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No matter how much time off you get for maternity break, going back to work and changing your daily routine can be challenging. From looking for a trustworthy childcare facility to making a new routine for breastfeeding, there is a lot to plan. In addition to this, you may experience a plethora of emotions such as anxiety, guilt, and anticipation while preparing to back to work after a maternity break. Although it may be overwhelming at times, women have managed the transition, and you can do it too!
Before your joining date, it is recommended that you connect with the HR department if they haven’t already called you. Ask them about what you should expect after joining work. If you feel that going back to your full-time work schedule may not be possible, talk to your manager about the possibility of more flexible hours. You may suggest working from home or working part-time until you settle down. Also, you must ensure that your boss knows how serious you are about getting back to work and maintaining productivity.
It is important to find a safe child-care facility for the baby before you get busy with your work life. Try out different facilities and talk to multiple caregivers before finalizing one. Knowing that your baby is in good hands will make you feel more comfortable when it’s time to return to work. Having a backup plan to help babysit the baby in emergency cases is a must. Family members, friends, and neighbours might also be able to help you from time to time. Some offices do have a creche facility it is advisable to plan and book well in advance to avoid any last-minute anxiety.
Babies prefer to have an organised daily routine. Since your days will significantly change, you must help the baby get into the rhythm as well. Start practicing getting into a routine prior to your first day. This will help you, your family, and the baby easily make the transition.
If you plan on continuing to feed the baby breast milk, you must make the transition to bottles slowly. Start making the baby drink from a bottle at least one month before you start working. Make sure that you let your partner, or the caregiver feed them so that the baby gets used to being fed by someone else. Start pumping breast milk even before you get back to work to build a supply of frozen milk for the baby. If you wish to pump at work, ensure that your employer is aware of it and they provide a private space for you to do the task.
Navigating the balance between working and taking care of a baby can be tricky. If it is not managed properly, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Here are a few tips that can be followed to make the transition to work feel more natural!
It is easy to feel pressured by comparing yourself with others who did not just go through a maternity break. It takes time to adjust and get used to the work. So if your work pace is not the same as others, cut yourself some slack. You have a lot of things in your mind, and it is normal to feel more forgetful and confused than usual.
Although it may be a bit embarrassing to admit that you need help, it is essential to prevent any huge blunders at work. It is always better to ask your co-workers, HR department, or manager for assistance if you find something difficult. They will be more than happy to help, and you will learn something new.
Connecting with other women who have gone through a maternity break and listening to their experiences can help you feel reassured. They can also offer you advice on managing work-life with a new baby.
Lastly, remember that your body is still recovering from pregnancy, and if you don’t treat it well, it may lead to complications. Do not skip your lunch breaks, have a healthy sleep schedule, and spend time with the baby and your loved ones. Furthermore, along with your physical health, you must also prioritise your mental health while returning to work after a maternity break.