Maternity Leave Overachieving: The Latest Workplace Trend?

Gabrielle Karol
Posted

A Dangerous Trend for Moms, Babies … and Women as a Whole?

Sure, some women are born overachievers, you might argue—and good for them. But in the wake of Mayer’s announcement, many wondered whether her decision to forgo a traditional maternity leave would put other working women at risk.

In the online magazine Slate, one writer opined: “Mayer needs time to emotionally and physically recover … [it's] nuts to forget that there is a BABY involved here.”

Others queried whether her decision would set a bad example for other women looking to juggle motherhood and a career: Namely, would HR departments and bosses then expect more new moms to follow suit—by literally suiting up again mere weeks after giving birth?

And why did Mayer—and other ladies who choose to launch when they have an ambitious new project to tackle at home—feel the need?

“For some women, working through pregnancy or using the same set of skills used on the job while on leave may be an effort to maintain normalcy,” says Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.”

The brain is craving certainty, says Alpert, so if overachieving is your norm, it may actually be hard to slow down—even with a newborn to contend with. “While working hard may not be advisable from a physical perspective,” he explains, “it may be a positive coping mechanism that helps the mother deal with the uncertainty associated with a baby.”

In other words, staying in work mode may allow frazzled new moms—used to a demanding work routine—to maintain some sense of their former selves.

Who Creates the Need to Overachieve?

Another weighty question: Is our inability to be home with our babies—without refashioning ourselves as CEOs while they nap—something innate in modern-day women, or a response to outside pressure?

“Women get stuck in a cycle of fear where they can’t see all the other things that are important in life,” says Shari Goldsmith, a life coach and mental health therapist. “It’s often difficult to be a woman in a workplace, and some fears related to falling behind may be valid.”

But there’s also a difference between a natural-born entrepreneur who just happens to have a newborn and someone who’s having a hard time transitioning from her 24/7 attachment to her Blackberry.  Or worrying that being away for that amount of time could cause her to fall behind on the job.

“The reality is that women notice and respond to those subtle societal pressures to be better, stronger and smarter, and they make choices accordingly,” says mom of two Samantha Krigsvold. “As a professional woman, breadwinner and mother of two young children, my choice to take an abbreviated maternity leave was absolutely tied to an underlying pressure to prove I could handle it all.”

The experts agree: “Women hear over and over again the message that they’re supposed to be able to manage it all—a career and a family. When it comes to taking maternity leave, there are very real fears of being seen as uncompetitive or dispensable,” says Ford Myers, a career coach and author of “Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.”

But Isn’t Just Having a Baby Enough?

Then again, for many women, wanting to go back to work at all, let alone double down on it during their downtime, just doesn’t compute.

  • juniper

    For most of us, maternity leave is about 3 months of our lives, per child.  If some women don’t want to spend those 3 months doting on their baby 24/7, let them.  Their choice, and if they see it as an opportunity to do something they haven’t had time for, that’s wonderful.  But are you seriously suggesting it will make other women appear lazy?  Outside of those 3 months, yes, other people overachieving can make you look, well, less achieving – not necessarily “bad.”  Looking good requires building on your abilities, maintaining good relationships with clients/coworkers and living up to your commitments, and that will shine through whether you’re working 40 or 60 hours a week on a regular basis.  Maternity leave is a time when people expect that the majority of women will enjoy their new motherhood as well as tend to their and their baby’s health.  Some people might think women who spend that time look bad because they aren’t prioritizing family – not that I think that, just another perspective.

  • Shelby Palmer

    while this its a good article it does not address the main issues with normal moms and mat leave…most can not afford a nanny and most childcare operations will not accept under the age of 6 months. it is not realistic for most normal moms to return to work in under 6 weeks.

    • Shantreks324

      that is an excellent point – why is it that most childcare is for 6 months and up when the norm for maternity leave in our society is generally 3 months at best, with some women getting 6 WEEKS or less?  

      • http://twitter.com/margiewrites Margie Monin

        I think it has to do with getting immunizations, but I could be wrong. 

  • LeeLee

    I think that maternity and paternity leave is essential for the health and sanity of the mother, baby, and family as a whole.  In a world where many office jobs can also be done from home, I think an employer has a right to be angry if someone is taking time off because they had a baby and spending the time doing work for another company.

