You can contact her at kdahlscc [at] gmail [dot] com.



Like the music on the podcast?:

Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Adriana Lozada