Going back to work after your baby is born is a challenging transition both physically and mentally, but by planning ahead, you can make returning to the work force easier.
Setting the stage
Women tend to feel at their physical best as their first trimester ends and their second begins. This is the best time to get started.
You’ll want to take a realistic look at the people and resources around you to determine who will watch the baby and what your budget is for childcare. If you’re planning to nurse your baby, you’ll need to navigate the logistics of continuing to breastfeed after you go back to work, right down to where to plug in a breast pump at the office.
After you’ve given birth to your little bundle of joy and established a routine at home, you may want to try practicing for your return to a workplace schedule. For example, try getting up early, getting the family ready for the day and leaving the baby with the sitter for a few hours.
When you return to work, try scheduling your first day to be in the middle of the week and do your best to get all of the sleep you can when at home.
Seek out support
It can be emotionally difficult to leave your baby in the care of another. Just remember that it will get easier, especially once you develop a routine.
Stay-at-home moms are the exception rather than the rules these days, so seek support with other mothers who have gone back to work.
4 tips for back-to-work moms
- Do a “practice day” or two with your childcare arrangements while you’re still at home.
- Make a plan for how you will handle breastfeeding logistics if you’ll continue to nurse after you go back to work.
- Start on a midweek day so your first week back isn’t a full one.
- Talk to other moms who work outside the home for support and advice.