    • C_damler

      if they are on a leave then it is their time to be spent how they chose to. an employer wouldn’t have the right to get angry if you are working for another company on a weekend. while they do have a say in how you  spend the majority of your time they do not have a say in how you spend all of your time

      • JenInBoston

        I think it actually depends on the type of job and the employment contract you have with your employer. You’re right that many or even most jobs are the type where the employer has no right to object to your having a second job elsewhere. Other people don’t have that, though. Especially as you advance in your career, you’re likely to have an employment contract, and one with non-compete or even exclusivity clauses. Also, most employers pay maternity leave through short-term disability insurance so if you’re collecting short-term disability pay while working elsewhere then yeah, your employer probably *does* have a right to be angry.

  • Sara

    I wrote my dissertation and completed my PhD while taking care of my little ones. It took almost three years and was extremely stressful, but now that I’m done it was a great time to take advantage of furthering my education while allowing me to stay home with my girls too. Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my husband having a great job though. I think after the initial adjustment of having a first baby, time spent at home can be an opportunity for parents to simultaneously work on other goals.

  • Rob_Drury

    I guess it just leaves me questioning the “necessity” of maternity leave.

    • No

      Push out a watermelon through a small hole, get only short bursts of sleep for weeks on end while having Bieber on replay, and come back and tell me if maternity leave is a “necessity”

      • Rob_Drury

        Hey; I’m just applauding the ladies cited in the article.  At the same time, I’m stating my objection to unnecessary government mandates on private businesses.  These are matters concerning HR and compensation, and are private matters between employer and employee.

        • Untmaggie

          If businesses see these woman and choose to use them as the example for their employees, then yes, mandates are absolutely necessary to protect women from unreasonable treatment! What they chose to do is unhealthy both physically and mentally for most new mothers, and puts their ability to work at risk. When the majority of employers choose to do what is right for the human beings that work for them, mandates won’t be necessary. Unfortunately, too many companies choose to take advantage of their workers in our country and expect superhuman workers that are never sick. Companies are starting to realize that a healthy employee is a better and more productive employee, but they’re not as willing to give them what they need to keep them healthy, which includes sufficient recovery time.

          • Rob_Drury

            Not surprisingly, my point was completely missed; that is, it is entirely inappropriate for anyone but employer and employee to be involved in these discussions. No business owner would disagree with me, and good, fair ones outnumber the bad ones dramatically.

          • Morgan Rebecca123

            You’re entirely wrong. Sadly, most employers would not willingly provide leave or protect an employee’s rights to return to their equivalent job after having a baby. Unless mandated, most don’t volunteer for these  so-called “benefits”–which are the minimum provided by any first-world nation. I worked for a “fair-minded” business owner and experienced terrible, pervasive, subtle discrimination on and after my leave.

          • Rob_Drury

            Sadly, I’m “entirely wrong” in your particular case, and probably lots of others.  I am also entirely correct in enough others to call it at least common if not the norm.  But then, it really doesn’t matter; compensation and benefits should only be driven by the market and personal conviction. 

          • sxswann

            Sadly, the entire reason the Family Medical Leave Act was passed was because far too many employers did exactly nothing to support workers who had done nothing wrong but either had a sick child or family member or were giving birth.  But because they couldn’t come to work for a period of time, they lost their jobs.  I have worked in HR for over 30 years across many many companies and industries- including two hospital systems – many of those years in the benefits department as well. Unfortunately many more employers than you apparently realize would never offer any but the highest level of the company a protected maternity leave unless it was mandated by law.  

          • JenInBoston

            There are plenty of business owners who disagree with you. I started and ran a business for three years when my daughter was little and I disagreed with you. It’s a common rhetorical defense of anti-regulation folks to claim to speak for all business owners etc. I’ve worked for 8 companies over the years. Three definitely supported pro-family regulations. Only one provided decent benefits while not supporting legal regulations. Generally, I have experienced that opposition to regulation goes hand in hand with poor treatment of employees.

    • Untmaggie

      Are you serious? Would you question recovery time for surgery, too? The mother just grew a person inside of her body, don’t even begin to question her need to recover from that until you do it yourself.

  • Shadow

    I’m sorry but…”downtime”? You seriously didn’t refer having to a baby that wakes up crying every 3 hours at night and during the day and not being able to keep them happy as “downtime”.

