How to write your maternity leave out-of-office email

You’ve let your employer know that you are expecting a baby. You’ve prepped for your time away and done your part to get your team ready to handle things without you. You have waited at least nine months for the day to come and it is here. It’s time to turn on your maternity leave out of the office autoresponder, but should it be different from what you typically use when you are away from work?

That is up to you, but there are a few things to consider when you write your maternity out of office email.

Why your maternity leave out of office message is so important

Your maternity leave will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to bond with your baby and get used to your life with a new member of the family. It is also a crucial time for recovering from giving birth, which could be more intense for some women than others. Therefore, it is so important that you give yourself the proper rest from work or any stress of having to schedule time in for getting out your laptop, especially in the initials weeks. Letting the world know that you are taking this time will eliminate a LOT of stress.

Then there is the issue of valuing your position. Over-communicating with your team, clients, and potential customers will show everyone involved how seriously you take your role.

Want extra tips for preparing for your maternity leave? Check out our guide: Planning Ahead for Your Maternity Leave.

Three approaches to your maternity leave out of office message

Because this is such a unique reason for an out of office email, there is also the opportunity to do something fun or special with it, if you want. Here are three popular approaches to the maternity leave out of office email and a few templates to make it even easier for you to switch on. Whatever approach you decide to take, always include the date you will return, the contact person while you are away, and if or how often you will be answering your email.

Spread the good word

Some birthing parents take advantage of the opportunity to promote the expansion of maternity leave in the United States and to send subtle but meaningful messages about why it is so important for infants and families.

Have an employer who has been extra supportive of your time away? A company culture that encourages team members to take their maternity or parental leave and enjoy it? An amazing team who has stepped up to support you? You could use your maternity leave out of office email to show your appreciation.

Here are two templates to get you started: 

#1

Hi,

Thanks so much for being in touch. I am pleased to let you know that you are receiving this message because my family has just welcomed a new baby into our family and I am enjoying my maternity leave for the next six weeks.

Thank you for being patient while I take this crucial time off. Did you know that maternity leave

  • Has amazing benefits for the mental health of mother and child?
  • Helps retain mothers in the organization they work for?
  • Has long-term benefits on the relationship between parents and children?
  • Has amazing health outcomes for infants?

I am so thankful for work for a company that has been supportive about my time away and look forward to being back on or around (March 31, 2021). Until then, please contact (Jane Thomas) at ([email protected]) for any help you may need. Or, if you prefer to wait, I will be checking my email once a week beginning (February 2nd).

Best,

(Your name)

#2

Hi there!

I am currently out of the office for an extended time away as I’ve just welcomed a new baby into my family and am lucky enough to be on maternity leave for the next four months thanks to (your company’s) generous maternity leave policy.

This is such a special time for my family and I am so thankful for it. I am also extremely blessed to have a supportive team who is stepping up to help out. If you need assistance please contact (Jane Thomas) at ([email protected]). She’s amazing and you will be in good hands.

I will be away from email until (date) and will then be checking twice a week. Please feel free to leave a response to this email if you prefer for me to respond at that time.

Thanks so much!

(Your name)

Have a bit of fun

You’ve put in all of the work of your pregnancy, why not have a bit of fun with your announcement to the world? If this suits your personality, you could get really creative with it.

Here are two ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

#1

Thank you for your message. I am temporarily out of the office due to finally starting a new position that I have spent the last nine months training for. While I will be back to this role and this email address in a few months, I have no intention of checking this inbox for at least the next month as I will be immersing myself in the job.

My new role is none other than that of mom and it involves late nights, 24/7 shifts, and a lot of unpredictability. Therefore, Jane will be answering all of my emails for the time being. Please feel free to reach out to her at ([email protected]) for excellent service and attention to your inquiry.

I hope to be back in the office in late March. Until then, wish me luck!

All the best,

(Your name)

#2

Thanks so much for being in touch! I am excited to let you know that this autoresponder is being sent because I am out of the office changing diapers, cleaning up all sorts of new things, and coping with sleep deprivation.

That’s right! I am away on maternity leave until (March 31, 2021).

This is great news for everyone involved as it is well-known that working moms rock, and we need this special time to acclimate to our new reality so we can best show up for everyone.

So, I will return to checking this account on (March 1, 2021), hopefully, a bit more rested. Please contact (Jane Thomas) until then, or leave a reply to this email if you’d prefer to wait.

Best wishes!

(Your name)

Keep it professional and to-the-point

It may suit your personality and work style to keep things to-the-point and that is just as acceptable as any other approach, as long as you get your maternity leave out of office email turned on as soon as you are able. This style is helpful if you need to ensure that a high volume of email gets directed to the appropriate team member. It can also be useful if you plan to go completely work free for any amount of time.

Here are two templates to get you started:

#1

Thanks so much for your email. I am on maternity leave and will not be answering emails until late March. Please contact (Jane Thomas) for help or with any questions. She will be in touch.

I look forward to connecting with you once I am back in the office.

Best,

(Your name)

#2

Thank you so much for your email. I am currently on maternity leave until (March 31). Please contact (Jane Thomas) at ([email protected]) for any assistance. I will not be checking email but she will be providing great support while I am gone.

Thank you,

(Your name)

Things to remember about your maternity leave out of office email:

  • If you will be completely away from email for several weeks or months and don’t want to be contacted it is perfectly okay to say so. In fact, it is best that you do.
  • If you plan to be available just by email during your maternity leave you will still benefit greatly by turning on an out of office email. The recovery from giving birth is highly unpredictable and it is best to allow yourself some wiggle room.
  • Are things about your maternity leave up in the air? Don’t give hard and fast dates for your return. It is always best to under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Remember that you need to prepare anyone you communicate with regularly that your maternity leave is coming up. Make a note about this a regular part of your correspondence in the month leading up to your leave. Consider updating your email signature with the information to simplify things.

More help planning your maternity or parental leave:

Planning ahead for your maternity leave

Making working parenthood work

Making the most of your parental leave time

Image by shaila19 from Pixabay