In conversation with Julia Philpott, Founder of JP Leadership Coaching

We recently caught up with Julia Philpott, Founder of JP Coaching and friend of the Automotive 30% Club to hear more about coaching, and maternity coaching in more detail.

Julia gives advice to people transitioning back into the workplace from maternity leave. She also gives details about how our Members can access this important type of coaching. 

Discover Julia's full article below, and watch Julia's conversation below.

Maternity Coaching – What is it and why do I need it?

What is coaching?
Coaching is about facilitating change. Specifically, accelerating mindset and behaviour change within the individual, or supporting them through an external change, such as a promotion or a re-structure.

A good coach will never simply tell you what to do and will rarely give advice. Every coaching session is different, but you can expect to be deeply listened to; have your thoughts and feelings summarised and played back to you; and be challenged to stretch your thinking into new places. This is how you identify solutions that may not have been apparent before. All in a safe and confidential environment.

What is maternity coaching?
Maternity coaching is all of the above and additionally supports working mums with the practical and psychological changes that come with starting a family. It covers the period before, during and after the birth of their baby, giving women support to tackle the new demands placed on them, while maintaining their confidence, performance and enjoyment of work.

A typical package will comprise a first session as the mother gets ready to go on maternity leave, another as she prepares to return to work, and a couple more as she transitions back
into the workplace.

Both types of change – internal and external – are very common during maternity leave. You have a new identity (as a mother) which you need to get comfortable with and your external situation has changed (you want to make parenthood fit with your world, whether that be a career, or other commitments).

Coaching can support you with these changes. It will help you identify where the greatest challenges (and opportunities) are and find ways to handle them successfully. It will also re-build your confidence – something we know can take a dip in new mums: “All I’ve done is change nappies for a year – what can I contribute to this discussion?”

Here are some of the benefits of maternity coaching:

• Enables mothers-to-be to plan ahead for their absence while on maternity leave
• Helps mums retain confidence while going through a major identity shift
• Helps mothers to plan for their return to work and focus on the key priorities (at home and at work)
• Supports the formation of the ideal pattern of work / life integration

Organisations are increasingly recognising the value of maternity coaching (and the role it plays in helping to retain key female talent), so it is worth checking with your HR department whether they are prepared to fund, or part-fund, the coaching.

What if this is my second, or third, child?
Maternity coaching is equally beneficial even if you are already a mum. It has often been noted that doubling the number of children leads to much more than double the parenting effort and complexity! Now you are managing a family in all its wonderful diversity, which might mean coping with multiple drop-offs on the way to work and not-always-coordinating child-care schedules.

Maternity coaching for the second or third time around can help you to restore your equilibrium, remind you what works, brainstorm improved solutions and generally remind you that you are a resourceful person, with an equally resourceful support network.

What does JP Leadership Coaching offer?
Julia Philpott is a qualified and experienced coach, who also has experience of your life situation – she is a working mum too. In theory, a great coach can coach anyone, but we do find that personal experience is helpful for building the right ‘chemistry’ and rapport. So, the fact that Julia has ‘been there and got the T-shirt’ (twice) is important.

Julia will meet you for an introductory call, to talk you through the different stages of the programme and to help you establish the outcomes you want from the coaching. You can then decide if it is right for you.

Over the years, Julia has worked with all kinds of mums. Some have struggled to separate from their child and found returning to work very difficult; others have been keen to re-start their career (and been frustrated by colleagues who treat them like they’ve had a frontal lobotomy rather than a baby!). Any and all of these experiences are valid and can begin to feel less daunting through coaching.

What next?
If you are interested in learning more, visit or call Julia for a no-obligation chat on 07967 497779.

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