1. Quick Summary
  2. How to Make Money While On Maternity Leave
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. How to Save for Maternity Leave
  5. Problem with Maternity Leave
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Conclusion: Maternity Leave Can Be Profitable

Having a baby is exciting. If it's your first, you may be filled with some nervousness and fear. Even if you're not new to motherhood, it can be nerve-racking. This is particularly true if money is tight from not working.

What can you do to make money while on maternity leave? Let's find out today.

How to Make Money While On Maternity Leave

To make money while you are on maternity leave, you can explore flexible gigs like transcription, freelancing, and online tutoring. Sell products/services on platforms like Etsy, and Upwork. Build passive income streams through domain flipping, YouTube, and savings accounts.

Key Takeaways

  • Plan and save ahead for maternity leave by adjusting the family budget and cutting expenses.

  • Explore flexible gigs like transcription, freelance writing, social media management, proofreading, and online tutoring.

  • Sell products or services like printables, crafts, stock photos, online courses, and affiliate marketing.

  • Utilize platforms like Etsy, Upwork, Fiverr, and online marketplaces to sell your offerings.

  • Create passive income streams through domain flipping, YouTube channels, and high-yield savings accounts.

How to Save for Maternity Leave

The best way to save for maternity leave is to plan. Adjust the family budget. Cut recurring expenses like streaming services and freeze gym memberships. Set aside a fixed amount of money each month you're pregnant. 

Eliminate going to the coffee shop and you should pack a lunch for work instead of eating out.

You’re not only off work and short on cash, but you’re also physically recovering from childbirth. You can’t exactly do strenuous activities. We’ve compiled a list of jobs you can do while on maternity that won’t sap your strength.

1. Transcriptionist

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This is a flexible gig and can be done at home. You turn audio files into text.

You’ll mostly be transcribing medical and legal files. So the work is interesting. It’s just sitting at a computer and listening to audio files, so it’s not physically taxing.

Companies you can work for include:

You’ll need to be a good listener and attentive to details to do well as a transcriptionist. You’ll also need a computer and a good internet connection.

2. Freelance Writer

You can turn this into a great revenue stream if you like to write. Freelance writers are in demand. And although there are usually deadlines, you can work on your own schedule. It's not physically difficult and all you need is a computer.

Platforms where you can find freelance work include:

You apply for jobs and bid a rate on Upwork and Freelancer. On Fiverr, the client chooses you based on your profile and rating.

3. Social Media Manager

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Help out a business by managing its social media. Most companies have various channels like Facebook and Instagram.

You'll reply to comments and post content. You'll also develop marketing strategies to increase user engagement. This is a way for a company to expand its online reach.

All you need is a computer and a stable internet connection. You’ll also need some writing ability and creativity.

But if you’re into social media, this could be a fun job for you.

4. Freelance Proofreader

A proofreader is a job that can be done on your computer.

You’ll ensure that content is free of:

  • Typographical errors
  • Grammatical errors
  • Spelling errors
  • Syntax errors
  • Formatting errors

A proofreader notices any mistake made in a document, including an extra space between words. Some companies you could freelance proofread for include:

You’ll need to be observant and meticulous, but this is an easy job that could turn into a full-time gig if you want.

5. Answer Surveys

Answering online surveys won't make you a lot of money; you can make money in your spare time.

You share your opinions about different companies’ goods and services. Sometimes, you fill out a form. But other times, you'll participate in a video interview or focus group.

Some survey companies you can work with include:

You can sign up for more than one survey company.

You’ll receive an email telling you when a survey is available. You’ll need to act fast since there is a limited number needed and they fill up quickly.

Bonus tip: American Consumer Opinion pays the highest of the survey companies.

You can read my article where I have shared How much Do Legitimate Survey Sites Really Pay in case If you are wondering how much you an actually earn via surveys.

6. Sell Printables

Printables are digital products that are downloaded and printed in the customer's home. 

Some examples of printables are:

  • Bridal shower games
  • Budget planners
  • Invitations
  • Printable quotes for wall art
  • Patterns

The beauty of this is once you make the printable, you can sell it an unlimited number of times. As a result, it becomes passive income.

You only need a laptop or desktop computer to start. Etsy is a great place to sell them.

A service that helps you get started is this website.

7. Book Reviewer

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If you like to read, why not get paid? You can be paid to give a written book review. You won't get rich, but you'll be able to do your favorite hobby and get paid maternity leave salary on your own.

Some sites that will pay for book reviews include:

  • US Review of Books – Requires 250 to 300-word reviews. Looking for summaries that reveal insights. Must provide a resume, sample work, and two professional references.
  • Kirkus Media – Looking for reviews in English and Spanish. Requires you to write a 350-word review and it’s due two weeks after you are assigned the book.
  • New Pages – The website features book reviews and literary magazine reviews. Requires 200 words maximum but filled with substance.

