Top Tips for returning to work
By Naomi Saunders
Top 5 Tips!
Throughout pregnancy you will find a wealth of information, in some cases too much. Lots of it can feel like learning about angles at school, only relevant if you are going to use it at a later stage. This is how I remember the information I was taught during antenatal classes. I left hospital with my first daughter, asking the midwife if she could show me how to bath her. Such a simple act, but I did not know how. My point being, more realistic information is needed, quality information which supports us in early parenthood.
A question I bring up time and time again, is why no one ever talks about what happens when you finish maternity leave and return to work. So, when the huge adjustment of returning to a full-time job arrived, I had no information regarding continuing breastfeeding, once separated from my baby. No information on storing milk, preparing bottles or mentally how difficult the separation would be.
Hopefully, a few top tips from me, might be able to help another mum out there-
My top tips
- Do not let the date creep up on you, plan ahead. Start building your expressed supply as soon as you are in a routine with breastfeeding. Buy MAM Electric Double Breastfeeding Pumps with Rechargeable Battery – MAM UK (mambaby.co.uk)
- Introduce a bottle several weeks before you start, so there is plenty of time to ensure your baby is comfortable with this process. The MAM easy start anti-colic is complimentary of breastfeeding and worked perfectly for us for my daughter to take feeds during the day.
- Do your research. I could write a whole different article on signs of unsuitable childcare. But the best advice is trusting your gut. Visit settings and arrive ready with a list of questions.
- Ensure you have agreed start and finish times, which give you plenty of time to drop off and pick up. Do not over stretch yourself, getting a baby out the door is harder than you think.
- Have a back to work meeting, talk to your employer about any concerns you have, don’t be afraid to highlight anything which could make the process easier for you.
- Change your expectation, your house will not be as tidy, because quite frankly when you have worked all day a bedtime cuddle is much more important than washing the dishes.
- Check your work policy on sickness, babies and toddlers pick up a lot of germs in childcare.
- Live for your days off, fill your weekend with quality time and remember you have another far more important job now and that is being a mum.
I returned to work when my first daughter was 9 months old, and second daughter was 6 months old. Saying it was easy would be a lie, but it does get easier very quickly. It goes from feeling impossible to second nature. I have weeks where we are tearing out the door and there doesn’t seem anywhere near enough time together. That poking mum guilt in morning meeting, exacerbated by texts from school of missing PE kits. But working for many of us is how we keep the roof on heads and food on the table. Do not feel guilty for providing a life for your little ones.