When the time comes to go back to work after your maternity leave ends, it can difficult parting with your newborn. As a new mother, this may be an unwelcome transition, but below you’ll find a few useful suggestions to help you balance your job and motherhood.
Find a childcare provider
Look for a childcare provider in advance. In order to find the best person to care for your child, you will need to conduct research and interviews. It’s best to start looking for one while you’re pregnant, or as soon as you give birth, so you aren’t scrambling to find someone at the last minute. Once you decide on a provider, introduce him/her to your baby and see how they interact. If you feel happy about your choice, go over your child’s routine and schedule. Include all health information and emergency numbers in the event that you cannot be reached at work.
Your first day back at work can be very difficult for you and your baby. To help alleviate stress, mothers should begin to gradually separate themselves from their children a few weeks prior to going back to work. Have someone else in your family watch the baby while you run small errands. This way, by the time you go back to work, your baby (and you!) will be accustomed to some separation.
Before going back to work, you should start weaning your child off breastfeeding and gradually shifting to a bottle. If you plan to continue breastfeeding , you will need to purchase a good breast pump and start using it a few days before going back to work. Some mothers find that their bodies do not provide as much milk with a pump, so learning this early on and adjusting accordingly is better than finding out the day you go back to work. Additionally, learning how to store milk is extremely important. Whoever is feeding your child while you’re at work will need an ample supply, particularly if your child is fed breast milk exclusively. Those storage baggies are also a little tricky, so having a system in place in advance will help tremendously.
Communication is key
It’s important to communicate the changes in your routine to your supervisor. If you’re pumping at work, you’ll need to find a spot that won’t disrupt other employees. You’ll also need to store the milk in an appropriate place. Some companies offer pumping rooms to accommodate breastfeeding mommies. If your company does, find out where that room is and make sure your supervisor knows that you will likely be pumping several times a day. Your body will adjust based on need. If you were feeding 8 times a day and then abruptly pump twice and feed twice a day, your body will start producing less milk.
There may also be times when you have to leave early for an appointment with the pediatrician or arrive late if your childcare provider is delayed. Try to schedule appointments and meetings around these possible disruptions and let your boss know in advance if you know you will need to make a change in your schedule.
Becoming a working mother can be challenging, but with some planning you’ll be able to transition successfully. For any other questions you may have to help make this transition go smoothly, contact the Lake Nona OBGYN experts at Contemporary Women’s Care.