Some of these are easy to apply for and others like the US Review of Books have stricter requirements. But this is a fun way to receive a free book and get paid.

8. Online Tutor

There are many jobs to help students with their homework. You don’t have to spend a lot of time. You might spend 30 minutes teaching or helping with homework through a video lesson.

There are several websites that you can work through, including:

Tutors earn money based on the subject they teach. For example, a calculus tutor will probably earn extra cash than a history tutor.

9. Resell Items

Did you receive doubles in baby items? Or maybe you have clothes that are still in fashion but don’t fit anymore. You can resell these items and make good money.

Go through your closets and be brutal when it comes to picking out clothes you’ll never wear. If it still has the tags on it – sell it.

 Check with friends and see if they want to give you any gently used items. Some people don't want to take the trouble to sell items. They just want to get rid of them.

Once you have your inventory, list it on one of these apps or sites:

Once you get the hang of it and want to step it up, try going to garage sales and thrift stores. Garage sales are great places to restock your "inventory". Goods are usually grossly underpriced and you can pick them up for a steal and make a lot of money on them.

The word is out about thrift stores, but you can still find some gems.

10. Stock Photography

Become a stock photographer. You don't have to have a client; just take pictures of what interests you and sell it.

Websites often use stock photos. Others that use them include:

  • Social media
  • Books
  • TV shows

Just be careful that you don’t take pictures of faces. That could land you in some trouble.

There are several different websites that will sell your photos. They are:

Keep in mind that you don't just need still photos; you can also shoot video.

The beauty of all these different websites is that once your photo or video is posted, it stays. That means it could sell many times, which turns into passive income.

11. Sell Crafts

If you’re a crafter, put that talent to good use and sell them online. Set up an Etsy store and start selling. You can also sell crafts on Amazon Handmade. But Amazon has stricter requirements than Etsy.

You'll need to track your materials per item and time per item to determine the cost—charge so it's worth the effort. Remember, your time is worth money.

For example, if you’re a quilter and it costs $200 for materials and a week to make, selling it for $300 is probably not worth it.

If you create your own patterns for quilts or stuffed toys, these can be sold on Etsy too. People will buy these sorts of products.

Put your talents to good use and earn some extra income.

12. Affiliate Marketing

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Have a passion for specific products and services. Combine that with your love of social media and earn money.

Affiliate marketing is where you refer a potential customer to a product or service. They click on the link you’ve provided and when they buy, you receive a percentage of the sale.

You’ll need to post frequently, and it helps if you’ve used the product. But frankly, many affiliate marketers have never used the product or service they’re promoting.

If you have a blog or YouTube channel, you can also use links there. You don't want to be salesy, but if the product is in your niche, you should mention it. Think of it as a service to your viewer.

Some companies that have affiliate programs include:

If you have a blog or YouTube channel, you can also use links there as well. You don't want to be salesy, but if the product is in your niche, you should mention it. Think of it as a service to your viewer.

The best part is once you’ve posted or published the content with the link, it has the potential to be clicked many times. That creates passive income.

13. Offer Babysitting Services

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You’re at home with a newborn. You’ve learned some parenting skills. Why not make some money off of your newfound knowledge?

Pass the word among friends and family that you're available to babysit while you are on unpaid maternity leave instead of paid leave.

14. Remote Usability Testing

Many companies need user feedback on their apps and websites. This makes remote usability testing a great source of income.

Remote usability testing is a research method that evaluates the usability of digital products and services worldwide.

It tests participants' screens and sometimes voice, as they interact with the product. This is done in the participants’ homes. A couple of companies that do remote usability testing are dscout and userlytics.

15. Short-Term Disability

If you are planning on getting pregnant but aren't yet, consider purchasing a short-term disability policy. The proceeds from the policy should make up part of the difference in your salary. 

It won't pay you for everything you make, but depending on the policy you purchase, it could pay 40 to 70 percent of your salary.

Your employer might offer it, but if they don’t check with your insurance agent.

Pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition, so once you are pregnant, you can't purchase disability insurance. You’ll need to plan ahead.

16. Sell Used Books

Do you have a collection of books you’ve already read? Now’s the time to sell it. You also could hit the thrift stores and find used books. You’ll want them to be gently used. Extra points and dollars if you find textbooks.

Research the market value and set a competitive price. Some platforms you can sell them on include:

There are many more, or if online isn’t your thing, take your books to a used bookstore. But you probably won’t get top dollar from a store.

17. Create an Online Course

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Do you have a skill that people are always asking you to teach them? 

People might want to pay to learn your skill. Consider creating an online course.

Decide how you want to teach. Develop an outline to ensure organization. Gather all the materials you'll need to teach, and use your smartphone or purchase a camera.

Don’t forget about the audio. Nothing ruins a video like muffled or muddy audio. Purchase a microphone or two if someone will be teaching with you.