    That makes it sound like you don’t think of being a stay at home mom (be it from mat leave or permanent) as work because they’re not walking out the door where in reality it’s just as hard of a job, if not harder some days, then a job that involves walking out the door.

    • Untmaggie

      Shadow, I wondered what they were talking about, too. I don’t know what downtime is after becomming a mom! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

    • sxswann

      Amen sister!  I don’t have children of my own, but I do know that taking care of them for me was frankly a lot more work than going to the office!

  • bm

    But this is what women have fought for: the idea of choice! Not all women are the same, not all mothers are the same. Just because some women choose not to use their maternity leave in a particular way, that does NOT cancel out other women who desire it for rest and baby time. Heck. Millions of women in this country often feel that they absolutely cannot take maternity leave. Let’s talk about those women. The idea of hinging maternity leave to what arguably more privileged women do with their maternity leave really angers me. It reeks of socioeconomic privilege. 

    Additionally, there’s an underlying tone in this article that subtly seems to be challenging the women who made their own businesses during maternity leave as somehow being less effective as mothers or as women. While self-care is important let’s not forget the historical context in which women have frequently been encouraged to stay at home, be a certain kind of mother, and not be “too ambitious.” 

    The person who knows best what they need as a mother, as a woman, as an employee is the woman herself. I think it’s awesome that the women cited in this article took an opportunity to make their lives better and to try new things. Having a baby shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams, whatever they are.

  • Schmidt Katrina

    All I want to do is to be ABLE to stay home with my babies and be there for them.  I feel like society today tells women that that is no longer acceptable, and you’re not worth anything if you don’t have a career.  Which is total bull.  Investing in the future by investing in your children is one of the most noble things a woman can do, in my opinion.  

  • A.A.

    When I had my first baby last year I was on the fast track to being a manager of the company and eventually owning my own store within thecopany I worked for. The pressure to “have the baby” was there. Within a week after giving birth I was right back to work with my little one in tow. I was a seller for a natural breathing product and I loved my job but hated thst I got no time to rest. Within the first weeks of my daughter’s life I was told to put her in daycare so I could return full time to my job. I couldn’t do it and eventually quit to be a stay at home mom. Yes it put a financial strain on my family but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My company just didn’t understand that I couldn’t be at the company 24/7 and be a mom. I feel that as a first time mom…take the time to focus on your baby, learn their subtle different cries. Once you conquer new mommy hood any additional child is the time to use for new businesses. Don’t be like me and go back to work immediately. I almost ended up in the hospital for uncontrollable bleeding because I pushed myself to fast. Relax and enjoy your new bundle

  • Untmaggie

    Personally, I spent most of the second month after giving birth back in the hospital with severe complications. This does set a dangerous precedent. Maternity leave should never be optional, many women NEED that time. Pregnancy is hard on the body and no matter how great your health is, there can be serious complications that require significant recovery time.

    And the article made very little reference to the more important part of maternity leave, in my eyes: the new baby! There is a small person who just had a major life-changing event, too. They went from a nice, warm, safe environment into a completely new and different world, and it wasn’t a painless transition for the child any more than it was for the mother. The new baby NEEDS mom to care for them and love them.

    Why even have a baby if you’re planning to spend your maternity leave focusing on your career instead of your child?

    • rebecca

      I agree; women need to advocate for their health, their career, AND their babies. It’s hard to bond and breastfeed when you are typing one-handed or back to work in two weeks. Early childhood sets the foundation for a child’s social, physical, and emotional wellbeing, and a family needs time to attend that baby. Look at the European countries that have far better birth outcomes and support for mothers and babies; it impacts society as a whole. 

      • Guest

        Better yet, are those countries that support both mothers AND fathers to spend time with their newborns and allow for adjustments that support their new roles as parents.  

    • JenInBoston

      Well, how about because you don’t get any paid maternity leave from your employer and you’ll suffer financial deficits in the future if you step away from work right now…yet you deeply want to be a parent and you want to fulfill your God-given right to have a child. Is that not a good enough reason? It’s cruel in my opinion to suggest that the only women who should become mothers are the ones whose plans allow for, or include, living up to traditional or upper middle class or some other kind of someone else’s expectations during the first 12 of the new person’s ~4,000 weeks of life? 

