How to Make Money on Maternity Leave: 42 Clever Ways

Maternity leave is a precious time dedicated to welcoming a new family member and adjusting to your new life as a parent. But it often comes with a side dish of financial stress. Whether you’re on paid or unpaid maternity leave, the pressure of maintaining an income can be an unwelcome addition to your plate. But what if you could generate a steady income stream without compromising the precious moments with your newborn? This article aims to explore 42 ingenious ways you can make money on maternity leave, offering a blend of online and offline strategies to fit different preferences and skill sets.

how to make money on maternity leave

The Reality of Money on Maternity Leave

Before delving into the possible income avenues during maternity leave, it’s crucial to grasp the financial realities surrounding this period. In the United States, the situation varies widely, with some lucky parents enjoying paid leave while others face the tough reality of unpaid time off.

Understanding Paid Maternity Leave

Paid maternity leave is when an employer continues to pay a percentage of an employee’s regular income after they have given birth or adopted a child. The period and pay percentage for maternity leave varies from company to company and depends largely on federal law.

  • Paid Maternity Leave Benefits

  • Paid maternity leave benefits are twofold: they enable new parents to spend quality time bonding with their newborns and provide financial stability. These benefits offer invaluable peace of mind during an otherwise stressful time.
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave Federal Law

Federal law doesn’t mandate paid maternity or paternity leave in the United States. Instead, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

DefinitionPaid maternity leave is a period during which an employer continues to pay a percentage of an employee's regular income after they have given birth or adopted a child.
VariabilityThe period and pay percentage for maternity leave vary from company to company and depend largely on federal law.
Benefits- Enables new parents to spend quality time bonding with their newborns. \n- Provides financial stability. \n- Offers invaluable peace of mind during a stressful time.
Maternity and Paternity Leave in the US- Federal law does not mandate paid maternity or paternity leave in the United States. \n- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The Challenges of Unpaid Maternity Leave

Unpaid maternity leave presents a significant financial burden for families, making it essential to find ways to supplement income during this time. Exploring part-time or flexible work arrangements, leveraging remote job opportunities, starting a home-based business, tapping into savings or emergency funds, and accessing government assistance programs are viable options. Budgeting, cutting expenses, seeking support networks, and focusing on long-term financial planning can also provide stability. By taking proactive measures to generate additional income and manage expenses effectively, families can alleviate financial strain and ensure financial security during unpaid maternity leave.

Why Making Money Online can be a Great Source of Passive Income for Moms

Making money online presents an exciting opportunity for new moms. It offers flexibility, allowing you to work from home on your schedule. Plus, it has the potential to provide a steady source of passive income, an income that requires little to no effort to maintain once it’s set up.

42 Ingenious Ways to Make Extra Money on Maternity Leave

Now let’s explore the myriad ways you can generate income during maternity leave. The ideas listed below include a mix of active and passive, online and offline methods, all chosen for their flexibility and potential income.

1. Turn your Hobby into Cash

From knitting adorable baby clothes to creating stunning paintings, your hobbies can become profitable side hustles during maternity leave. Tap into the growing market for handmade goods and sell your creations online through platforms like Etsy or Shopify. Leverage social media to showcase your products and engage with potential customers. Explore collaborations with local boutiques or participate in craft fairs to expand your reach and increase sales.

2. Become an Online Tutor

If you’re proficient in a particular subject, math, English, or music, consider becoming an online tutor. Join reputable tutoring platforms like or Wyzant to connect with students seeking your expertise. Set your own rates and schedule, and provide personalized lessons to help students achieve their academic goals. Develop a strong reputation by delivering high-quality instruction and receiving positive reviews from satisfied students and parents.

3. Start a blog or vlog by starting a Blog or Vlog by sharing your unique experiences and insights about maternity, parenting, or any topic you’re passionate about. Create compelling content that resonates with your target audience and establishes you as an authority in your niche. Monetize your platform through various channels, such as display advertising, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing. Engage with your readers or viewers by encouraging comments, hosting giveaways, or collaborating with other bloggers or vloggers in your niche.

4. Explore Freelance Writing: If you have a way with words, freelance writing can be lucrative. Pitch your writing services to online publications, content marketing agencies, or businesses needing quality content. Develop a portfolio of your best work to showcase your writing skills and attract potential clients. Stay updated on industry trends and specialize in niches such as technology, lifestyle, or finance to increase your marketability.

5. Offer Virtual Assistant Services: Many entrepreneurs and busy professionals require support with tasks like email management, scheduling, research, and social media management. Position yourself as a virtual assistant and offer your services remotely. Create packages or hourly rates that align with the specific needs of your clients. Leverage productivity tools and communication platforms like Asana, Trello, or Slack to collaborate with your clients and deliver exceptional service efficiently.

