Maternity leave: how to change your life?

Congé maternité : comment changer de vie ?

In this podcast, Marion welcomes Jill, a mother of 4. Jill is known on social networks as @jill_et_sa_tribu, where she shares her life and the life of her family, through their travels all over the world.

She talks to us about her maternity leave and all the new experiences her family has had thanks to this period. It's also an opportunity for us to talk about maternity leave and life change!

How long does maternity leave last?

Maternity leave is made up of a prenatal phase (before the birth) and a postnatal phase (after the birth).

The length of maternity leave will depend on several factors: whether it's your first child, whether you already have dependent children, and whether it's a single or multiple pregnancy.

For a single pregnancy with a first or second child, the total duration of maternity leave will be 16 weeks (6 weeks prenatal and 10 weeks postnatal). From the 3rd child onwards, maternity leave extends to 8 weeks prenatal and 18 weeks postnatal (for a total of 26 weeks).

For multiple pregnancies, maternity leave extends to 12 weeks prenatal and 22 weeks postnatal, for a total of 34 weeks. Finally, for multiple pregnancies of triplets or more, maternity leave is extended by 24 weeks prenatal and 22 weeks postnatal.

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How to take advantage of maternity leave to change your life?

Why not take advantage of your maternity leave to change your life? That's what Jill tells us, as she took advantage of her maternity leave to travel around the world with her children.

Going on a trip with young children can be scary at first. But, as Jill explains in this podcast episode, it's actually a completely different way of approaching motherhood.

The benefits are many: it opens their minds and awakens their curiosity.
Whether it's discovering new landscapes, new cultures, new tastes (through the discovery of local food), or even learning a new language.

Travelling with children, Jill explains, is also about discovering a new way of travelling and enjoying travel. Seeing your child marvel at every landscape, and reading the joy in their eyes, means you can see the country from a different angle.
Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with your children! Children are far more adaptable than adults, so make the most of it!

How do you reconcile travel and motherhood? How do you travel with children?

The hardest part of traveling with children is taking the plunge and leaving everything behind (for a long trip, of course, as Jill explains in the podcast)!
If the idea of a faraway destination scares you at first, choose destinations in France, for example, where you know you won't have any problems with care in the event of illness etc...

The same goes for the means of transport you choose: don't take the plane if it scares you, choose the train! Take it one step at a time.

Take time for yourself too: if you're stressed, your children will be too, and that will make the journey more complicated.

But it's obvious that a trip has to be organized! Even more so with children. Whether you're going away for 6 months or 2 weeks, you need a minimum of organization to avoid being caught unprepared, so here are a few tips:

  • Check your children's vaccinations (and your own), especially if you're planning to travel to a country where certain diseases are particularly widespread. Anti-malaria treatments are recommended before leaving. For more information, contact your health care professional.
  • Check your children's passports and identity cards: they must be up to date and valid, just like you as an adult.
  • Pack a first-aid kit, if you're anxious about leaving, to reassure yourself that you'll have medicines and other items to hand, and a band-aid or compress will always come in handy for your little adventurers!
  • Depending on where you're going, make sure you wear appropriate clothing: for example, if you're going to a country where mosquitoes and malaria are present, it's best to wear long sleeves for your children's outfits.

How do you manage jet lag when traveling with children?

The sleeping patterns of small children can be complicated enough in normal circumstances, but that doesn't mean you can't travel to a destination with jet lag. You'll just have to prepare your baby.
You can gradually push back or bring forward your children's bedtime (depending on the country you're going to), a few days before you leave.
It takes about 48 hours for the body to adapt to jet lag, and a week to get used to it.
In short, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with your children - they adapt easily! Travelling with children is a way of awakening their curiosity about different cultures.

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.