      You could also answer the question by restating it as “why even have a baby if you’re planning to skip paternity leave and focus on your career instead of your child?” When put in that light, it does seem a bit absurd to suggest that someone shouldn’t be a parent if they’re going to skip parental leave.

  • Joanne P

    Really at the end of the day, whether we are working on leave or spending time on maternity leave interacting with our baby and recovering is this:  Are we nurturing our children and ourselves by the choices we are making now and down the line?  And will we look back on our lives and see our important priorities lived out in our lives and our adult children’s lives?  Is it urgent or is it important the decisions we are making for ourselves and our children?

  • LauraB

    Wow, these women have super human energy.  After being up all night and breastfeeding on demand, I barely had energy to clean the house!  Maybe by the second kid I’ll have stuff figured out, but the stress alone of navigating new motherhood wore me out!  Props to these women - I wouldn’t have had it in me.  In fact, I didn’t have much energy until she turned a year and I quit nursing… 

  • Susan

    We need to consider the needs of newborns as well as the needs of their mothers. Infants need loving caregivers who promptly and consistently see to their needs. Maternity leave offers a critically important opportunity for mothers to connect with their newborns as individuals, and for infants to begin forming this first and most fundamental social relationship. Some mothers have the financial and social resources to provide nurturance to their newborns, with time to spare, during maternity leave. Others, unfortunately, are forced back to work too quickly, despite the protections of the law.

  • http://twitter.com/margiewrites Margie Monin

    You won’t really know what life is like post-baby until you’ve had her. As modern women, we try to “schedule” our babies into our lives when it’s most convenient and try to make it not disrupt our lives in any way when it’s about the biggest life interruption ever. Planning to go right back to work is great in the most ideal situations, but you have to plan for the unexpected.

    You don’t know if you’re going to have an emergency c-section or if your breastfed baby is going to refuse bottles no matter what you do, whether it’s filled with formula, breast milk or Dr. Pepper, which means you basically can’t leave her for longer than 45 min. at a time, or whether you’re going to come down with mastitis because you are so run down. I don’t know how effective anyone can be at any job in those first weeks when they’re running on one or two hours of sleep scattered throughout the day. 

    I only had two months off after having my baby last year and I still felt like it wasn’t enough time to decide. In my heart I didn’t want to leave my daughter to be raised by someone else, yet I was scared to death of making the wrong decision and not being able to handle being home with her all day. I chose to stay home and freelance part-time; still, it’s damn hard.

    Being self employed gives you the most freedom as a working mom, especially if you are breastfeeding, but there is going to come a point when you will need serious help (nanny, day care, babysitter, whatever) or reduce your work hours to part-time because all bets are off once baby becomes mobile. She’s not going to sit in her pack ‘n play quietly and smile at you while you’re on a conference call. 

    Take the time to adjust to your new life, bond with your baby and then decide what you’re going to do.

  • Natalie

    My maternity leave was 5 Weeks since that was all the vacation and sick time I had available. Being a single parent, I had no one else to assist with rent or other bills. So my 5 Weeks were spent learning to breastfeed, verifying day care and healing from 3rd degree tearing. I wonder how the average new mother spends her maternity leave…

  • Autumn

    What about those of us working professional jobs, but at a small business, that does not have a maternity leave policy? 

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 does not cover small businesses of less than 15 employees. And the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 does not cover small businesses of less than 50 employees. 

    I say this as a professional woman (I’m an attorney working at a small law firm), in her early 30s, who would like to have a child in the near future.  My salary is modest, so I don’t even have the option of hiring a nanny (which I don’t want to do anyway).  My female friend’s all work for large companies that have very clear maternity leave policies.  My husband and I have discussed this; and I’ve been looking for a new job (that has some kind of maternity leave policy) but as we all know the economy (especially in the legal field) is horrendous.  As I am an at-will employee and my firm has no human resources department or even an office manager, I can’t even discuss this with my employer, or risk being fired. 

  • Julie

    So as a child-free person who has never had to take maternity leave……I have always been the one who has had to work doubly hard to cover for many others out on maternity leave……in order to hold your position open, companies don’t hire extra people to cover.  I’m a little bitter after 22 years of covering for numerous people out on maternity leave……also it has been my experience that a lot of new Mom’s never intend to come back to work but “pretend” they will be back in order to get the maternity leave benefits and then when it’s over they quit.  I find this practice dishonest and abusive to the companies they work for…..but it goes on openly all the time.  I applaud the companies who now give paternity leave because the males have been covering for females on maternity leave just like I have……at least they get something as well now…..and quite frankly new Mom’s definetely need the help of their husbands.  

