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Returning to work after maternity leave is one of the first things on a new mom’s mind as she prepares for a new baby. I think even today I’m still not prepared to go to work every day well over two years later.
Leaving that little piece of me behind in someone else’s care does sting.
With practice and a routine, I am able to rip that bandage off every single morning and get to work on time.
Here are my top three tips for returning to work after maternity leave is up.
Feeding is a big deal when you return to work especially if you are breastfeeding. We had a very smooth transition with transitioning to the bottle because we did introduce the bottle very early after having to supplement for a few weeks. No nipple confusion whatsoever.
Finding the best bottle for our son was a big deal.
NUK Simply Natural Bottles are incredibly unique and perfect for the breastfeeding mama returning to work because they are the closest to mom’s breast a bottle can get.
First of all, they flow just like mom. Depending on the flow rate of the nipple, there are 3 to 9 holes in each nipple (3 being the slowest, 9 being the fastest). This is more realistic when compared to breastfeeding as it mimics mom’s breast as opposed to just one hole in a bottle nipple. The nipple is shaped like mom’s nursing nipple and is also flexible in case your baby is a mover and a shaker during feeding. The nipple will move so baby stays latched!
In addition, the nipple has a a built-in Anti-Colic Air system to help prevent gas, spit up, and colic.
You can find the NUK Simply Natural Bottles at your local Babies R Us on a special end cap in the feeding section or online.
When you’re finished pumping at work, unless storing for long term, use your NUK bottles to hold milk for the next day’s feedings.
I always recommend nursing moms research their rights both federally and at the state level before returning to work. And don’t let your employer try and tell you otherwise. You have a right to pump somewhere private that is not a bathroom. Please please please do not let your employer take advantage of you.
Follow and interact with NUK social channels for potential offers and giveaways, especially for Simply Natural September!
Adjusting To Child Care
When I returned to work, we started off with a mix of a nanny and my mom to watch our son. My mom’s work situation changed and we had to once again adjust our child care situation. We moved our son into a state and county approved in-home day care center.
Do plenty of research in advance. In some cities this can be as soon as you find out the good news that you’re expecting a baby. Set up tours at centers, interviews with prospective care givers, and contact other parents who use the centers/providers on your list. Checking references is a big deal – do NOT skip this step!
Additionally, talk with your partner about Option B if baby becomes sick, your nanny calls in sick, or the day care center is closed. I am fortunate that my husband can take a certain amount of leave to care for our son if he is under the weather or I can work from home if need be.
Many are not this lucky and it’s important to scope out centers that might have a drop in if your every day care suddenly has a change in plans.
It’s so important to recognize the hardships and difficulties that can come with returning to the workforce after your maternity leave ends.
First things first. Let go of that guilt. You know what I’m talking about. The guilt that eats at you that you’re missing something or that your child will miss you too much when you’re at work.
We do what we have to do and we will raise strong, confident children who will see their mamas as role models.
One anti-stress technique my husband was taught when he was struggling with stress was to not make his entire morning and day about work. I take this advice and apply it to myself daily.
I made it a point when I returned to the work force to do my makeup every single day.
This wasn’t for others. It was for me. Makeup makes me feel better and it makes me feel more confident.
Sleep wasn’t really an option at that point, or for many months, er, years, after if we’re being honest. With sleep being shelved until we could figure it out, makeup covered up those heinous dark circles that come with becoming a mom
Do I recommend getting a good night’s rest? Yep. Are you going to? Well, maybe not.
And if you’re in the “Maybe Not” category with me, choose something for you every morning that makes you feel good. That can be coffee in silence. Maybe it’s watching the news for 15 minutes. Whatever it is, start a routine that isn’t all about baby that can help you relax before heading in for a stressful day of work.
What tips would you offer a new mom returning to work after maternity leave? How did your transition back to work go after your leave was over?