Returning to a job after giving birth can be an extremely emotional and trying time for a working mom.
The University of Alabama’s Dr. Laura Bloom offers tips on how to ease some of the pressure during this transition.
- Ease in to your new routine. Have the baby start in child care for just a few mornings a week before you go back to work full time. During that time, you can take care of any loose ends, as well as take some time for yourself.
- Have a back-up plan for your child care arrangements. Although you may have found the ideal child care setting, there may be a time when the baby is sick or there is an interruption in services, so plan to have a back-up caregiver, perhaps a family member or friend.
- Stay connected with your baby’s caregiver. Regular, on-going communication will keep you informed of your baby’s day and build positive relationships with the caregiver. Be sure to communicate any changes in your baby’s routine or habits to help them better meet the needs of your child.
- Talk to your employer. If you are breastfeeding and need to take an early lunch, don’t hesitant to ask. Communicate your needs, as well as the needs of your child.
- Try to establish a daily routine. Routines are important for mom and baby.
- Prepare the night before. Pack diaper bags, supplies and your lunch the night before. Having things organized ahead of time will eliminate some of the morning stress.
- Take time for yourself. Moms often take care of everyone else around them. You will be more effective in all areas of your life if you take time to eat right, drink lots of water, rest or even take a few minutes for personal reflection.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be from family members, friends, neighbors or even co-workers, having support is key to a successful transition back to work.
Bloom is an assistant professor in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences’ department of human development and family studies.