Dr. Elizabeth Baker, owner of Maryland Farms Chiropractic, believes maternity leaves are unnecessarily short. So when her assistant, Melody Blackwell, had her daughter, Dr. Liz worked out creative solutions for all involved.
"Melody's been a very valued employee of mine since 2013. She's a hard worker, and I wanted to show her I appreciate all that she's done to help the office grow," Dr. Liz says. "And I wanted to give her that very important early time with her baby."
Melody was given three months paid maternity leave, though during that time, the staff needed to contact her for assistance on certain tasks. When her three months were over, Dr. Liz still wanted her to support the baby/mother bonding time, as Melody was exclusively breastfeeding. So they figured out how to have her working from home more.
"We got new phone systems to accommodate this, and now she just comes into the office on Mondays or when one of the other assistants needs to be off. She can bring the baby, as she's still very small and is no trouble in the office. Plus it helps with her socialization development," Dr. Liz says.
Dr. Liz says their modern approach was met with positive support from other mothers who believe job environments can be flexible enough to allow working mothers to bring babies there.
"It is possible to still be productive and nurse a baby at the same time. It's obviously not going to be practical for every job, but in many cases, it should be considered by business owners, especially compared to mothers having to quit jobs or put infants into daycare at 4 to 6 weeks old," she says.