The business case for maternity and paternity coaching is clear. Increasing numbers of maternity leave returners are opting out of employment or going freelance in an attempt to balance the competing demands of a high commitment career and being a present parent. In some sectors as many as half of those going on mat leave with their second child do not make a long-term return (Halryngo and Lyng, 2009.) This is creating a (mostly female) talent drain of 30-45 year old professionals who are at their peak in terms of training, experience and value to the organisation (Cahusac and Kanji 2014.) The commercial implications – lost experience, expensive recruitment and retraining costs, and under-representation of women in senior leadership – are potentially disastrous.

Maternity and paternity coaching (MP coaching) is one way to address this issue, by helping returners make a positive transition back to work. Re-engaging highly skilled and experienced parents leads to more diverse leadership teams, an increase in female role models and a workforce better equipped to handle change and transition (Filsinger 2012).  Over 75% of those who have received White & Lime’s MP coaching say that as a result of the coaching, they feel “better able to imagine staying here long-term” than they otherwise would have.


Becoming a parent, whether for the first, second or third time, is a moment of profound change which often disrupts key elements of work identity.  The parental leave transition is arguably the most complex an employee will face during their career and they will need support to thrive, personally and professionally.  Research data and literature support the value of professional coaching to provide critical and time sensitive support for this major transition (Bussell, 2008).


Whilst every client is different, typical outcomes from a MP coaching assignment with White & Lime might include:

  • Strategies to ensure your time away and re-integration is as smooth as possible
  • Increased confidence in yourself and your capabilities
  • Greater clarity on your long and short term career ambitions and plans
  • Tools and approaches to integrate a high commitment career with being a present parent
  • Coaching and support to deal with live business issues
  • Increased engagement through a sense of increased control and choice


Maternity and Paternity coaching packages include 4-6 hours of coaching, with the possibility of switching to Executive coaching where appropriate. The first session can be taken from 1-3 months before birth or adoption, the final session is normally taken within one year of returning to work. Research tells us that nine to twelve months into a return to work is a critical time for women and our recommendation is that coaching is scheduled to cover this period where possible. Coaching can be taken as a mix of face-to-face and/or phone coaching sessions and packages are flexible according to individual and business need.  Sessions are normally 90 minutes long.


White & Lime has been providing MP coaching to leading law firms, insurance companies, marketing firms and banks since 2008.  We are fascinated by the topic of retaining and engaging parents of young children; our team includes an academic researcher who specialises in this area and informs our approach.  Clients tell us they appreciate our calm and structured approach, our high levels of empathy due to lived experience and most notably our ability to flex between conventional MP coaching into broader topics impacting the coachee’s performance.

All our coaches have established track records in the business world and great depth of experience and credentials in professional coaching. White & Lime is committed to the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) Standards of Ethical and Professional Conduct. For more details of our individual coaches and their credentials see Our Team page.

What our clients say

 “I found maternity coaching with White & Lime invaluable. The coaching had a significant impact on re-gaining my confidence levels on my return to work.  The sessions were a mix of working on deeply personal feelings and getting to grips with the practicalities of childcare and managing the logistics of a return to work. My Coach was incredibly knowledgeable in both. I think this should be made available to all maternity returners, and I would highly recommend to others.”

Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

For more information email Fiona at:

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