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