DuJour Navigation

A Meal Plan Maven Innovates With “Pregnancy Leave” Policy

Danielle DuBoise, cofounder of Sakara Life, talks pregnancy, when motherhood actually begins and the company’s future

Danielle DuBoise, co-founder of plant-based meal-delivery service Sakara Life, is currently five-and-a-half-months pregnant. After discovering she was expecting, DuBoise says it didn’t take long for her to make a second discovery: that while she’s well-versed in the dialogue surrounding diet and nutrition, digesting the influx of pregnancy advice she immediately received would be another story. “The noise around us tends to make us ignore our intuition,” she says. “So I learned how important it is that you really take the time listen to your inner voice. It helps you tap into your intuition. You’re your own North Star.”

And, she says, she wanted to allow expecting mothers to cultivate their intuition in the workplace. To that end, DuBoise and Sakara co-founder Whitney Tingle came up with a revolutionary “pre-maternity” materinity leave policy. While they currently provide maternity leave and “unlimited vacation” to new mothers, they plan to implement what they call “pregnancy leave.” Unlike unlimited vacation, DuBoise says of “it’s [designed] to help someone enter the consciousness of motherhood.”

DuBoise explains that the company hopes to facilitate the “consciousness of motherhood” in the workplace by offering expecting mothers time for self-care, i.e. the opportuinty to be their best selves for when the baby comes. “While you’re pregnant, you [need to] take extra time to tap into your intuition. Not anything dramatic, but maybe like two hours a week that are dedicated to you,” she says. “I feel like we don’t prioritize it normally—taking an hour to go take an acupuncture session, for example, you have to really convince yourself you need it.”

Besides her own pregnancy, DuBoise says her inspiration for the woman-centric policy was her own experience as a CEO at a woman-run company, which has made her keenly aware of the ways in which business is structured to favor men. “The ‘system’ of business had really been built by men. It’s all still very masculine,” she says. “So how do you create an environment [that’s beneficial for us women]? You can’t just say, if you’re a mom work from home! Because if it’s someone on your leadership team, you feel it when they’re out of the office.”

And while every mother struggles with finding enough hours in the day, DuBoise hopes her policy will help herself and others prepare for a healthy work/life/motherhood balance. “I’m becoming a mother right now,” she says, “and I don’t want to wake up one day and just be giving birth—like where did those nine months go?”

Main Image Courtesy of Lianna Tarantin/Sakara Life