Elizabeth’s story: Being the best mom and a great employee

A year and a half ago Elizabeth Pansch and her husband lived in Fergus Falls, MN and they both commuted almost an hour to work each day. Elizabeth’s job had no benefits. At first, this was okay—but when she found out she was expecting, benefits for her family turned from a want to a need.

After doing some job hunting, Elizabeth stumbled on an open graphic and layout designer position at BCBSND. She grew up with BCBS insurance and had family work for BCBSND and its affiliates. She immediately reached out for advice from her family about the possibility of joining Blue. “They had nothing but positive things to say,” recalls Elizabeth. “They talked about how great the benefits are for families.”

When Elizabeth found out she got the job she was excited, but she still had questions about her benefits—especially since she was expecting. She paid close attention during orientation and when the benefits team explained all the resources and benefits available to employees. She was hired in January and with her due date in the upcoming summer, she knew she needed to fully understand her benefits right away. She turned to her supervisors for help on understanding which benefits she qualifies for and working together with Human Resources they mapped out a plan. “My supervisors were extremely helpful during the entire process,” says Elizabeth. “They helped guide me through the benefits information and were always there to give advice.”

In the summer of 2019, Elizabeth and her husband welcomed their daughter Willow. While on maternity leave, Elizabeth’s team and supervisors checked in with her. As all new moms are, Elizabeth was nervous to leave Willow and return to work, however she felt confident she had a plan in place.

Unfortunately, as Elizabeth prepared to head back to work, her daycare provider stopped responding to her and her plan was gone. “It was one week before I was supposed to go back in,” shares Elizabeth. “I was panicking because I no longer had daycare for Willow—and my husband and I both couldn’t stay home.” Again, she turned to her supervisors for assistance. They set Elizabeth up to work from home until she was able to find a new daycare provider. And not only that—they also assisted her in trying to find a new daycare for Willow. “They shared resources on where to find a new daycare provider with my husband and I,” recalls Elizabeth. “They were very understanding of our situation.”

Once Elizabeth came back to work in the building, it was a bit overwhelming at first. Trying to balance work and a newborn baby is a challenge for any new mom. Her supervisors recognized her feelings and made sure she wasn’t taking on too much. “They were cognizant of my workload and made sure I was eased back into my role,” shares Elizabeth. Her supervisors also connected her to other moms in the company that could support her transition. “It was helpful to know that others had succeeded in finding their role as a mom and an employee,” Elizabeth shared.

And concerns she had about being able to continue breastfeeding while working were eased when she returned and recalled the lactation room BCBSND provides moms. “I was worried that I may have to pump in a bathroom, but I remembered my team mentioning the private lactation room for moms to breastfeed in,” recalls Elizabeth. “It made things very easy and the ladies lounge is clean and convenient.”

Since returning from maternity leave, Elizabeth is striving to be the best at BCBSND and at home. “I want to be the best mom and employee I can be,” says Elizabeth. “My supervisor encourages me to take time off to spend with my family. I appreciate that they care about my work/life balance!”

“I want people to be aware of the support they have from BCBSND,” shares Elizabeth. “It’s a personable, caring and compassionate organization.”