Platforms where you can sell your course include:

  • Udemy – Allows you to be an instructor and people download your course for a price. They have an instructor team that will help you. You also can receive support from their online community. Udemy has 62 million students in over 180 countries.
  • Teachable – Allows you to price your product with or without tax included. They have an extensive help page to aid you in setting up your course. Teachable has more than 46 million students worldwide.
  • SkillShare – Helps you create your course by giving you a step-by-step outline. They help you build your SkillShare channel. SkillShare has 13 million registered users and over 500,000 paid subscribers.

You don’t need to stop with one course. Go ahead and plan a series of courses to fully teach what you’re knowledgeable about. Don't underestimate what you know; be willing to share and make money simultaneously.

18. Domain Flipping

Domain flipping is when you buy and sell domains for a profit. Domain names usually cost around ten dollars to $19 per year. Some can be sold for hundreds of dollars. 

According to GoDaddy, the number one flip was; it went for $872 million. Other domains that were bought low and sold high include:

There is more but you get the point. Use your imagination and think about what domain will be popular.

Use your mom's experience to brainstorm what would be connected to motherhood. That’s a hot topic. Once you find domains, you can list them on marketplaces like:

Pay attention to news stories and trends to figure out what domains may be in demand. Use tools like Exploding Topics and Google Trends to see what’s popular. 

Once you’ve decided on a domain, register it quickly and list them for sale. They go fast and there’s no reward for second place.

19. YouTube Channel

This is more of a long-term endeavor but it can be profitable. Take people on your journey with a YouTube channel. 

You could tape and publish:

  • Vlogs
  • Baby product reviews
  • Tutorials

The sky's the limit as to what you can do. If you knit or quilt those are popular YouTube subjects you could cover.

You’ll need 1,000 subscribers. You’ll also need 4,000 watch hours a year to be monetized. Once you’re monetized, YouTube will share the advertising income with you.

There are other monetization strategies you could use, such as:

  • Sponsorships – This is when you go to companies and have them sponsor a video. You’ll need to talk about their products and endorse them, but these can be lucrative.
  • Affiliate commissions – We discussed affiliate commissions earlier, but you could discuss a product or service and then put your link for them in the description. Then when the viewer clicks through the link and buys the product, you’ll receive a percentage of the sale.
  • Patreon – This is a way to connect with your fans and receive payment for it. Although most start for free, eventually, you'll charge. It's a recurring charge. To keep people interested, you'll need to offer perks.

You can also sell courses, merchandise, or other products.

All it takes is a camera and a microphone. Your smartphone will do for the camera, but you'll need to purchase a microphone so that your audio is clear.

20. Open a High Yield Savings Account

As of April 2024, the national average interest rate for a bank savings account was 0.47 percent APY. Compare that to an online bank savings account which on average for the same time rings in at 4.5 percent APY.

That's a big difference. If you have an emergency savings account, you should consider moving it to an online bank so that it can grow.

Since online banks are FDIC-insured, they are as safe as traditional banks.

So, with all these jobs you can do while you’re on maternity leave, tuck a little of the money away and watch it grow.

Problem with Maternity Leave

The main problem with maternity leave is that unless you have short-term disability insurance, you’re left hanging financially. And even with disability insurance, you don’t receive the full amount of your salary. And for childbirth, it only pays for six to eight weeks.

And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 40 percent of private sector workers have a disability.

Money often drives the length of unpaid leave for moms. This can sometimes be dangerous if the mother isn’t physically able to go back to her job.

That's why finding a short-term source of income is essential to many women and men. This is especially true if it's normally a two-income household.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a side gig while you're on maternity leave may seem daunting. But using the list we gave you should help you earn a little extra money while you wait to go back to work. If you have other questions, we're here to help. 

Here are the most asked questions.

1. Are online jobs legit?

Many online jobs are legitimate. They offer compensation for doing everything from transcription to book reviews. However, there are some online job offers that are scams. Always research a job before taking it. Don’t give up personal information and never pay anyone to hire you.

2. Are there any challenges to remote work?

The biggest challenge to remote work is creating work rituals and managing your day. Ensure you get ready for work as you would if you were going to the office. If you’re used to working physically, build that into your day. Extroverts should ensure they still have contact with people outside their home.

3. How do you balance work and motherhood?

To balance work and motherhood let go of mom guilt and involve your partner. Set boundaries with family and clients to have time for both. Consider a flexible schedule. Ensure you take time for yourself, and if you need to, consult a therapist for support.

Conclusion: Maternity Leave Can Be Profitable

Don’t be nervous about trying new things. If you have an interest in crafting, it could be a money-maker. For those readers, reviewing books is a fun activity to generate some income.

If you have a skill, consider teaching it to others through an online course or tutoring adolescents with their English or math.

Whatever you decide to do, take care of yourself, and don't overdo it.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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