Tips for Returning to Work after Baby

Tips for Returning to Work after BabySpending quality time with your newborn is a vital step in caring for your baby. It allows you the opportunity to bond with your sweet new bundle of joy, to establish a healthy milk supply and to give your body time to heal after childbirth. When it is time to go back to work, whether that’s a few weeks or a few months after your baby arrives, it may be hard to get back into the groove of your professional life. We’re sharing tips for returning to work after baby to help you make the transition as easily as possible.

Do a Dry Run: A few days before going back to work, start practicing for the big day. Wake up at the appropriate time and get yourself and your baby ready. If possible, have your childcare lined up so you can see what it will be like passing off your baby to a caregiver. Drive to work as you normally would to determine the best routes based on traffic patterns. Also, offer your baby a bottle once a day leading up to your return to work to ensure she has the hang of it before you go back for real.

Start Mid-Week: Staring back to work on a Monday makes for a very long first week after maternity leave. Try starting on a Wednesday or Thursday so you and your baby are not shocked by the separation.

Plan for Breastfeeding Success: Until now, breastfeeding probably required you to be with your baby most of the time. If you work 40+ hours a week away from your baby, keeping the momentum going can be a challenge. But it is entirely possible. Plan ahead by ensuring you have a healthy milk supply and stashing frozen breast milk for your baby to enjoy while you’re away. Speak to your boss and HR department about your plans to pump at work and determine when, where and how this will be possible while maintaining your work productivity. Have your pump, bottle supplies, cooler and a photo of your baby handy so you can continue to provide breast milk to your baby as long as you want.

Set up Meetings: Meet with your boss, co-workers, underlings and others critical to your day-to-day work function to find out what you’ve missed while you were away. After you’ve shared your experience in motherhood and a few adorable photos, dive into the status of major industry shifts, new clients or projects, staff changes and any changing policies or expectations. It’s common for co-workers and supervisors to be sensitive to your vulnerable state returning to work after baby for a few weeks but then they’ll likely want you to pick up the work they were covering for you in your absence, and maybe even more. Set your own boundaries as you learn how to juggle being both a parent and a professional.

Look Good and Feel Good: Your body size and shape may be a little different now that you’re a mom. Make sure your wardrobe meets the needs of your new figure and lifestyle. Start with some comfortable and supportive nursing bras that will compliment your silhouette. Molded padded styles look great under structured blouses, jackets and dresses. Buy a few new work outfits as well. You may continue to lose weight as your postpartum body changes with time and during breastfeeding so don’t go overboard. But remember, looking great can boost your confidence, which is a major asset in the workplace.

Prepare your Home: Even if you work from home, you’re going to have a lot less time to do household chores like cleaning, laundry and cooking. Get your home organized so you can get out of the house quickly in the mornings. Freezing a few dinners will also save time in the evenings. You’ll want to do everything you can to maximize quality time with your baby before and after work.

Sources: Idealist Mom and Mom365

Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week Partner Spotlight: Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association

Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week Partner Spotlight: Black Mothers Breastfeeding AssociationWorld Breastfeeding Week is all about sharing – sharing love, sharing nutrition, sharing inspiration, sharing resources and sharing support.  Our friends at the Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) are partnering with us in our donation of over a quarter of a million dollars in nursing bras.  Through our Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week program along with Best for Babes, we’re hooking up BMBFA moms with nursing apparel to help them on their breastfeeding journey.

BMBFA is a non-profit organization.  Their mission is to reduce racial inequities in breastfeeding support for African Americans by building foundational networks of support and strengthening systems to overcome historical, societal and social barriers to breastfeeding success.

Speaking of success, here’s a beautiful story of one mother’s successful breastfeeding journey thanks to the help of BMBFA:

A random Facebook post from a former classmate connected me to an organization that has changed my life. I am currently using the Doula services of Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA). I began working with this organization at seven months pregnant. I was really interested in a Doula, but had recently gotten the news that c-section delivery might be in my future. I was excited to hear that a Doula could still be used, if that was the case and that is when my relationship with Olivia began.

Olivia, my wonderful Doula, came to my house on a Saturday morning because of my insanely busy schedule. I was so thankful of the flexible hours available with weekend appointments. I didn’t know what to expect when we first started meeting but I was thoroughly informed of what services were offered. We began meeting regularly and all of my first time mom questions were answered with patience and encouraging words. Coming from a family with no breastfeeding history, an outside resource was necessary. BMBFA’s services reached beyond breastfeeding for me. I had a lot of fears when I first found out a c-section might be in my future. After meeting, with Olivia for a few weeks, my fears were eased because I was so well informed and we had a thorough birth plan in place. After my c-section, Olivia was one of the first people in the room and I had the opportunity to show her the breastfeeding skills we had spoken about in depth.

Breastfeeding is something I knew I wanted to do, but I know I wouldn’t be doing it right now if it weren’t for BMBFA’s Doula Program and Olivia.  Breastfeeding was terrible at first. I thought I had been punked. This natural and wonderful thing, for my child, was torturing me. Thankfully Olivia was so supportive and encouraging.  She constantly reminded me that I could successfully breastfeed and never let me get down on myself. Breastfeeding has not come easy for me, I had a very low supply and I think many mothers give up when that is the case. If there was anything Olivia didn’t know she asked her supervisor or referred me to another resource. Breastfeeding is one of the things that I enjoy most about motherhood. My doubts were erased by constant encouragement from the cheerleader in my corner. The best part about BMBFA are the postpartum visits. This is where the organization is most valuable. They are there well after the newness of baby has worn off. The focus is on mom and baby’s physical and emotional wellbeing. My life and my daughters life is forever changed because of BMBFA’s Doula program.  I know that Olivia is just a text or call away if I need anything at all, we have built a relationship over the past few months that is a true friendship.

I am forever grateful for the Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association, they have given my daughter the best start possible. This resource is priceless and an asset to the greater Detroit community.

Naomi a.k.a. Eden’s Mom, Detroit, MI

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