Planning for Parenthood

We value our employees and their families, so we have developed a special combination of programs, benefits and extras to support expecting mothers, their partners and their babies.

Selecting a pediatrician for your baby prior to delivery is an important step in your preparation.

Your health care provider might have recommendations for pediatricians in your area. If not, employees participating in one of GW's medical plans can search for a health care provider in their area by visiting MyUHC.

Not sure what to look for when selecting a pediatrician? Check out this Baby Center guide on "Choosing a doctor for your baby."

Childbirth and parenting classes are a great way to prepare for labor and delivery and taking care of your new baby. The George Washington University Hospital offers a wide selection of classes, including Prenatal Yoga, Childbirth Preparation and Infant CPR.

If you are planning to deliver at GW Hospital, you should also consider signing up for a free Prenatal Tour.

GW's Wellbeing Hotline has a large library of articles, podcasts, videos and webinars related to pregnancy and caring for your child from birth through college. 

GW provides up to six continuous weeks of paid parental leave for eligible regular full-time staff. Faculty should refer to Parental Childcare Leave in the Faculty Handbook.

Eligible GW employees can take up to 16 weeks of unpaid medical leave and 16 work weeks of unpaid family leave after the birth of a child under the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Applying for FMLA is important, not only because it is required of you as an employee, but also because it protects your job while you are out on leave. Even if you are planning to use sick or  annual time during your leave period, you must still apply for FMLA. University policy requires at least 30 days’ notice for FMLA leave.

While you are applying for FMLA, we recommend that you review GW's short-term disability plan. Depending on your years of service and coverage, you may be entitled to disability pay during your FMLA leave.

In addition to short-term disability, you may use your accrued sick and annual time to cover some or all of your time away (depending on your time off balances). You may also take unpaid leave. 

Are you considering using a Doula during labor? Do you need a pet sitter while you are in the hospital after your baby is born? Call GW’s Wellbeing Hotline and a consultant can help you meet all of your daily life needs.

Text4Baby is a free text-messaging service that helps pregnant women and new parents get information about caring for their health. 

Registration is easy and can be done online or on your phone by texting the word BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to the number 511411. You will be asked to enter your baby’s due date or your baby’s birthday as well as your zip code. Once registered, you will start receiving free messages with tips for your pregnancy or caring for your baby.

If you are pregnant and covered under a GW medical plan, you are eligible (and encouraged) to participate in the UnitedHealthcare Maternity Support Program at no cost. The Maternity Support Program provides a personalized approach that places resources at your fingertips before, during and after pregnancy. Your spouse/domestic partner may also participate in the program if enrolled in your medical plan. You have the opportunity to earn financial incentives simply for participating in the Maternity Support Program. 

Helpful Resources

Advocacy Resources for Expecting Parents (PDF)