No matter how confident you are about returning to work, mixed emotions are to be expected. Follow these basic guidelines to help ease into becoming a working mom.
From Baby Bibs to Power Suits—Transition Tips
- Practice the new routine. Don’t make your first day back to work your first full day away from your infant. Go on little outings without your baby a couple weeks ahead of time. Consider starting the babysitter or enrolling your infant into day care a week earlier than your start date back. This way, you can practice your routine to determine how much time you’ll need in the mornings and hopefully keep frazzled moments or anxiety to a minimum.
- Make sleep a priority. This may sound like an oxymoron for a new mom, but making the conscious effort to stick to a sleep schedule as best you can is key. Remember, that extra load of laundry or dishes in the sink can wait and aren’t as important to your overall health and well-being as meeting your sleep needs.
- Take “mommy time.” Sometimes moms need a break from it all. The workplace is not your escape from baby and house chores, just as being home isn’t your refuge from work anymore. It’s important to schedule time to yourself away from both commitments. Reading in the park, going to the spa, seeing a movie or enjoying a night out with friends are good ways to keep your mental health in check and relieve excess stress.
Nursing and the Workplace
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and nutritious gifts you can give to your child. If you choose to continue feeding your baby breast milk after you return to work, ensure you prepare properly ahead of time.
- Start pumping and freezing breast milk a month before your return-to-work date to get in the habit and build up an emergency supply.
- Discuss a pumping schedule with your boss in advance and establish a designated area of privacy. You may suggest breaking your lunch hour up into several 15- to 20-minute intervals throughout the day.
- Allow someone else to bottle-feed your child several weeks before your return. This gives your baby time to become comfortable having someone else feed him or her.