Maternity Leave in Private Practice, Part 1

One of the biggest anxieties of private practice owners is “what will I do when I want to start a family?”

There is a lot of fear wrapped up into the idea of having a baby and stepping away from your clients and your business:

  • Who will take care of everything while I am gone?
  • Will I be able to relax or will I still be worried about work?
  • How will I afford the office bills, let alone my own bills?
  • Will my clients return when I come back?
  • How do I even let people know I am pregnant?
  • When should I go back?
  • Will I be able to breastfeed after I return to work?

Considering family life and practice life can feel incredibly overwhelming. Which is why, I am going to start this 4 part series to tell you everything you need to know about going on maternity leave while you are running a practice.

My story

When I first started my practice, I felt nervous about A LOT of things. But, nothing made me feel more worried than the fear that I wouldn’t be able to manage a practice, finances, and a baby. And, this was kind of disappointing since I KNEW that ultimately private practice would give me the freedom to spend time with my family the way I wanted to.

But, how would I manage those first several months where I would be staying home with an infant? How would I make money? How would I cover my own bills? What would happy to my office?

I had these concerned BEFORE I even met anyone that I wanted to start a family WITH.

As I mulled this over in my mind, I found that there were a few things I could do to improve the sustainability of my practice whether or not I had a baby. There are other reasons, to make a workplace self sustaining, right?

We need to be prepared not only for maternity leave but also for injuries or illnesses and any other random thing that life might throw at us, asking us to step away from our work momentarily or more long term.

I decided that a group practice would be a good way to add security to the practice. Not only would help my practice to grow (I will talk about how group practices do this in another post), but it would also provide a sense of security.

I knew that if I had therapists that were reliable and also happy with their work at the practice, that I would have freedom to get sick or injured or have a baby because at least the rent and utilities could get paid if I ever needed to step away.

I made a conscious decision to start a group practice and to slowly build it, even though there was no baby in sight.

And then, I met my best friend, we got married, we went on our honeymoon and….


I was pregnant. On the honeymoon. Uh oh.

I had forgotten how much I had already done to create a secure practice and I was so worried.

“We didn’t plan for this!”

“How will I make money?”

“What will happen to my clients?”

All of the worries I had a few years prior returned – EVEN THOUGH I HAD ALREADY LAID A SECURE FOUNDATION.

That’s the funny thing about planning and anxiety. It never seems like enough.

Anyway, I panicked. I spent long nights googling how I could make “passive income” (this doesn’t exist by the way – no income is fully passive) and how I could ensure my clients would return and what I should still be responsible for while I was away.

And, there wasn’t a ton of great information.

So, I am writing this series to provide you with the resource I always wish I had.

In this series I will talk about:

  • How to build a practice that is ready for you to step away
  • How to step away if your pregnancy and is a surprise and still have everything be A OKAY
  • What to do in advance to prepare yourself financially
  • How to let your client’s know you need to step away
  • How to take care of yourself AND your business while you are away
  • How to return and prevent burn out

I went through having a baby, taking maternity leave, and staying home with him for a majority of the week even AFTER going back to work. And, my business has never done better.

You can do it too. So, take a deep inhale. Now, exhale. Don’t worry. It is all going to be okay.

Stayed tuned over @moderntherapypractice on instagram. I will be letting you know when I put up my next post on this topic. I will also be sending e-mail reminders

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