Returning to Work After Birth

DSCN1166It’s time. To go back to work, that is. Whether you were out for a few weeks or for a year, for many moms, the time to go back to work after having a baby comes sooner than they think. For some moms, the thought of going back may provide a sense of relief, and for others a sense of stress or sadness. These are all normal and healthy feelings.

Going back to work and the myriad of feelings it stirred up each time, at least for me, was always exacerbated by that one friend that unhelpfully said, “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I could never leave my babies.” Gee, thanks.

Some tips to help ease the transition back: First, make sure you are super comfortable with the childcare setup you have for while you are at work. If you feel unease, or if the provider is not reliable, this will increase your anxiety incredibly.

Make a feeding plan. If you plan on pumping, plan out ahead of time where you will pump, when, and how to store your pumped milk and supplies. Some employers are very helpful with accommodating this, and the scale slides all the way down to being hostile and completely unhelpful. If there aren’t adequate facilities available, don’t be afraid to ask. If you live very close to work or your child can come to your work, you may be able to schedule nursing breaks during the day as well.

If you formula feed, make sure you have enough bottles to make it through the day and then some, so you can avoid a mad rush when you return home to wash everything up. Keeping a little extra formula on hand can also be helpful so you aren’t dashing to the store for more right before or after work.

You may be worrying about losing so much quality time with your child, or about your baby missing you terribly while you are away. Remember that babies don’t have the same sense of time that we do; whether you pop out for fifteen minutes or 8 hours, it’s mostly the same to them. You can schedule one-on-one time with your baby to reconnect at the end of the day, with a fun bath and story session.

Remember, you can do this! The first day (or days) will be an adjustment period for sure, but you will all be settled in in no time.

Meaghan Howard is currently a stay-at-home mom overseas. When her babies were born, she and her husband juggled two full-time careers, and they SURVIVED!

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