6. Rent Your Space with Airbnb: If you have an extra room or property, capitalize on the booming short-term rental market by listing it on Airbnb. Ensure your space is clean, well-maintained, and equipped with essential amenities to attract guests. Optimize your listing with high-quality photos, a detailed description, and competitive pricing. Provide excellent hospitality by offering personalized recommendations, prompt communication, and a comfortable stay to receive positive reviews and attract more bookings.

7. Make Extra Money by doing Online Surveys and Market Research: Companies constantly seek consumer opinions to inform their product development and marketing strategies. Sign up for reputable online survey panels like Survey Junkie or Swagbucks to earn cash or gift cards for sharing your insights. Additionally, consider joining market research platforms like UserTesting or Respondent, where you can participate in paid studies or usability testing of websites and apps.

8. Affiliate Marketing: If you’re passionate about certain products or services, affiliate marketing allows you to promote them and earn a commission for each sale made through your referral link. Identify affiliate programs relevant to your niche and join platforms like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, or CJ Affiliate. Create engaging content around your recommended products, incorporating your affiliate links strategically. Build trust with your audience by providing honest reviews and valuable information, increasing the likelihood of conversions and earning potential.

9. Sell Handmade Products Online: Embrace your creativity and turn your handmade crafts into a profitable online business. Establish a presence on popular e-commerce platforms like Etsy, where you can showcase and sell your unique creations. Take high-quality photos of your products, write compelling descriptions, and leverage social media to drive traffic to your shop. Consider expanding your product range, offering customizations, or collaborating with complementary artisans to attract a wider customer base.

10. Open a High-Yield Savings Account: Make your money work for you by opening a high-yield savings account with a reputable bank or financial institution. These accounts typically offer higher interest rates than traditional ones, allowing your savings to grow more rapidly over time. Research and compare different options to find an account with competitive rates, low fees, and convenient features like online access and mobile banking. Regularly contribute to your savings account to maximize the benefits of compounding interest.

11. Pet Sitting or Dog Walking: If you love animals, consider offering pet sitting or dog walking services in your neighborhood. Advertise your services locally through flyers, community bulletin boards, or online platforms like Rover or Wag. Build trust with pet owners by providing reliable and compassionate care for their furry friends. Consider obtaining pet first aid certification or joining professional pet-sitting associations to enhance your credentials and attract more clients.

12. Offer Babysitting Services: Your newfound parenting skills can be valuable in babysitting services to other families in your community. Use word-of-mouth referrals, social media, or local parenting groups. Create a safe and engaging environment for children by having age-appropriate toys, planning fun activities, and prioritizing their well-being. Consider obtaining CPR and first aid certification to provide additional peace of mind for parents.

13. Teach an Online Course: Share your expertise and knowledge by creating and teaching an online course on platforms like Udemy or Teachable. Identify a topic in which you have the expertise and that aligns with market demand. Develop a comprehensive curriculum, including video lessons, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Market your course through social media, email lists, and collaborations with influencers or industry experts to attract students and generate income.

14. Start a Dropshipping Business: Capitalize on the popularity of e-commerce without the need for inventory by starting a dropshipping business. Select a niche or product category and find reliable suppliers on platforms like AliExpress or Oberlo. Create an online store using platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce and import product listings from your suppliers. Focus on marketing, customer service, and building a strong brand to drive sales and differentiate yourself in the market.

15. Sell Spare and Used Baby Clothes: As your baby grows, they can sell the clothes they’ve outgrown. To reach a targeted audience, utilize online marketplaces specialized in baby items, such as Kidizen or Facebook Marketplace. Ensure your items are clean, in good condition, and priced competitively. Leverage appealing product descriptions and attractive visuals to increase the chances of a sale.

16. Participate in Remote Usability Testing: Companies value user feedback on their websites and apps, making remote usability testing a valuable income source. Join platforms like UserTesting or TryMyUI to participate in paid testing sessions. Provide honest feedback on website and app user experience, navigation, and overall usability. Your insights will help companies improve their products and services while earning you money.

17. Proofreading and Editing Services: If you have a keen eye for detail and a strong command of the language, offer your proofreading and editing services to writers, students, or businesses. Advertise your services on freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, or establish your own website and portfolio. Highlight your qualifications, such as language certifications or previous editing experience. Develop strong communication skills to collaborate with clients and deliver error-free, polished content effectively.