    I don’t know what the solution is but I applaud those who come back early if they want…..it’s their choice and it certainly eases the burden on those covering for them while they are gone.  It seems to me that women need to make the choice that is best for them.  Life choices are a trade off and quite frankly you really can’t “have it all”.  There is still only 24 hours in a day and 365 days a year and you have to pick and choose what is important for you to accomplish in your life……and deal with whatever negatives result from your choice……knowing it was your choice and you basically accomplished whatever was most important to you.  If it’s having kids…..make that a priority……if it’s having a successful career…..make that the priority.  

    • sxswann

      I hear you Julie – as a childless person, I do think we are expected to cover for those who do have children and I too have done it for the last 30 or so years in my professional career.  My own sister has made it quite plain to me that my life isn’t nearly as important as hers since I chose not to have children and I didn’t help her out NEARLY enough with her child.  But at 50, I’m just so done with that argument.  It is what it is – we’ve all made choices – most of us because we were lucky enough to be able to do that. That being said, I think the most important point of this article is that making a judgement on anyone for what they choose to do when they have a child is ridiculous and as women we should just STOP IT!  No one judges men for not staying home with their newborn children or travelling for work every week, etc. etc. It seems to me women are their own worst enemies by even getting drawn into this debate.  Good for Marissa Mayer if she could to all that.  Some people have more energy than others.  It was her choice.  They obviously knew she was pregnant when they hired her and assumed that she would need to take some time off.  Why should she feel guilty and why should others condemn her?  She’s lucky enough to be able to have help and continue to do a job that she obviously wanted very badly.  Instead of applauding her for rising to the highest level of her profession, she has instead been subjected to all kinds of speculation for not being a good enough mother and woman. Ridiculous.

      • JenInBoston

        Amen! I have one child and I cannot imagine mistaking my various friends’ choices not to have kids for a tattoo on their foreheads saying “obliged babysitter.” Ugh! And yes, you’re so right, the judging of women, by whomever, does a tremendous disservice to all.

    • JenInBoston

      Meh… I’m a parent of one and I also cover for colleagues who are out on leave. Sometimes they’re out on maternity leave. Sometimes paternity leave. More commonly, though, they’re fighting a serious illness or getting over major surgery, or caring for a dying parent… Why do people get so bent out of shape when the leave is due to a baby? I mean, *somebody* has to carry and deliver babies if we all want to continue existing. It’s not hyperbole; it actually has to happen. And I literally never hear thin non-smokers complaining about how many sick days per year they have to cover for colleagues who are chronically ill due to obesity-related or smoking-related illnesses. Can you even imagine the cruelty of complaining about covering for a colleague fighting lung cancer, or for a colleague who’s out caring for his wife who’s dying of lung cancer….yet you know why they have the lung cancer in 95% of cases, right? They pretty much made completely avoidable choices that eventually resulted in their awful diagnosis. Such is life. We live together in a society. We’re born; we age; stuff happens, and our actions affect one another. Human decency requires us not to begrudge each other the time needed to deal with life events.

  • http://twitter.com/Zabeth8 MEH

    I think starting your own business and taking control of your income is a smart thing for any woman to do nowadays- whether she does it before becoming pregnant or during her maternity leave.

  • Everyone33

    This is rediculous. If you have time to start a business while on maternity leave you shouldn’t be taking it. What you ate doing is taking advantage of your coworkers who are covering for you in your absence or the poor temp worker who they can’t hire full time because you are gaming the system taking a paid opportunity to do something else. I don’t know how many times ive had to cover for coworkers with kids either with extra projects or work trips. My time isn’t less valuable than yours because we chose not to have kids and you shouldn’t be taking advantage of us.

    • Julie

      Amen Everyonee33…..and to JeninBoston…..reference covering for people with genuine illness and hardship…..I have no problem with that regardless of their prior health habits.  In this day and age having a child is usually a conscious choice as we now have access to very good birth control.  And, I cover for way more marternity leaves on a frequent basis than I do for people who have health problems.  While I know sometimes getting pregnant is unplanned it is rare these days.  I look at it now as a life choice and I am affected a great deal at work by others desire to have children.  Stop gaming the system!

