how to make money when on maternity leave

How to Make Money When on Maternity Leave: 15 Ways!

Are you or someone you know expecting a baby and want to learn how to make money when on maternity leave? The good news is there are tons of way to bring in extra income without quitting your day job.

Today many companies offer maternity leave to their employees. However, those three months can go by very quickly and before you know it, you’ll be back at work – out of the money-making loop.

Many companies still don’t offer maternity leave, but if they do it is usually anywhere from 6-8 weeks. A lot can happen in that time if you don’t plan ahead.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to make money when on maternity leave. From starting a home business to becoming a private tutor or nanny, there are several options to choose from.

What is maternity leave?

Maternity leave is time off work taken by new mothers for the purpose of recovering from child birth. There are laws in place to protect women’s rights when taking maternity leave, but it varies from country to country and even state to state.

Maternity leave entitlements differ depending on where you live and what sort of job you have. The most common reasons for applying for maternity leave is because of the physical and emotional demands of giving birth and breast-feeding.

Check with your company’s HR department to understand how much paid and unpaid time you are entitled to receive. You can also check your state’s laws here.

Regardless of how much maternity leave you are entitled to, it’s best to start planning early.

How to make money when on maternity leave

There are many ways you can make money while on maternity leave. Some work is better suited for people with certain skills or expertise, so read through the list to find the right job for you.

Become a freelancer

Making money while on maternity leave is all about flexibility. Having a newborn baby can be very demanding, so if you can find a job that fits around your schedule it will make life easier for you.

One of the easiest ways to work from home is by becoming a freelancer. Freelancing is when you work on an independent basis, without having to report to any particular company or person. You offer your services in the form of a ‘gig’, and earn money as you complete tasks.

The great thing about freelancing is that you can work on your own schedule, set your own prices and decide which gigs to take or turn down. You’re also in total control of how much time and effort you put into the job.

Action: Sign up for a freelancing site like UpWork or Fiverr to browse all of the different jobs out there.

Offer transcription services

If you’re an efficient typist with a great grasp of the English language, you can make money from home by transcribing others’ work.

In simple terms, transcription is listening to an audio recording and typing out what has been said on a computer.

While it may sound easy, there are several things to remember when taking this job on. First of all, have a good grasp of the English language. This is not the job for you if you’re struggling to use basic vocabulary or grammar.

Secondly, remember that you are not simply typing up audio files verbatim. You must listen closely and accurately type out what has been said in order for it to make sense.

Action: Check out this list of 10 transcription companies to get started.

Write articles for money

A great way to make money when on maternity leave is to write articles for others. This can be in the form of freelancing where you pick up jobs as you go. Or, you could hire on with a specific company.

Writing articles is a great way to earn extra money, but remember to always do your research first. You must stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends surrounding your industry. It’s also important that you don’t simply regurgitate facts. Write in an engaging way that will encourage people to read everything you’ve written.

Action: Start writing articles for others by using sites like UpWork or Fiverr.

Work as a customer service representative

A great way to make money from home is by working as a customer service representative.

Customer service work can include everything from support for apps or software, technical support, live chat and phone calls. The best part about this job is that you don’t need any specific qualifications or special skills to do it.

Learn more about getting paid to talk to people as your job here!

Action: Head over to Indeed, Simply Hired, or Glassdoor to find the latest customer service jobs.

Become a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants are in high demand these days, especially for online entrepreneurs. If you have strong administrative experience under your belt, then working as a virtual assistant could be an excellent option for you.

The great thing about being a virtual assistant is that you can work on your own terms. You aren’t tied to one location, so you can do this job from anywhere with an internet connection.

Action: Start looking into jobs as a virtual assistant by using sites like UpWork or Fiverr.

Start an Etsy store

If you have a knack for making stuff, look into starting your own Etsy store. There are tons of creative ideas that can be turned into sales on Etsy.

Not only is it easy to set up your own store, but you depending on what you choose to make you may not need much capital. Some things like making handmade knick knacks or jewelry may take more effort than other items. If you’re looking for less time consuming products check out digital prints, T-shirts, or vinyl products.

See related: 8 Easy Things to Make and Sell on Etsy

Action: Start getting creative with tutorials on how to make things like this or this.

Start your own blog or affiliate site

Blogging can be a great source of income for any stay-at-home mom. It’s a chance to start your own website and share information with others. If you have experience with SEO, social media or web design, then blogging may be the perfect job for you.

You can earn money by posting ads on your site, promoting affiliate links, and testing out products. It can take time to get your blog off the ground, but once it does you could be looking at a lucrative business.

See related: 6 Types of Blogs That Actually Make Money

Action: Follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to start your own blog here.

Sell your unwanted items

It’s easy to accumulate stuff over the years. Take some time to really sort through your house and see what you can sell.

You may be surprised at how much money you can earn from things like old phones, clothes, or books. Selling your unwanted items can be a great source of money while on maternity leave as it takes minimal effort to sell.