18. Social Media Manager: With the ever-increasing importance of social media for businesses, offering social media management services can be a lucrative opportunity. Showcase your social media strategy, content creation, and community management expertise. Develop a portfolio of successful campaigns and engagement metrics to attract clients. Stay updated on industry trends and emerging platforms to provide cutting-edge strategies for your client’s social media presence.

19. Start a Podcast: If you enjoy storytelling or sharing your thoughts and expertise, starting a podcast can be rewarding. Choose a niche or topic that resonates with your target audience. Plan engaging episodes, invite guests, or conduct interviews to provide valuable content. Monetize your podcast through sponsorships, advertising, or listener support platforms like Patreon.

20. Food Delivery Service: Leverage the increasing demand for food delivery services by partnering with platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Grubhub. Set your availability and deliver food locally using your own vehicle or a bicycle. Ensure timely and professional delivery while maintaining food safety standards. Excellent customer service and prompt communication are key to success in this industry.

21. Become an Online Coach: If you have expertise in areas like fitness, life coaching, or nutrition, consider offering your services as an online coach. Define your coaching niche, establish your coaching packages or programs, and create a professional website to showcase your offerings. Leverage social media and content marketing to attract clients. Provide personalized coaching sessions, support, and accountability to help your clients achieve their goals.

22. E-book Publishing: Write and publish your own e-books on platforms like Amazon Kindle to generate passive income. Identify a topic that aligns with your expertise or interests, conduct thorough research, and create valuable content. Format your e-book professionally and design an eye-catching cover. Implement effective marketing strategies to increase visibility and sales by offering free promotions or utilizing targeted keywords.

23. Create Digital Products: Utilize your creativity and design skills to create digital products that cater to specific audiences. Develop printable artwork, templates, or digital downloads that offer value and solve a problem for your target market. Sell your products on platforms like Etsy or your own website. Continuously update and expand your product offerings to cater to evolving customer needs and preferences.

24. Stock Photography: If you have a knack for photography, sell your high-quality images on stock photo websites like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Capture diverse subjects, including nature, people, food, and abstract concepts, to cater to customer needs. Optimize your images with relevant keywords to improve discoverability. Consistently upload new photographs to maintain a steady income stream.

25. Subscription Boxes: Capitalize on the growing popularity of subscription boxes by starting your own service centered around a theme you’re passionate about. Curate a selection of products that align with the theme and provide value to subscribers. Develop a strong brand and visually appealing packaging to enhance the customer experience. Market your subscription box through social media, influencers, and targeted advertisements.

26. Reselling: Develop a keen eye for profitable items and explore the world of reselling. Purchase items at a lower price from thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces and resell them for a profit. Research trending products or niche markets to identify profitable opportunities. Build an online presence through platforms like eBay, Poshmark, or Depop to reach a wide customer base.

27. Voice-Over Work: If you have a unique or captivating voice, consider offering voice-over services for audiobooks, animations, commercials, and more. Create a professional demo reel showcasing your vocal range and versatility. Join freelance platforms like or Fiverr to connect with clients seeking voice-over talent. Deliver high-quality recordings and meet project deadlines to build a positive reputation in the industry.

28. Transcription Services: Use your listening and typing skills by offering transcription services to clients. Join transcription platforms like Rev or TranscribeMe to access a steady stream of transcription projects. Provide accurate and timely transcriptions for various audio or video files. Familiarize yourself with industry-specific terminology or transcription style guides to meet client requirements.

29. Personal Shopper: Utilize your shopping skills and knowledge of trends by offering personal shopping services. Cater to busy individuals who need assistance with purchasing clothes, gifts, or household items. Understand your client’s preferences and budgets, and provide tailored recommendations and a seamless shopping experience. Develop a network of trusted suppliers or retailers to source the best products for your clients.

30. Freelance Graphic Designing: Utilize your design skills to offer freelance graphic design services. Create visually appealing logos, brochures, social media graphics, or branding materials for businesses and individuals. Showcase your portfolio through a professional website or online platforms like Behance or Dribbble. Cultivate strong client relationships, deliver high-quality designs, and stay updated on design trends to stand out in the competitive freelance market.

31. Teach Music Lessons: If you have musical talent and proficiency in an instrument, offer music lessons online or in person. Advertise your services through local music schools, community centers, or online platforms. Develop personalized lesson plans tailored to each student’s skill level and goals. Continuously improve your own musical skills and knowledge to provide valuable instruction.

32. Sell Used Books: If you no longer need a collection of books, sell them online through platforms like Amazon or BookFinder. Research the market value of your books to set competitive prices. Write accurate and enticing book descriptions to attract potential buyers. Package and ship books securely to ensure customer satisfaction.

