The Maternity Crisis
The United States is one of the only high-income industrialized countries without a federal paid maternity leave policy. This leaves many Americans completely unprotected in the transition to parenthood, including entrepreneurs.
In many ways, parenthood causes entrepreneurs to become vulnerable in ways they might never have experienced previously. For example, entrepreneurial women who generate the majority of revenue in their business often wonder if they’re even able to step away from their business during postpartum. Decades of research show that not stepping away during postpartum can have health costs down the road. What's more, many families don't know how to step away from their jobs. What’s supposed to be a special life event can become something really scary. This is where Arianna Taboada steps in.
The Postpartum Plan
Arianna is a coach who helps people create a maternity leave that serves both their families and their businesses. A public health social worker by training, Arianna’s worked in clinical settings with women who navigated pregnancy and postpartum under various challenging social circumstances (unstable housing, partner violence, fear of deportation, etc.). This work taught her that the act of caring for your family inherently has to do with the systems and structures that either benefit you or don’t.
Reinventing Social Work
When she moved to Mexico with her partner, Arianna found herself at a professional crossroads. In Mexico, social workers are not clinical providers in the same way they are in the U.S. This meant that Arianna had to reinvent what being a social worker looks like in a context where she could provide social support, consultation, and coaching, but not clinical services. Though the work would look different, she sought the same outcomes as she would in America: Increased wellbeing and alignment on biological, psychological, and social levels.
She began this private practice experiment in 2013. Arianna initially specialized in postpartum health, but her work taught her that people needed help planning their maternity leave. In 2015, she shifted to working with women in their second trimester to help them plan. She began to help women create plans that would benefit both themselves and their businesses. She built a model that she could use to work one-on-one, serving women, and maintaining awareness of her position on the larger social landscape. She also began to write to understand her place in the world and think about the issue as a social justice and economic justice imperative.
Immigration and The Caregiving Conversation
Arianna’s journey from Mexico to America was fraught with uncertainty. Mexico is where her family’s from and where her husband grew up. Arianna became a new mom at the same time as there was a change in her local government. The shift brought forth the threat of violence, so Arianna and her partner decided to move in with her Bay Area-dwelling parents to get out of the line of fire. They moved in 2017 when there was a strong wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. due to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Though their family had a clear pathway to citizenship, her son and her husband's naturalization process took about two years to complete.
Before their move, Arianna and her partner shared breadwinning duties. Once they moved to America, her husband legally couldn’t work. Arianna became the breadwinner for her family while her husband was the primary care-providing stay-at-home parent. Her partner embraced the role, especially because he had a network of male friends in the same position.
Permission to Honor Yourself
Arianna works with people, which means that she helps people work through lessons that she has to learn herself. Her experiences as a social worker, with her family’s naturalization process, and with this pandemic taught her that life is a calibration act. Sometimes, our relationships with others need to look different than they have in the past. Much of Arianna’s work is about allowing her clients to establish boundaries, both with themselves and with the people in their lives. One of the tools Arianna has her clients use is the ecomap. This tool helps clients identify the people in their life who can show up how they need them to postpartum and those who may have trouble honoring personal boundaries. You can download the ecomap, along with Arianna’s entire free postpartum workbook, here.
Get to know Arianna
Arianna Taboada is a coach who helps people create a maternity leave that serves both their families and their businesses. She speaks and writes about maternity leave as a social justice and economic issue. You can read her work on HuffPost and HopeLab. She also navigates anti-immigration politics in the U.S. with her own bi-national family. You can learn more about Arianna’s work on her website. Follow her on Twitter, and be sure to get on her mailing list so you can be the first to read her upcoming book, The Expecting Entrepreneur.