      • Glitterspark37

        Wow, I’m so embarrassed by your response. I am child free myself, and let me tell you – it is hard enough to get respect for my choice to not have kids without judging women who need maternity leave. Quite frankly, I don’t give a crap what your personal experiences are, if women are ever to be treated equal in this society we all need to be able to make our own choices without being criticized for them. Women who choose to have children need to receive RESPECT the same as any MAN who decides to have children, especially from other women. You sound so awfully judgmental, I’m very grateful I don’t work with you. To my colleagues that need family leave, my only wish is that more men had the opportunity and TOOK the opportunity for family leave as well, so that both genders shared responsibility equally and the burden wasn’t all laid on the woman – including the sacrifice from work. To the parents out there – not all child-free women are as snobby as this poster. I respect your choices and fully support my fellow female co-workers and friends in all of their parenting endeavors. I hope society catches up and supports all family units, no matter what they look like.

  • http://missgrownup.com/marissa-mayer-on-maternity-leave-or-lack-of/ Jackie Kasian

    I feel lucky that I was able to get 3 months with my son. I can’t understand how a woman would choose to go back to work full-time just a few weeks after giving birth. A 6 week old child is just sooo little. I couldn’t imagine having to bring him to daycare and give him his vaccines that young. It’s not healthy for the mother or the child. It’s one thing if you can’t afford it and have no choice but if you have the choice and choose to go back to work full-time I think you have to evaluate your bond with the child. One thing this article didn’t really address is that now there are many more employees that have flexible schedules and can work from home part-time. In a case where your employer is flexible and you are still able to spend time with your child, I’m all for it. I just wrote a blog post about this too – http://missgrownup.com/marissa-mayer-on-maternity-leave-or-lack-of/ 

  • Kat R

    I just find it sad that our society as a whole has such a hard time seeing the validity of moms AND dads taking an extended break from traditional employment to do the equally important work of getting a baby established in life. We’re pretty much the only country that has this attitude. I guess it’s part of our culture of overwork.
    And a practical point: many employers have policies against self-employment or outside employment while on extended leave (whether for childbirth or other reasons, paid or unpaid); others allow it but only if it’s approved in advance. The typical consequence for violating this kind of policy is dismissal. So be careful!

  • Kat R

    One more thing: Moms, please don’t compare yourselves to Melissa Mayer. She said herself that she would have full-time, live-in “help” both during and after her pseudo-leave. We could all do what she did if we had live-in nannies and housekeepers. But the average American woman provides her own childcare and housekeeping during maternity leave, and any conversation about expectations should work from that assumption.

  • Hindiwoman

    It’s truly a disservice to yourself, your baby to not take the time to fully focus on motherhood just for those minimum months (such precious time) you are allowed. Where is the soul, spiritual bond?I have an observation to make given my experience working along Caucasian colleagues in a professional setting as well as entrepreneurial: Caucasian women don’t take time to relax! Always on the go…multitasking like crazy, birthing children and running marathons the next day. It’s exhausting to watch my colleagues who I respect and care for, even they have recognized their lives are on autopilot

  • Maleacpr

    I will only say this…there are only 4 countries in the world that do not have a government-mandated maternity leave for ALL mothers.  I only remember 3 of them, though.  Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and…the UNITED STATES of AMERICA!!!  Gee, we are in great company, huh?  How is it we have fallen behind the rest of the civilized world AND most of the third world???

  • Jgardnermd

    As a woman and physician, I wholeheartedly believe no woman should ever be expected to deny herself (medically and emotionally needed) maternity leave. Even suggesting this as a new standard is alarming and should be rejected. 

    But as one of the mothers in the story, I used the immediate postnatal period to revisit an idea that had long before been planted. The time when my child was feeding but not yet awake proved to be a good time to plan for the future, not begin to execute it! 

    As I transitioned from mother of a newborn to mother of a small child, I began to develop this idea into a company. It would have been impossible to “launch” a company on maternity leave. But because I was so concerned about feeding issues in infancy this was the perfect time to think about starting a child wellness company. Three years later we are getting ready to launch Healthy Kids Company!

    Jennifer Gardner, M.D.