33. Start a YouTube Channel: Utilize the power of video content by starting your own YouTube channel. Choose a niche or topic that aligns with your expertise or interests. Create engaging videos, provide valuable information, and interact with your viewers. Monetize your channel through advertisements, sponsorships, or merchandise sales as your subscriber base grows.

34. Mobile App Development: If you have technical skills and a passion for coding, consider creating and selling mobile apps. Identify a gap in the market or a problem that can be solved through an app. Develop a user-friendly and visually appealing app that offers value and addresses the target audience’s needs. Market your app through app stores and digital marketing strategies to reach a wider user base.

35. Cake or Cookie Decorating: If you have a passion for baking and artistic flair, start a home-based baking business specializing in cake or cookie decorating. Develop your skills through practice and experimentation. Create a portfolio of your unique designs and flavors. Market your services through social media, local events, or collaborations with bakeries or event planners.

36. Consulting: Utilize your pre-maternity expertise to offer consulting services in your field. Identify the specific niche or industry where you can provide valuable insights and solutions. Develop a consulting package or offer hourly consultations to clients. Leverage your network, attend industry events, or create thought leadership content to establish yourself as a trusted consultant.

37. Fitness Instructor: If you have a passion for fitness and experience in a specific exercise discipline, become a fitness instructor. Offer virtual or in-person fitness classes tailored to different fitness levels and goals. Promote your classes through social media, local community centers, or fitness studios. Provide a safe and motivating environment for your clients to achieve their fitness aspirations.

38. Grow and Sell Your Own Produce: If you have a green thumb and access to a garden or land, consider growing and selling your own produce. Cultivate organic fruits, vegetables, or herbs that are in high demand. Sell your harvest at local farmers’ markets, through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, or directly to restaurants and grocery stores. Emphasize the freshness and quality of your produce to attract customers.

39. Sell DIY Craft Kits: Create and sell do-it-yourself (DIY) craft kits that provide all the materials and instructions needed for a specific craft project. Identify popular crafts or emerging trends and design kits that cater to various skill levels. Sell your kits through online platforms, local craft stores, or at craft fairs. Develop attractive packaging and clear instructions to ensure a satisfying experience for customers.

40. Start a Home Daycare: If you have the space and enjoy working with children, start a home daycare. Obtain the necessary licenses and certifications, and ensure your home meets safety and regulatory requirements. Create a nurturing and stimulating environment for children, offering age-appropriate activities and educational opportunities. Market your daycare through local parent groups, social media, or word of mouth.

41. Remote Tech Support: If you have technical expertise, offer remote tech support to individuals or businesses. Help troubleshoot computer issues, set up networks, or provide software assistance. Advertise your services through online platforms, social media, or local businesses. Provide prompt and reliable support, building a reputation for your technical skills and customer service.

42. Professional Organizing: Utilize your organizational skills to help individuals declutter and organize their homes. Offer professional organizing services, creating functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces. Develop customized organizational plans and storage solutions. Market your services through local advertisements, social media, or collaborations with interior designers or real estate agents.

FAQs: How to Make Money on Maternity Leave

What is the average Maternity Pay?

If you’re wondering how to make money on maternity leave, it’s crucial to consider that the average maternity pay can vary significantly based on various factors such as your employer’s policies, your location, and your pre-maternity leave salary. To gain a better understanding of the specific details and entitlements, it’s essential to check with your employer or review the laws in your country. This knowledge will provide you with a foundation to explore potential avenues for generating income while on maternity leave.

Is it possible to make money on maternity leave with no prior experience?

Absolutely. Many online jobs and gigs require no previous experience. With the right mindset and willingness to learn, you can explore various opportunities to make money during your maternity leave. Consider options like freelancing, online tutoring, or starting a small business that aligns with your skills and interests.

What are some good ways to manage time effectively while working from home during maternity leave?

Managing time effectively while working from home during maternity leave can be challenging but achievable with the right strategies. Establish a routine that accommodates both your work and personal responsibilities, setting aside dedicated blocks of time for work and breaks. Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, and leverage productivity tools or techniques like time blocking. Remember to take regular breaks, practice self-care, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Are there any risks associated with working during maternity leave?

While working during maternity leave can provide financial benefits, there are potential risks to be aware of. It’s important to prioritize your health and well-being, ensuring you get enough rest and recovery time. Avoid overextending yourself and take breaks when needed. Be mindful of not compromising the time and attention you give to your newborn, as bonding and caregiving are essential during this special time.

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Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.