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Getting Ready to Go Back to Work After Baby


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Being a new mom has its own pressures especially when mom has to go back to work. Not only is there the heartache of leaving your baby all day, but there is also the added stress of returning to a working environment that you may have been out of touch with for quite some time. Do yourself a favor and be prepared for your return ahead of time to ease the transition. Here are some tips to make it a little easier:

Before Returning to Work

  • Call the office from time to time during your maternity leave to keep abreast of what is going on there.

  • Complete your child-care arrangements. Talk to your caregiver about your baby's routine and clear up any confusions or misunderstandings. Prepare the list of emergency numbers.

  • Make emergency sick-care arrangements.

  • Take stock of your wardrobe. If you gained weight, as most women do, don't rely on squeezing into old clothes or wearing maternity clothes back to work. You want to look your best, so buy a few pieces that fit your post-baby body or borrow from a friend.

  • Have your hair done in a style that's easy to maintain. You won't have the time for elaborate preparations before work.

  • Stop in at the office by yourself. Straighten up your desk and go through papers that might have accumulated. You might take some paperwork home to give you a head start on resuming your duties.

  • Try a couple of trial runs away from your baby. These will prevent you from being emotionally overwhelmed on your first day at work. In addition, you'll be able to test your child-care arrangement and make sure that your estimated travel time to work has been figured properly.

    Your First Day Back

  • Start midweek. It's preferable to return to work sometime in the middle of the week, rather than on Monday, because then your first week is shorter than usual, and you won't be as tired.

  • Feed your baby before leaving. This gives you some bonding time before work and your caregiver can concentrate on watching and playing with your baby.

  • Don't socialize at first. Don't plan lunches or any social activity after work for the first few days in order to save energy. If there are social functions that don't interfere with your getting home on time, be sure to attend, at least long enough to chat with coworkers.

  • Plan a daily phone call to your baby's caregiver to find out how your baby's doing. Place a favorite photo of your baby on your desk or in your work area. Set aside time after work to reconnect with your baby.

  • Returning to work often poses emotional conflicts for new mothers. Remember that working outside the home doesn't make you a bad mother. And it's OK to look forward to the challenges and interactions of your job. Remind yourself that you're doing what's best for you and your family, and then move on.

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