You can look at having a neighborhood garage sale or find online sites to sell. Poshmark and ThredUp are two great sites if you’re looking to sell clothes. DeCluttr is great for selling old electronic devices like phones. Or check out sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist for any and all items.

Start a childcare or pet care business

While on maternity leave, you may find that you are at your home most of that time. This can be a great opportunity to make some extra money by starting your own in-home childcare or pet care business. Many people that aren’t working from home need someone to watch their kids and/or pets. Having someone they know and trust can be a big plus, and that’s where you come in.

Make sure you check in with your state and local laws concerning in-home child care.

Action: Check out sites like Sittercity,, or Rover for available jobs in your area. Or create your own business by advertising your services in local Facebook and Nextdoor groups.

Become a tutor

Did you know you can be a tutor from the comfort of your own home? There are a number of companies that offer online tutoring services. Depending on what tutoring services are needed, you may need to have some certification or expertise in the area.

Action: Check out sites like Chegg, VIPKid, or for online tutoring opportunities.

Teach English online

If you are patient and have a good grasp of the English language, consider joining an online English learning service. Depending on your experience, you can find paid positions that require minimal training or certification. You will have to be TEFL certified, which you can learn more about here.

Action: Check out sites like VerbalPlanet, VIPKid, or Udemy for online opportunities.

Sell your own photos

Selling photos you take to stock photo companies can be a good source of extra income. If you have a camera (even on your phone) and the skills to take pictures, put them to good use and make money doing it. You’d be surprised at all the different types of pictures needed. From animals to fashion, stock photo websites are always looking for new and interesting pictures.

You may not feel like you’re able to get out of the house much while on maternity leave, but snapping photos on walks with your babies can provide extra income.

Action: Check out sites like iStockphoto, Pixabay, or Shutterstock for more information on how it works and to sign up.

Get into couponing and rebate programs to save money

When you’re on maternity leave, it’s not only important to try and make extra money. Saving is a great way to cushion your finances. Using coupons and discount codes are a great way to save extra money on your monthly purchases.

See related: Couponing to Be Debt Free

You can also check out sites like Rakuten to find businesses that have rebate or cash back programs. The investment of the time it takes to shop at certain stores and registering for their rewards program can pay off in big ways because you’re earning cash back when you spend money with them.

Action: Check out Rakuten and Ibotta to sign up for reward programs and start earning cash back.

Optimize your bills

Another way to save while on maternity leave is to call your phone, cable, and internet providers to negotiate a better deal. You may find that your provider is willing to lower your monthly bill if you mention switching to another provider.

Consider switching to one or two streaming services and cancelling your cable services to reduce overall costs. You may find that you don’t miss all of the extra channels you’ve been paying for every month.

Action: Call your cable, internet, and phone providers and see if you’re able to get a better deal on your monthly rates. If so, keep the savings for yourself or use it as extra income while you’re away from work.

Make money through online surveys

If you’re looking for how to make money while on maternity leave from the comfort of your own home, look into taking online surveys that pay money.

You don’t need to be a parenting expert or even have children to take these surveys. Anyone can participate in online surveys for money regarding any topic, including parenting. Some of them may even be fielding your opinions about products and services aimed at parents, which will give you an idea how the process works.

Action: Check out sites like Survey Junkie or Swagbucks to get started.

Put ads on your car

Did you know you can get paid to post advertisements on your car? You can get paid to put ads for businesses, events, or other types of advertisements. Typically, companies will track how many miles you are putting on your car and pay you per mile. So, if you don’t plan to drive much while on maternity leave this may not be right for you.

Action: Check out companies like Carvertise or Wrapify to learn more.

Is there unemployment if you’re on maternity leave?

If you’re wondering if you can file unemployment while on maternity leave, check your local and state laws for rules and regulations.

What can you do before you go on maternity leave?

There are a few things you can do before you go on maternity leave to set yourself up for financial success.

Save up a nest egg

If you know you are planning to go on maternity leave, you can start planning ahead by saving up a nest egg so you won’t have to worry about money when you’re away from work.

Set up a savings account specifically for your maternity leave and set a monthly savings goal for you and your partner. Life is unpredictable and it’s never a bad idea to have extra cash on hand in case of emergencies or unplanned expenses.

Get a budget in place

If you’re worried about how much money you’ll spend once baby arrives, plan ahead now by setting up a budget. A budget will help you plan for expenses ahead of time and cut back in other areas.

Use apps like Mint or Personal Capital to easily track your spending and monitor your budget.

See related: Best Budgeting Tips for Beginners

Set up your plan to make money when on maternity leave

If you plan to try and make money while on maternity leave, come up with a plan before baby arrives. You’ll want to make sure you have the necessary tools to start making money as soon as you’re able. Once baby arrives, you may not have the energy to develop your plan.

Choose one or two of the above ways to make money while on maternity leave and start researching what it takes now. That way you’ll be ready to start earning money when baby arrives.