Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment. Returning to work can make this transition even more complicated.
Tips for Your Return to The Workplace
- Plan well in advance for your child care arrangements.
- Start leaving your child for a few hours with your caregiver to transition you and the baby into this new situation.
- Do a trial run to work one morning, to see how much additional time you may need with the baby.
- Make a visit to work or call to catch up on what has been going in your company.
- Check to see if you can ease back into your routine by working part-time for a couple of weeks.
- Make sure you have a back-up child care arrangement in case of emergency.
- Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies regarding sick time. You may need to take time off if your child is ill.
- Realize that the first day will be the toughest, but as you ease back into your position things will run more smoothly.
- Make sure you are beginning to get focused on the job and your goals and objectives for returning back to work.
- Allow your spouse to help out with as much as possible around the house or by transporting your child to child care.
Breast-Feeding and Working
Some mothers will continue to breast-feed when they return to work to continue that bond with their baby. It will provide a close time for mother and baby at the beginning and end of the day. Here are some considerations:
- Make sure before you return to work that you have a plentiful supply of breast milk.
- Invest in the right equipment for pumping milk during work.
- Be sure your baby is willing to take the expressed breast milk from a bottle or cup before you return to work.
- You may prefer to offer your baby formula while you are away and breast-feed when you are together. This eliminates the need to express milk. Your milk supply will adjust to the reduction of some daytime feedings over a period of time.
Looking After Yourself
- Working and being a parent can be stressful but there are steps you can take to get yourself organized. It is important that you leave some time for yourself.
- If you have a spouse/partner, sort out what needs to be done and who will be doing it.
- Build up a support system, with family and friends if possible.
- Try to balance your time at work and at home.
- Get help around the house with household chores; consider hiring the work out.
- Eat a well-balanced diet; eat high energy foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeinated drinks.
- Make sure you get plenty of rest, take a nap when possible.
- Plan some time for yourself, working out at a gym, shopping, etc.