Report from Maternity Leave

The past several weeks, since the birth of my daughter Evelyn, I have felt particularly disconnected from the rest of the world, even the online community.I’ve finally caught up on my CAN reading and decided that it was time to contribute another blog post (though I’m only able to write this because the baby is strapped to my chest).

Evelyn arrived 11 days earlier than predicted.In fact, I started going into labor the night after my last day at the clinic.I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed yet, but at least I did have everything set for my maternity leave coverage!

The process of preparing for and going on leave has given me some interesting perspectives on my business.Before I decided to get pregnant, I admit that I had a somewhat sleepy practice.It paid my bills and was what I could easily manage on my own, but I didn’t have the ambition to be huge.Sure, I would worry from time to time about what would happen if I were to get injured and be unable to work, and sometimes I would feel number envy for the big clinics that were run by real go-getters, but for the most part I was content.

However, once I started planning for my leave, I quickly realized that I couldn’t sustain both the business and a family alone.More than that, I realized how important it was to me, and to my community, that the clinic did survive and continue to be of service to those who need it.As soon as it became apparent that I was pregnant (I didn’t make an official announcement until my 8th month), patients beganasking what would happen to the office while I was on leave.Although I assured them that I would find some way to keep the doors open, many people seemed uneasy until I had the exact coverage plans in place.And when they found out that the office hours would need to be curtailed, many patients were not happy.It was a good reminder that consistency and accountability toward your community is vital.

So, my passion for CA was re-kindled and even though I didn’t have a lot of extra time to spend on marketing (there were prenatal visits to attend and nursery furniture to buy, and baby books to read), I think that’s the reason why my treatment numbers stayed level, and even went up.Several weeks during my pregnancy were my “best week yet” in terms of patient numbers.When I did my end-of-the-year reckoning, I was proud and surprised by how many people I had managed to treat during this time.

I basically had to beg favors of two of my friends to find maternity leave coverage.I had been trying to hire another acupuncturist for months with no luck.Ironically, the week before I went on leave, I had two acupuncturists contact me about the job.Boo for bad timing, but at least there is hope that some ‘punks out there want jobs!

So far, the coverage has gone smoothly, and I am extremely grateful. It is important to have reliable coverage when some days even calling in to check voicemail is too much to juggle.One of my friends, who previously had been pretty entrenched in the BA model, now is interested in staying on for a shift when I come back from leave.The patients love her, so I am happy.And I love being able to say “we” and “our” when talking about the clinic now.

Our treatment numbers were great for the first two weeks, but have slowed down due to lack of marketing and bad weather (we have already closed six times because of snow).Still, the important thing is that the clinic remains open for business.I am excited to get back into the thick of things, when I am able.Although I’m a bit apprehensive about how well the business will be doing when I get back, I know I must have faith. 

Emily Konstan
Author: Emily Konstan

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  1. Thanks for the updates. This

    Thanks for the updates. This is something that I think of alot, as I don’t have kids yet and wonder how I will juggle it all. We just got hit by the snow pretty hard in Chicago and I am reminded that this is the yin time and things should move a little slower and we should be resting. Perfect timing for you to do so, I’m sure the spring will be full of so much growth in so many ways for you. 🙂 Your post is a great example of how things always seem to have a way of working themselves out. 

  2. Congratulations, Emily! 

    Congratulations, Emily!  Glad to read that you have figured out how to take some time off and get help while you spend time falling in love with your girl.

  3. “…consistency

    “…consistency and accountability toward your community is vital.”

    This is a great entry.  Thanks for the above sentiment – I’m going to post it on my facebook page!  Your baby has an older sister – the clinic – that has prepared you in many ways for being a parent, I’m sure.  I bet in six months you could write a whole blog entry on that!

    Best wishes and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your punks stay busy in your clinic while you’re out baby-wearing.

  4. Welcome Evelyn!

    Thanks for taking the time to write this; I hope you are acknowledge how amazing  it is that you have sorted everything out for your clinic even while pregnant and planning for your baby…and everything seems to be working out as well as it possibly can.   Enjoy your baby, while your other baby is in good hands. Be well, you should be proud of all you’ve done. -Nicole in San Diego