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4. Analyze your finances.
In order to give yourself as many options as possible, it is useful to think about your income, budget and expenditures. Imagine whether it would be possible to alter your lifestyle so that you could go without your income for several months -- or several years. Consider ways you might be able to reduce your income and increase your time at home by working part-time.
5. Arrange a comfortable time to talk with your boss.
Once you are informed about your company's policy and have thought about how much time you might want to take off, make an appointment to talk to your boss. Depending on your relationship with your boss and your company's policy, you may choose to write your boss a letter rather than talk to her in person. As well as telling your boss about your request for leave, it is also useful to discuss your long-term interest in working in the company. Some employers may be willing to give a generous maternity leave if they value you and feel like you are committed to your job.