Taproot Law, PLLC

Taproot Law

Human-Centered Legal Advocates

With our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan


Human-Centered Maternity Leave?

This summer I had a life-changing experience, something as common and old as the moon and yet a miracle all the same. My husband and I had a baby.

July 8th our lives were forever changed when our precious little girl was born. Thankfully the nine months leading up to it, gave us time to read and prepare and learn all we could before she made her grand entrance.

One fascinating thingI learned during this time is that women in less modern countries often do not experience postpartum depression.

“Many of us in industrialized countries often act as if we have nothing to learn from developing nations, yet many of these traditional cultures do something extraordinarily right in the way they care for new mothers. After studying postpartum practices in a wide number of cultures, anthropologists Gwen Stern and Larry Kruckman noted in their classic 1983 cross-cultural review that postpartum depression (including the milder form known as the “baby blues”) was almost unheard of in many countries.” (Breastfeeding Made Simple, by Mohrbacher and Kendall-Tackett, p. 106)

This was fascinating to me. Although there’s no shame in experiencing postpartum depression, I knew I wanted to avoid it if possible and I was learning that rest, reduction of stress, and a good support system around me in the first few months after birth was the best way to do it.

I have so many people to thank including my husband, church, family and friends. But a huge part of my birth and postpartum experience and support team that I want to focus on in this blog is my workplace: Taproot Law.

From the very beginning, the only thing I got was excitement and support from my coworkers and the leadership. I think sometimes women are hesitant to tell their work that they are pregnant because it means being away for a while and loss to the company. I’m so thankful this was not my experience.

As we are a small company, still establishing ourselves in many ways, there was no written maternity leave policy. Erica was extremely generous and kind in allowing me to do a bit of research on my own and craft a maternity leave policy that worked for me and the company. Furthermore, she insisted on paid leave, which is something that so many companies do not offer.

All of this combined was such a burden off of my shoulders. Not having to worry about the loss of income, especially given all the medical bills that come along with labor and delivery was such a blessing! On top of that my team gave me another precious gift, the space and time to heal and adjust to having a newborn (those first weeks of sleepless and exhausting days and nights are no joke!) and then slowly and safely transition back into working.

This was such a gift and unfortunately not the experience of many women in the workforce. Whether it’s leave for the birth of a child, death of a loved one, or a medical emergency, the stresses of these circumstances can be greatly diminished simply with the support of a company through regular wages, and the sympathy and kindness of coworkers and leadership that care.

I’m happy to report two months in that I’ve had an extremely wonderful experience. Not to say that it hasn’t been hard at times, all things worthwhile are hard and take work, but having the support system that I have was truly the key, I believe, to a healthier maternity leave.

Taproot Law truly is making waves as an innovative firm that serves not only its clients, but its team in creative and effective ways. Now excuse me as I go change a dirty diaper and get my baby up for the day. 🙂


Written by, Josie Yelle, VP of Client Services at Taproot Law